Can Short Exposure to Loud Sports Car with a Straight Pipe Cause Hearing Damage or Worsen Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by missingsilence, May 3, 2022.

    1. missingsilence
      Depressed

      missingsilence Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Hell on Earth
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who am I kidding, its got to be noise :/
      Going through a bit of an emotional roller coaster at the moment. I was next to a loud sports car with a straight pipe right as the owner started it.

      I had 23db custom musicians earplugs on at the time and I immediately cupped my ears and walked away quickly. I was exposed for maybe 5 to 10 seconds tops. My Apple Watch measured 95 decibels.

      I’m really worried, could this exposure have caused hearing damage?
       
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    2. Ace
      Musical

      Ace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud jam session, of course on top of years of performance
      If you had your earplugs in properly and you covered your ears on top of that, I'd like to think you should be fine. Permanent worsening of tinnitus in those circumstances would be incredibly unlikely, but you may perceive it as louder for some time since your attention is on it now. Ride it out, and try to just keep doing what you love to do and before you know it you won't be thinking about this. Be well my friend.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      missingsilence
      Depressed

      missingsilence Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Hell on Earth
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who am I kidding, its got to be noise :/
      Thank you @Ace.

      What worries me is that when the car started it was louder, I did some research and the start can be up to 20 dB louder. And at that moment I was not expecting it and as such did not have my hands covering my ears, only the custom earplugs which are 23 dB and were inserted and adjusted a few minutes earlier. They fit fairly well, but when I smile I feel the seal gets slightly worse.

      Hence I think during the start it could have been 110 or 115 dB, and afterwards it seems it was 95 dB. So I think I could have been exposed to over 100 dB or close to it for a second while the car started.
       
    4. David L

      David L Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      2000/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      If your Apple Watch says 95 dB I would trust that.

      The watch is doing some kind of averaging so fast peaking sounds might not show up correctly but a car starting up should be slow and stable enough to be detected.
       
    5. Gabriel5050
      Balanced

      Gabriel5050 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (most likely)
      You might be fine. You have to wait a few weeks to see if the tinnitus comes back down.

      From now on, if you want more peace of mind, I suggest using earplugs with higher SNR/NRR rating. You could wear something with 32 dB or more outside and some ~25 dB earplugs while inside buildings. Or you can try adding a pair of earmuffs on top when things get loud for some additional protection.

      Don't be angry at yourself, but try to learn from that experience if you want to minimise the chance of it happening again. I say minimise because I am careful wearing protection all the time and even I get in situations where there is sudden loud noise. Honestly wish you well.
       
    6. Ace
      Musical

      Ace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud jam session, of course on top of years of performance
      There have been so many times where I kicked myself for being around a super loud noise without enough hearing protection since my big spike in early 2018. I'd be shook up, sometimes for a few hours, sometimes for a few weeks, months in the worst case scenarios, but I always eventually came back down to a baseline where I don't pay attention to tinnitus much.
      Ok so I know everyone is different and has different needs here... But it's worth pointing out that for some of us, increasing the amount of NRR in situations that don't need it can lead to worse problems including drastically increased sensitivity to sound to the point where distortions and other strange hearing disorders are triggered by even regular sounds. The cure for that, for me and several others here, was to reduce the excessive reliance on hearing protection.

      For me personally, it's fine to increase NRR for a period of time to increase peace of mind and relaxation after a spike flares up. I have done that several times. I do have much higher sensitivity to noise than the general public, as I'm sure most people on this forum do to varying degrees. But I am careful not to overdo it and try to work my way back down to lower NRR filters in subsequent days or weeks because the problems that I get otherwise feel much scarier than tinnitus.

      But hey this is just from my perspective what works for me, and while there are others in the same boat, I respect the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all in how to navigate life with hearing disorders.
       
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    7. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      I've been hit by Harleys with straight pipes with lesser ear protection and ended up okay. In fact, a few months ago, one cranked its engine while I was walking on the sidewalk which set off the alarm of the car right next to me and I was no worse for wear.
       
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    8. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Yeah I’m more terrified of dropping metal pans on each other. The clanks jolt my ears.
       
    9. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      I hate that. I Immediately plug my ears whenever I see a motorcycle.
       
    10. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      It happens. I dropped a TV remote off the side of a chair and it hit a bunch of dishes my son left on the floor near the chair (hello please put them in the sink). It was really loud and I jumped. My ENT said those ultra quick instantaneous noises should not damage hearing.
       
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    11. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      I sure hope not. I have too many of those lol.
       
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    12. ZFire
      Bored

      ZFire Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011 (mild) & 04/2021 (severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity (2012) Unknown-likely noise induce (2021)
      I found this part to be quite intriguing and I think the lessening of ear protection may have helped improve my distortions and reactivity to a degree as well. I still have bad days with distortions though. You’ve also dealt with distortions? How long were they prevalent?
       
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    13. Ace
      Musical

      Ace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud jam session, of course on top of years of performance
      Over a month in some cases, sometimes weeks. Sometimes I get a reactive frequency that'll stick out like a sore thumb for a few minutes to a few weeks too, the long lasting instances almost always seem to coincide with my being excessive with of hearing protection. I think most of my own forum threads here are about these distortions so maybe look at those if you're wondering if my own symptoms were similar to yours. Feel free to ask questions in there as I wouldn't wanna hijack this thread any further lol. All the best to you my friend.
       
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