Can Noise Cancelling Headphones Make Tinnitus Worse?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Leah, Sep 8, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Been using for many years at night to block out noises from environment.
      Can this make T worse? Very very low volume.
      Wondering if the technology in the headphones can cause and damage? They are Bose and you must turn them on to work. Anyone have any info? Thanks.
       
    2. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      I wouldn't worry about it making tinnitus worse. Can't really see why it would.

      The noise-cancelling technology shouldn't cause any damage. I've never seen such warnings or suggestions anywhere. Moderate volume levels and you should be okay (y)
       
    3. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      do you play anything through the Bose while wearing them? I use the Bose outside and play MP3 through it with restful rain.
       
    4. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Yes I do low levels. Going through a tough time with the increased level of noise find
      it hard to use them now.
       
    5. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      my tinnitus was initially started due to over-use of protection, ear foam all the time - this made my hearing too sensitive and then they could not protect themselves against normal sounds, and then any brief loud noise would create huge tinnitus. Even low rumbling of train in the distance would make me go nuts and then eventually i landed in hospital, etc. etc. and now here i am in desperate trouble.
       
    6. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      The research I have read on silence vs T is that everyone will create very mild cases of T when placed in a sound proof room for a period of time, but not chronic. This is because our brain is constantly trying to grasp/scan for sound and when it's nothing there the phantom sound from our brain is created. Also, types of hyperacusis can be developed much easier if you always exclude yourself from normal environmental sounds. I used to use headphones (not noise cancellation) and play portable music since my teenage years because I wanted to exclude myself from everyone else, I've always been like that and I enjoyed separating myself from the world through music. I have severe T&H now but I don't know if my music on medium db levels have caused the T, I do however think it's plausible that I've developed hypersensitivity to all other outer sounds cause of it, I noticed as the years passed by I started to dislike alot of normal external environmental sounds. I guess this is a mental thing as well. From what I hear from other H victims it's important not to hide away from normal environmental sounds to retrain the auditory system to accept them again. My personal experience supports this.

      So, without being too scientific about it I think it's reasonable to believe that excluding your hearing system from all sounds for a long period of time could lead to an over sensitivity and/or lower threshold to environmental sounds in general. I guess time will tell cause those noise cancellation headsets haven't been around for 25 years yet, but I guess we're gonna see some effects rather soon. I wouldn't be surprised if they started to print disclaimers on them.

      I chose to stop using my headphones all together when I'm outside and it's a chock how much sound and the types of sound I now have to deal with on an everyday basis, I excluded myself from that for years so it's like an exercise to accept them. The only purpose I see with noise cancellation headsets like the Bose ones is that they can be great protection aid if you have T and come across some potentially damaging noise levels. Then you could wear them as "plugs" so to speak. But I can't understand why anyone with T would use cancellation sets all the time as it makes the T appear clearer, silence is not very positive when struggling with T, just try sleeping with an ear against the pillow and you get my point, even people with no T can find that a bit noisy.
       
    7. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Oh thanks for the information. I agree with you, did not want it to be quiet for the T, I would use the noise canceling headphones to block out neighbor noise or my snoring husband. I would have music playing, podcasts or white noise...low level. My T was never as bad as it has been the last day. Listening with the headphones actually helped some...
       
    8. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      that's what my strategy has been - is to use MP3 player set to rainfall through the Bose headset, with volume at same level as tinnitus, but the last little bit has been torture for me, and my sensitivity to sounds is quite bad. I am hoping to approach my doc for sleep meds tomorrow, something like lyrica that also works for chronic pain etc., eventually i might turn into a stoner, but at age 57 I deserve the right to retire and just turn into a stoner if my health calls for it -
       
    9. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Oh, me too, anything that would help.....truly don't know what to do about this...I am in tears.
      We are close in age,, was hoping to retire early. Yep been awake since 3am last night when this
      attack hit...cant imagine trying to fall asleep.. People around me don't get it:(
       
    10. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Not the headphone technology BUT overuse.. I get it.
       
    11. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      yes, exactly, i too feel like completely overwhelmed. i have asked my daughter to devise the neuro modulation sounds - maybe that might help me - where do you live leah? or if you'd like to start a conversation i wouldn't mind, because we seem to have a lot in common - last week i was in emergency room with acute situational crisis - they handled the acute part, but the chronic part i have to deal with - hopefully being optimistic and just following the TRT instructions is the only hope - i did phone Dion in Oregon ATA and she told me that it is possible that some rare people may have to resign their job or switch job or whatever, it does happen, it is not a personal weakness.
      It is so frustrating for me because I was doing quite well until a year ago, and then listened to some music too loud, but only briefly. After the music exposure there did not seem to be any problem, but then 3 days later all of a sudden I had dreadful tinnitus. I have been trying to baby it by not getting any loud sounds at all, because Harley Davidson, or truck backfire has a bad effect on it, but then I had this dental procedure which was real loud and now I am trying to come to terms with early retirement etc.
       
    12. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      But I get you Leah. We all get you here. My T has been raging mad since it started the 17th of June. It's stuck on a loud level, just like a broken amplifier with the volume knob set to "red level". I've been taking sleep medication ever since - every night. Now my supply is getting low and very soon I will have to face a night with no meds. It's scary.

      I came to think of this one thing, I haven't yet actually met anyone in person that shares my T or H condition. The feeling of no one understanding is something I can relate to. Sooner or later I must run into someone in real life with T, I think that will be a good thing. Today while I was on the crowded bus I had thoughts like "I wonder if that women, or that guy, have T?" I was sitting there with my ears plugged with my awesome fluorescent orange foam plugs. Guess they thought I had left a concert or something. The world with T is quite different from my former life, when all I could think of was what to have for dinner when I got home. My life now is all about sound, nerves, worries, pain and uncertain reflections on life in general.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    13. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      hi, i cannot wear any foam plugs because my tinnitus would just be too huge - i am getting really depressed -
      i saw my psychiatrist this morning and "he does not treat tinnitus"
       
    14. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Sad that the Psychiatrist wouldn't help you. To some people tinnitus is as much a psychiatric problem as physical since one causes the other. Go see another doctor. Even if he cannot treat the tinnitus which he most likely cannot, he can treat other issues you might have like depression and anxiety. Sorry to get a bit off topic.
       
    15. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Just got about same answer today at my family doc, had apt for something else and my ears ringing too priority.
      Is this an "episode" that you are going through is it ever any better?
       
    16. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      the tinnitus is getting slightly better over the past 5 days or so - i have been using the Bose headset all the time with mp3 of restful rain, or in the office my daughter made the neuro-modulation file for MP3 that i run on constant loop as well. it is still dreadfully bad and if my dog had this i would have the dog put out of its misery. unfortunately im a person, and so that decision is not good plan at the moment - because maybe tomorrow will be a better day -
       
    17. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Wow, I can appreciate your comparison to ending it for the dog/told someone today I would give up a limb to have it stop, they of course looked at me as if I had lost touch with reality.
       
    18. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Keep meaning to ask, please explain a little about the mp3 that your daughter made. thanks
       
    19. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Psychiatrists in Ontario don't seem to treat tinnitus, I've seen one in Toronto. Its no use.
       
    20. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I think it's because Psychiatrists diagnose and treat mental disorders. T is not a mental disorder. It may cause mental issues, but not technically something a Psychiatrist would treat. Just like ENTs don't normally treat tinnitus either unless it is caused by acoustic neuroma or something of that sort but 99% aren't and most ENT's know next to nothing about tinnitus or how to treat it.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    21. Shuffle
      Gloomy

      Shuffle Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Heavy Metal & Machinery
      Can certainly vouch for that. Originally had mine due to a combination of wax and a rock concert, got shot of it with syringing. It came back for no apparent reason, now I've got a sinus infection and it's raging. Can't get it out of my head and that of course makes it infinitely worse! UK NHS gave me antibiotics for the sinus infection which have helped everything but the tinitus. ENT can't see anything wrong. Hearing apparently excellent for a 25 year old. Been a month now since it's been bad again, starting to tear my hair out!
       
    22. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Good point. I'm afraid of telling friends about T and what it really is cause if I say it's really a brain disorder most folks would start to think of mental diseases, nothing wrong in having mental disorders but you know the stigmas. People in general with no knowledge of these issues think everything "mental" means crazy. Most interviews I've read from tinnitus associations in different countries are classifying T as a neurological unbalance and/or a brain disorder that in many cases also connects with some sort of hearing loss. As you write ENT 's are clueless so that's why I believe a future cure will come from neuroscience.
       
    23. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Headphones? Fell asleep with them on, very low volume on a talk program. Woke up and T is at a new level of high. Yesterday was a moderate day, fell asleep for a few hours T was loud. But the headphones on with the talk show , even louder! Afraid to go back to bed! I have posted before wondering if there is a mechanism in these Bose headphones that might be aggravating the T. Hmm
       
    24. Sherri786
      Dreaming

      Sherri786 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Don't know about headphones, too scared to use any, since I got T. Hope the T volume went down for you, Leah. Take care.
       
    25. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Not yet but thanks, I am reading Turn Down the Volume and putting into practice some advice
      On bad days keep to your routine instead of giving in to it. On a bad day like today I would have done my best to avoid people and sit around and sulk . Been to the grocery store (while there I wondered if anyone else had noise in their head) and having a friend over.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    26. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      @Leah,
      I agree with that advice. It works best to get out and about, or visit with someone, rather than give in to the T. If I do that, I find it's easier to get through the day. Exercise seems to help, too. Or, maybe it's just being outdoors (walking) that helps me.

      Take care, and I hope you have a better day tomorrow!
       
      • Like Like x 2
    27. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      @Leah, do you mean the book "Turning the Volume Down" by Kevin Hogan? Would you suggest it to fellow sufferers?
       
    28. Sherri786
      Dreaming

      Sherri786 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Lolll Leah , I do the same walk around in the grocery store wondering if anyone else is suffering or just me.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    29. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Yes, that's the book. Saw someone else on the forum suggested it. Was able to get it at the library. New to this level of noise and find myself in the book. If nothing else made me get out of my funk today. Just the first few chapters but will continue reading.
       
    30. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Anyone else read it? Thoughts?
       

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