Defective Silicone Earplug or Ear Wax Causing Tinnitus Increase?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Rust, Mar 16, 2016.

    1. Rust

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hello everybody,

      I have recently been coping quite well with my tinnitus. However, 10 days ago I went to a friends' house party and made my tinnitus worse in my previously good (left) ear.

      The party itself was not hugely loud like a club, and it was only in the living room area where they had speakers playing loud music – where I had around an hour of exposure. It was nowhere near the levels of a club/concert or anything.

      I have a pair or Elacin ER15 silicone custom moulded earplugs that I of course wore at the party. Though after the party the next day, I noticed that the sound protection in the left earplug was at least 50-60% worse than the right one due to damage (this leads me to think that I was only receiving around 6-7db of protection on my left ear). I did not really notice it much at the party (even when in the room with loud music playing), and with my earplugs in, my ears were not hurting due to the noise or anything (as they can do when exposed to loud noise).

      I however woke up the following morning with worse tinnitus in the ear with the defective earplug that was much worse than it was before, and also it now overrides my tinnitus in my right ear – which was previously my bad ear for ringing!

      I’m very confused by this all, as my left ear was previously not susceptible to tinnitus increases from noise at all (it was only my right ear that fluctuates a lot). I have also had a few occasions within the last 6-9 months where I have been in a club (louder than this party), where I have not used my earplugs correctly and thus been exposed to louder noise. When I did this, my right ear rocketed in increase, however my left ear was unaffected.

      The only thing that I have noticed that changes the tinnitus in my left ear is either ear wax touching the inner ear/ear drum or syringing – both of which my tinnitus has returned to normal when the wax has gone.

      Now, these custom earplugs have a nasty habit or shoving and compressing the wax deep into your ear, which has caused me temporary tinnitus increases before. Though these increases have never been as loud or persisted as long as this. I’m very worried about this increase, but at the same time finding it hard to understand.

      I visited my doctor, who gave me some olive oil drops to use to move the wax. But since that this feels so much different to when I normally have tinnitus from wax in my ear, I’m starting to think it could be a permanent increase from noise exposure.

      Any views, advise or comments would be much appreciated.

      Cheers all!
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Rust

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I have one further questions that I wonder anyone could shed some light on...

      Is it possible that because my right ear was fully protected with the earplug, that my brain was amplifying my hearing sensitivity in both ears, and thus making my exposed left ear more sensitive to the sounds than it normally would be? That would be very unfortunate if it was the case.

      Or, is the brain clever enough to deal with and adjust the sensitivity of each ear individually?

      This is what I am hoping! @attheedgeofscience have you any knowledge of this?

      Thank you again :)
    3. Bobby B

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      it may help if you give us more info on how you got the T and what hearing loss you have etc..
    4. Rust

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Sure, I had it for 8 years very mildly (never an issue), until 13 months ago when it became a big issue in my life after two noise exposures (the first being an interrupting aeroplane loudspeaker experienced through wearing headphones connected to the inflight film, and the other a very loud indoor concert). I had generally come round to accept it and learnt to deal with it, though this new sound that I have aquired in the past 10 days has disturbed and worried me somewhat.

      My hearing is generally good, apart from having mild hearing loss in both ears at a specific upper frequency (I can’t remner what one, but I think around 4k-5k). The ENT said that this is probably due to the damage from the events that made the tinnitus get worse last year.

      I hope that gives you further info. Thanks

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