Does Isolation = Overprotection?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Jorboar, Apr 12, 2017.

    1. Jorboar

      Jorboar Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 17, 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      What are people's experience with periods of significant isolation? Probably more specifically for noise induced hyperacusis.

      Obviously many of us try to remain in the quiet/avoid loud noise often, but I guess my question lies in the idea of "overprotection". It's of course recommended that you don't overprotect your ears with frequent earplug use, but I experience pain when going almost anywhere in public without them. I'm getting to a point where I'm kinda forced to just stay at home and experience as little sound as possible because even going out with earplugs can be a bit much for me.

      Will this cause me to become even more sensitive to sound in the long term, or allow my ear pain to die down allowing them to potentially heal? Thanks.
       
    2. maltese
      Batty

      maltese Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Club
      I can tell you one thing - staying in isolation from your friend, other people, all the noises is the fastest way to get depression.

      It got to the point where I would only leave my house when I had to and (obviously) skip *all* social events - and I spiralled into depression very, very fast.
       
      • Agree Agree x 6
    3. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      It will cause you to anticipate sensitivity to sound (Pavlovian learning?), and the avoidance behaviour will become its own learned behaviour. I think you need to (ha, listen to me the great sage), seriously, start to move out of your hiding place, slowly at first. If I could note one thing from all this after three years, the learned anxiety and avoidance type behaviors are as damaging as the T & H, in fact I would argue they are very much part of the progression of the disease process in its untreated form.
       
    4. Lex
      Blah

      Lex Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad decisions
      Back in December, I started wearing earplugs everywhere except at the office and at home. What overprotection did to me in a month or so was make me extremely depressed and anxious because I felt isolated. The emotional and mental stress made my hearing more sensitive. The tiny creaks in my house mad me jump. The flick of a light switch sent a painful zap behind my eyes.

      I was starting to become agoraphobic, so I decided I needed to do something, and that was to slowly wean off the earplugs. When I did so, I noticed that although some sounds hurt me, other sounds don't. So now I wear earplugs only when I feel actual physical pain (and not emotional or mental distress). It's been hard for me to distinguish the difference, but I'm getting the hang of it. Though I'll always be on guard, I find myself feeling more relaxed lately. Or at least, less stressed. My symptoms improved because some sounds that caused me pain before no long do now.

      Everyone's case is different, but in my personal experience, I wouldn't dare endure a sound environment unprotected if there's any hint of physical pain. But if there's no pain and I'm just feeling anxious, I grit my teeth and bear it. I also make sure to enjoy a couple of quiet days after a noisy day.

      Works for me. I hope you find something that works for you as well.
       
      • Like Like x 4
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      @Jorboar,
      You need to reduce the time of wearing ear plugs to get your ears use to sound again before it becomes a phobia!
      It's so important to get out and mix with people and learn to have fun again even with tinnitus and that helps balance out the bad times .
      Keep the plugs handy but you will be fine like every other person unless the sound is tremendously loud and for a length of time.

      Love glynis
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jorboar

      Jorboar Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 17, 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Thank you all for your replies. I realized recently that I've been overprotecting my ears. My only concern is that even going to university classes without earplugs can be too much for me at times. Should I just endure the pain for now in hopes that I'll eventually adapt to the sound levels?
       
    7. Lex
      Blah

      Lex Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad decisions
      @Jorboar, I won't suggest that you endure the pain. If it's physically painful, protect your ears and minimize exposure to the sound environment that's triggering your symptoms. Many cases have worsened because they toughed it out even when their ears were protesting. But if you're just feeling anxious, don't wear earplugs. It's tempting to wear them everywhere but it isn't going to help.
       
    8. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes

      There is not an universal recipe to deal with hyperacusis, but resting ears is probably wise if you dont feel well. On the other hand, you have to put things into perspective; a classroom with speakers should be more or less ok, depending on the volume of course (and except for feedback, which is a killer). The obviously dangerous sounds are those who bother or can damage everyone, like machinery, loud beeps or sirens and the like..
       
    9. squeek

      squeek Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise impact/maybe seaborn
      I started slowly. At first I would remove my earplugs and walk ear-naked for two metres inside the shopping centre and the next week upgraded to three metres.

      These days I'm okay in most places but the exercise does teach you which sounds are truly aggravating the tinnitus and which are only psychological. Cafes, restaurants and shops with loud music still suck. And buskers of course deserve jail time :)
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    10. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      Praise be!!
       
    11. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      • Agree Agree x 1
    12. japongus

      japongus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I lost many years exposing myself to sound to make a living. Last few years didn't have to make money, was mostly in silence. Didn't get worse at all, and now I enjoy life. In fact my condition has never swayed unlike so many others here, it's been constant in its misery after the two specific acoustic traumas decades ago.

      Mine is the fallacy on which the Jastreboffian claim of isolation-as-harm rests. He conflates economic poverty with his pseudoscience of tinnitus as anxiety. It often happens with first-world types, and gets worse when, like Jastreboff does, one surrounds oneself with an army of shrinks and rhetoricians.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    13. Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      What were the two acoustic traumas? Did you get tinnitus from working in noisy environments?
      You say you enjoy life now, but it's still miserable?
       
    14. japongus

      japongus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      First was a concert. Second a night club. The slightest sound causes a startle vibration in my ears. I have high and low pitched tinnitus. One doctor dxed me with possible starting phase of atypical hydrops and recruitment, where all the others had not.

      Nowadays at least I'm in silence and while I spend huge amounts of time researching my condition on libgen, pubmed etc, I also browse the internet in silence and play videogames, which is hugely better than the previous years where I had to mechanically go through the motions year in year out of putting up with a world that the only thing it really did was make my ear vibrate. Mine is an atypical hyperacusis apparently, but probably just underdiagnosed, in that I don't have pain after sound, in that it doesn't consist of pain but of vibrations localised in the ears. So mine is exhausting in the middle to long term. So for instance a normal life for someone like me is a death verdict.

      But now, in silence, at night, enclosed in a room, with the internet, as the world has gotten physically smaller, what's gotten huge is how awesome life is. For someone who all daily sounds make my ear vibrate, to be sitting around at night being able to at least imagine what it'd be like to not have cement ears, is actually astounding. Quite paradoxical.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    15. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      We have quite a lot in common @japongus

      I think hyperacusis is a blanket-term describing a continuum of damage involving volumes and frequencies in varying intensities, and no two presentations are completely identical.
       
    16. Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Interesting. Thanks for the explanation. I don't know if there is a typical hyperacusis. Just like tinnitus there seems to be many different types.

      I hear you about put up with the world and go through the motions... work caused my tinnitus and noisy situations at work seem to make it worse.
       
    17. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      To me what is absolutely shocking is the fact that too much sound in a very brief period of time and even single sounds that happen just once can make so much damage, and damage persistent over time, and that the thing, the hyperacusis, tinnitus etc can fluctuate, hearing can fluctuate, also the stuff one feels due to these conditions.. it's baffling.
       
    18. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      A sonic toothbrush came into contact with the opening of my ear canal for a fraction of a second. This was more than three months ago...
       
    19. Jomo

      Jomo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      9/4/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      going for a rim shot on the snare drum.
      I find it hard to not brace yourself for noise sometimes and I am sadly right. For example I went in the bathroom today and this old guy comes walking in and I hear a slight click and somthing told me "if you dont embrace for stupid, your stupid" ( my fav new line to life) and i immediately put my right hand near my right ear and all of a sudden BAMMMMMMMM !!! Thank god i blocked my ear. Felt no pain but i was definitely shocked after it happened. I wanted to kill the guy. I mean even if you had normal hearing you would have shrieked in pain. Its so hard to just be blind to things and say everything is ok. I was in the pizzeria the other day and the guy took out a paper bag and swung it open and that hurt. Is it wrong for me to wear hearing protection when going into restaurants. I feel like you really have no choice.
       
    20. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I learned the hard way that it is a good idea to wear earplugs whenever I am outside of my home.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    21. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      No its not. You'll know when to loosen the ties. For now, you do what you need to do because no-one has the fail-safe answer.
       
    22. Applejuice

      Applejuice Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      20-3-2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I also have H but I acquired my T recently. I made a stupid mistake by not protecting them the first 3 days and I tried to mask the sound with more sound (ex 1m distance of a dryer). Then it got worse and I started panicking. Then I was afraid of loud noises and carry around earplugs and I have an earmuff in my bag/car most of the time. But because I let everything go for 4 weeks means that I still have a lot of work to do now so when I lost my first fear then I had to work hard to make up for lost time and that lead to getting my mind of my T. Which led to more exposure to normal sounds and my H seems to be dropping. I still stay away from everything that makes 80+ db like a dryer or my dog's bark and I carry my plugs everywhere. Otherwise I'm just carefuly analyzing and avoiding things that could make a loud noise whenever I'm in reasonably crouded places.

      I also don't give anything about what someone else thinks about me so I sometimes wear my earmuffs around my neck like I would a headphone whenever I feel like it.
       
Loading...

Share This Page