Cycling/Wind Noise and Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by mick1987, May 26, 2015.

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    1. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hi guys,

      I wanted to ask if there are any cyclists on here and if you've noticed any effect on your T?

      I started cycling (on the road) properly February this year, started out just doing 4 miles but I liked it so much I'm now doing up to 35 miles daily (with the odd rest day here and there), love it!....losing weight getting fit and the antidepressant effect of exercise is an important one, but recently I've been a little worried because I'm noticing at night and especially in the morning my T is sounding more aggravated?....

      The one thing with cycling that might be a problem is wind noise, its pretty much constant for the few hours I'm on the bike daily, so I bought some earmuff type things that are designed for cycling but cut down wind noise by up to 20dD and I also wear attenuation earplugs underneath to cut down on traffic noise (earplugs don't effect wind noise for me), I can still hear traffic clearly and I've got a rear view mirror to see the traffic behind me so no safety issues there, but there is still quite a lot of wind noise.

      So even though I'm loving getting out on the bike, every morning when I wake up I feel like my tinnitus is sounding louder/aggravated? I'm just not sure if the cycling/wind noise might be to blame?

      I would be sad to have to give up cycling but for me its a no-brainer if overtime its making my tinnitus worse.
       
    2. Tamika
      No Mood

      Tamika Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One loud indoor concert
      Hi Mick

      I’m a cyclist too – not a roadie but mtb cross country/single track. Only go on the road when I have to. I’ve only been out on one easy fire trail ride since my T started 4 weeks ago, as been too depressed, so can’t give you much feedback. I was in a pretty depressed mood and just made myself ride for the exercise. I was upset that I could still hear my T whining away over the top of the wind noise. So I rode faster and faster trying to drown it out. I hadn’t thought about the wind noise making it worse but will pay attention when I start riding more once I get my head in a better place. Thanks for the ear muff idea. I guess you mean some nice fluffy ones like they use on microphones to stop wind noise.
       
    3. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      I know this problem well. Back when I had milder tinnitus I used to not notice any aggravating effect although I did sometimes worry about the wind noise. Since my t got worse though (nothing to do with cycling) the aggravating effect is clear and has been enough to stop me cycling - a big loss in terms of fitness and general enjoyment of life. We did move to live on the coast three years ago and it is very windy round here, so the combined effect of that and the wind noise from moving at speed does seem to make it a problem for me.

      Some would say I am letting t control my life (drive my bus, float my boat, whatever...). My perspective is that while my t was mild I thought it worth the risk to keep cycling, whereas now I freely choose to not do things that might make it worse since that would be a much bigger blow to me than what I am giving up. That is a very personal decision though, and others would choose differently to me. Risk being part of life, we just gotta go with what we think is best overall. I haven't been able to sell my bike yet though, despite not riding it for over a year. I designed the frame dimensions myself carefully chose all the parts to create a bike I loved... for a short while at least. So it is kinda hard to let it go.

      Out of interest, would you be able to post a picture or a link to those muffs you mention? I tried a few things, but the only thing that helped a bit for me was foam earplugs that block the ear canal completely, and these don't feel completely safe to me on the road.
       
    4. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Thanks for your replies @Tamika and @dboy I've just come back from a 3 hour ride and the wind noise once again was relentless and just plain annoying! (With the earmuffs and filter plugs).....but I think I might have had a little bit of an epiphany!.....the last stretch toward home there was this downhill section and I quickly pulled over, took off the earmuffs, took out the filter plugs and just wore the earmuffs has they were designed for and what do you know it........wind noise dramatically reduced! Lol.....D'oh! :facepalm: I think the wind was going through the earmuffs and was hitting the silicone plugs causing a booming effect of the wind, will try with just the earmuffs alone on the next ride and see if that makes a difference but its looking positive! (y)

      The earmuffs are called "Windfree", they are a Swedish company, had them shipped to the UK in about a week.

      www.windfree.se/

      Hope that link worked! Lol....

      But now facing a problem, they only reduce wind noise (hence the earplugs) but there was certain times while riding I was relieved I was wearing earplugs as well such as when sirens pass or today I was stuck on a red light and workman were jackhammering the road, might have to try half foam plugs, its tricky getting it right! :banghead:

      Sorry about you having to stop riding dboy, I understand completely that the trade off between cycling and worsening tinnitus isn't worth it, there are all sorts of products out there claiming to reduce the wind noise while out on the bike, windfree earmuffs, cats ears, slipstreamz, windbloxs etc, hope you can find a effective solution and you can get back on your bike again!

      Hope this new discovery of mine will make a difference! :)

      Mick
       
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    5. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Actually scratch that! :bag:....went out again with just earmuffs and still not much difference, still loads of wind noise! :arghh:....just hope it isn't the cause of my T playing up!
       
    6. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      Thanks for the link Mick. Looks interesting, but sounds like they haven't quite solved the problem for you. I had a quick look at these ones (below) too... made me think about taking a pair of scissors to one of my boy's teddies while he is asleep. I'm a bad man.

      http://www.cat-ears.com/
       
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    7. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Ha! That's actually pretty funny you mentioned the cat ears product, I ordered the classics ii pair on Friday! ;) Hoping the fleece/fur type material will be more effective than the earmuffs I have at the minute!

      Or just sacrifice one of your boys teddies but on your head be it! :LOL:
       
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    8. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      You're right, could be the cause of a week long spike right there!

      Let us know how the new ears work out for you. I always suspected our furry friends knew a trick or two we don't.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      OK will do! :)
       
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    10. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I would pack cotton into your ears on top of these wind muffs. Roll it up, pack it as dense as you can get it, shape it into something that fits into your ear. I use this under my touqe in the winter skating, kills a lot of wind noise.
       
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    11. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Thanks for the tip Telis, I was thinking the same about using cotton, must be alot better at dampening wind noise than silicone plugs. The one thing thing I'm not sure about is I use the plugs to cut down on traffic noise, I think I read somewhere that cotten only provides something like 5dD protection?......so I guess I'll have to choose between killing wind noise or protecting against traffic/sirens etc......frustrating!
       
    12. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      I have a much simpler solution- ride at 15 km/hr , I guess you have to give up on the Tour de France dream.
       
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    13. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      upload_2015-5-27_13-13-11.jpeg Or buy a Buck Rogers helmet...
       
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    14. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Thanks for your advice Dan, cycle at 9mph or stick a fish bowl on my head, got it! (y)
       
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    15. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      hey whats wrong with 9mph ? take in the scenery.
       
    16. Tom Gatwick

      Tom Gatwick Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2008
      mick1987 I considered the cat ears, can you send me email how they work?
       
    17. snow86
      Surrender

      snow86 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006 - Extreme T since 12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      see "information" on profile page. Crippled by extreme T
      To avoid the harsh wind/noise - just put on a beanie while cycling. Far better protection against wind and less complicated than ear muffs or ear protection. Thats what I do...May be a bit warm in summer tho.
      My T ist almost always aggravated after cycling...due to the cardio workout...all cardio sports aggravate my extreme T ...it sucks.
       
    18. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      True, nothing wrong with a leisurely bike ride, but going slow just seems to be a waste of a road bike! Plus I ride for fitness/endurance etc. :)

      Yeah I'll just update on this thread how I get on with them, still in the post ATM. :)

      Thanks for the tip, I'll give a beanie a try. Yeah I notice my T is slightly aggravated after a ride, probably due to the temporary increased bp of exercise etc but it dies down not long after. Sorry to read you describe your T level as extreme!...that cant be fun! :(
       
    19. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Or a bandana around your ears when its hot.
      Its more the batting echo effect when wind enters your outer ear, more than the actual wind thats loud.
       
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    20. tbTin

      tbTin Member

      Location:
      SoCal
      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2014
      I've ridden for seven years road and no issues until last year when the T started full time. I don't think cycling has made it worse and the cat ears help reduce the wind noise at the expense of warmer ears which is OK in the winter.
       
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    21. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      I got a neoprene headband shaped to cover the ears off ebay for a few quid. I think they are used for swimming. Didn't have much effect, maybe a small reduction but not enough to make me feel safe.
       
    22. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      if u are riding 40mph, nothiny will protect u aside from a full faced motor helmet. sorry....buy a leisure bicycle.
       
    23. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      I suspect you are probably right... which is why I haven't ridden for a year or so. I do keep hoping to hear different though.
       
    24. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hi, just thought I would give a little update on how I'm getting on with the 'cat-ears classics 2' as I promised I would do. Well unfortunately they only help slightly with wind noise (i guess around 15-20 dD) but all in all its still a noisy experience cycling, especially in cross winds.
       
    25. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      Thanks for the feedback @mick1987. Sorry to hear they are not a great success (although not hugely surprised). I guess the teddies are safe.
       
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    26. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Yeah another disappointing buy!.....the most effective solution I've found is using both foam earplugs and the wind free earmuffs. The only reason I'm fretting about the whole wind noise while cycling is because my T is sounding more aggravated a lot recently, going to give the bike a break to see if there are any improvements.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    27. Gurutogod

      Gurutogod Member

      Location:
      Gresham, Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Menieres like attack
      I'm a fitness/endurance rider untill i got hit by menieres disease one day..
      Here are some strategies that are working for me currently.
      1. Start with shorter distances say max 20miles.
      2. Go easy one day, hard the next.
      3. Check your body position, ride in what i call a climb postion, watch chris froome of team sky...its the way he rides.
      4. increasing you bp rate helps and hurts you with t. After your ride its screaming the next day and for several days after it appears to fade.
      5. I use ear plugs, mostly industrial application type...dangerous? Haven't had a problem yet, the rumble of car tires is still very noticeable when i ride. Just be a good listener and a alert rider.
      6. Those with menieres, diet, excercise, and consistency really help control those menier effects..
      7. 10000 miles last year, and still experimenting...
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    28. Fidel
      Fine

      Fidel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Dec 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sound trauma
      Thanks for the info Gurutod. I had a few questions for you...

      #1. How long do you wait before riding the longer distances? Pre-T, I usually start with low miles (14-24) the first 4-5 weeks of a cycling season...is that a good period to stay low mileage before going longer? What distance is your longest ride?
      #3. Can you describe what you mean? Is this a less aero and more upright position with hands on the hoods as opposed to low and in the drops?
      #4. You said that increased bp helps and hurts you with T? How does it do both?

      Some general comments. I won't be riding in areas that share the road with cars too much, so I'm not worried about car tire noise. However, I am concerned about the level wind noise going past the ears generally associated with riding. I usually ride between 18-20mph. My main concern is over the long term making my T worse because of wind noise. I don't care about temporary spikes.

      10k last year! Do you ride competitively? That's great!

      Thanks,
      Fidel
       
    29. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      10K miles is a pretty serious roadie in one year. Cycling is a big part of my life. Ex-racer and still train with CAT racers. Rode 35 miles today in big wind. OP...my advice is F the wind noise and ride. What I do. I have T and H. Sometimes after a long hard ride my T is up a bit. I don't care. Its still worth it. I love to ride hard and fast. In fact, I suspect I would have generally louder tinnitus without cycling due to diminished fitness and missing what I love to do...be out in the wind and letting the endorphins fly. Wind noise is a natural masking agent to T.

      Aside from swimming, there is nothing better for body tone and fitness. Fat guys get dropped. Either you have the fitness or you don't. Power to weight. You also need some level of flexibility to ride out of the wind. The most aero guys are typically the fastest. I don't ride with ear plugs. I stopped listening to earbuds however...which I never ride with when pacelining on the road which is generally how I ride.

      In my opinion, the benefit of a fitness lifestyle is better for T and H than without. I also asked my doctor if I should stop swimming. He said no. He looked inside my ears and saw nothing wrong. He said keep swimming and I do.

      I would do Tri's but I hate to run.
      Good luck.
       
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