Chewing Food & Conversing: The Occlusion Effect — Should I Wear Earmuffs or Not?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Margrietje, Feb 5, 2022.

    1. Margrietje
      Alienated

      Margrietje Member

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No idea; no hearing damage
      Hi guys, I’m on vacation with some friends in a rather busy ski village. Most restaurants here are pretty noisy, but my friends don’t mind if I put my earmuffs on.

      The problem is that although I try to pick soft food to avoid crunching, I do feel the occlusion effect a little when chewing. Also, I talk less but I say some small things every now and then to engage in the conversation.

      So once we leave the restaurant I always become paranoid about the occlusion effect. It hasn’t caused any spikes so far, but I feel like there’s no good way to be zen after dinner during this ski trip.

      Can anyone reassure me or give me some good advice on the occlusion effect?
       
    2. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Just do not eat crunchy food or hard stuff like dry fruits for instance... you are choosing between too bad options: noise or the occlussion effect.

      Choose the one that is less bad for you.
       
    3. 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 would wear foam earplugs, deeply inserted, when in restaurants. This will give you the least occlusion. The key here is deep insertion. You need minimal space between the earplug and your eardrum. Obviously don't stick it too far in, though the ear canal is pretty damn long. Earmuffs just allow too much empty space for occlusion to take place.

      If it's too much protection and you can't hear conversations, the only other option is custom molded musician's plugs. These can be molded for a deep fit to minimize occlusion.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    4. ZFire
      Movie buff

      ZFire Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012 (mild) & 04/2021 (severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity (2012) Unknown-likely noise induce (2021)
      About the foam earplugs... Do you have a good technique when inserting them deeply? Every time I try to insert them, they end up sliding out the ear canal. I think I’m doing something wrong.
       
    5. 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 just put them between my palms and rub until they are scrunched up thin, pull my ear up with opposite hand to open ear canal, then insert making sure to get past the bend in the ear canal (I can feel when it does or doesn't make it past). Then I hold the plug in place until it expands.

      If they are sliding out, then perhaps you aren't getting the plug in deep enough. You should barely be able to grab it with your finger tips. Not much should be sticking out. Or perhaps you have larger ear canals? Then you may need thicker plugs.

      Here's a good reference:

      DoBfF9hWkAAjsBN.jpg

      DoBfF9ZW0AEBUeX.jpg
       
      • Useful Useful x 1
    6. ZFire
      Movie buff

      ZFire Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012 (mild) & 04/2021 (severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity (2012) Unknown-likely noise induce (2021)
      Wow thank you so much. I just tried your way. I rubbed it with my palms, inserted them and now I have a perfect seal. I kept sticking the foam plugs without making them thin. That was my mistake.

      God I’m such a newbie.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    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
      Glad I could help :D
       
      • Like Like x 1
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