Don't Know How to Handle Bars and Restaurants

Discussion in 'Support' started by 2131e, Sep 24, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. 2131e
      Wishful

      2131e Member

      Location:
      Hobart
      Tinnitus Since:
      19/2014
      Hi everyone,

      My hearing problems started pretty recently and I went to a restaurant and bar for the first time since the tinnitus to see if I could handle it. I felt like I was literally in a torture chamber of sound --- I could hear the conversation but everything felt way too loud and I just wanted to run out of there. I had some cheap plane ear plugs in at the time but they didn't really help much. Does anyone else react like this and if so how do you handle it? I feel like someone just made me sit through a thrash metal concert -- but it was just dinner at a pizzeria!

      I downloaded a decibel app like a lot of you have recommended and the volume in there was 80-85 db. I never realised how loud restaurants were!

      Sorry to vent but if anyone is currently new to this and experiencing this problem would love to hear from you -- I'm finding it really distressing and don't know how to handle it except to take a lot of valium.

      What can we do if we want to socialise but can't handle these loud environments? Is hyperacusis and bad hearing permanent?

      Thanks.
      2131e
       
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    2. Karl28
      Wishful

      Karl28 Member

      Location:
      Melbourne
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001 bad since 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music via headphones
      Personally I wouldn't put my self in those environments anymore.
      But I know alot of people would disagree with me.
       
    3. Bart
      Balanced

      Bart Member

      Location:
      Antwerp
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/06/2014
      Hi 2131e,

      I know the feeling, I got hyperacusis also and walking in the city or busy restaurants can be a real challenge.

      My audiologist said my 'internal amplifier' is set to the highest volume after the T hit me , it increases all sounds, so I will experience normal everyday sounds of 70-80 decibel as 90 or 100 decibel, it is the brain doing that.

      She has advised to not overprotect my ears but do it gradually, with small steps, hyperacusis does not have to be permament, do NOT overprotect your ears. I have and am learning this the hard way.
       
    4. I would also say don´t overprotect. I did during my first month as i had read that you should do after an acoustic chock. When unplugging things seems to be terrible loud. I would also like to ad that anxiety plays a major roll when it comes to be bothered by sounds, it´s very easy to imagine that you have H after reading some online horror stories regarding that. Just stay calm and don´t put yourself in very noisy situations during the first time, then do it gradually and slow and listen to your body and back off when things get to loud. Could be very good to listen to soft music at low level when you stay at home. Ears need exercise.
       
    5. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      I use a good set of musician's ear plug when I go to loud restaurants. These are custom molded to your ears and have an interchangeable set of filters, so you still can have some conversation but get sound protection. They are expensive (about $250 USD) and must be purchased through an audiologist. But they have been more than worth the investment to me. I use Etymotics, but there are other choices: http://www.etymotic.com/
      Search around the TT site and you will find plenty of info about plugs.

      I really don't advise people completely avoid restaurants and concerts when they have tinnitus... only because I think it just makes you feel more isolated and anxious. The goal, in my opinion, is to reclaim as much of your pre-tinnitus life as you can without putting yourself in danger. Those phone decibel meters are helpful and I have one. But their accuracy is limited. Also,I generally think that when it's too loud to go without ear protection somewhere, your ears will tell you so.

      A few restaurant tips:
      Sit outside, if you can (of course, I live in a place where we can sit outside year round, so its easy for me). The sound usually doesn't bounce around so much outdoors.

      Walk around the restaurant and see if there is a table that is quieter. It is amazing; sometimes there is a huge difference between different parts of the same room. I usually do better near walls. Also, look at where the speakers are. I tell the servers what I am doing and never have had someone not be cool with it.

      Go on off hours, earlier or later than the dinner crowd. Restaurants actually turn up the sound the more people they have in the restaurant. Also, more people means more noise.

      Finally: Simply ask the if they can turn down the music. Some won't but you will be surprised; some will, especially when you explain you have a hearing disorder.

      The good news hyperacusis often fades with time. You probably will want t be more careful until it does... but don't overprotect your ears and wear ear plugs all the time, as others here have said, or constantly avoid noise. It actually will make you more sensitive.

      Good luck and hugs.
       
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    6. Ilija
      Breezy

      Ilija Member

      Location:
      Jagodina, Serbia
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud gig/year of loud headphone usage.
      I had hyperacusis when I started with T a month ago.
      I was stressed and worried and anxious and depressed, generally I was in a really bad place.
      Everything hurt from sounds of dishes to phones ringing to cars passing by and so on.
      But then I started school again and the classroom is loud.
      You literally need to yell a bit to be heard.
      In the beginning this made my Tinnitus worse actually.
      But then after 3 weeks, my hyperacusis was actually GONE, like completely gone, I have had a lil experiment.
      I heard some music ONLY for a second at 90dB I think and nothing, well except a fear so I immediately turned it off.
      Anyway I suggest you protect your ears from loud sounds, but don't cover them every time someone is doing the dishes or else the ears won't rebuild their tolerance to stuff.
      I am now left with fading Tinnitus which I am confident will go away completely, and a reaction to certain frequencies that sound like my T but that is getting lower and better with time as well.
      The more I don't focus on my T and surround myself in sounds the more I lose the reactive T and the T itself.
      I can genuinely say I am quite happy now and I consider myself nearly Tinnitus free not because it has gone away completely but because I don't mind it any more and It only bothers me like 15%of the time, which I find amazing due to how bad I was only a month ago.
      Keep positive It'll fade protect your ears but don't over do it, in time yours will probably get used to sounds again just like mine.
      My ENT's said it was just the hairs being stressed and stuff.
       
    7. Zechariah

      Zechariah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I use ear plugs every time when I go to a bar or restaurant. Earplugs with fitting attenuation profile (don't attunuate human speech frequencies too much) cost only 15-30 euros. I think it's a small price to pay that you don't have to worry about your ears while socialising.

      TIP: Get earplugs which come with some kind of container which fits into your key chain. In that way you will have earplugs always with you. Of course you can buy the container separately too. (I have a nice little aluminium tube).
       
    8. luckyman316

      luckyman316 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      The best solution I found? Keep putting yourself in the situation. Once you adapt and get used to it, you will learn to enjoy it.
       
    9. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014

      Hey 2131e,
      Most peoples H gets better in time. You sound like your in the very early stages. I would play white and pink noise to try and help your ear build up their tolerance. I think the decibels you described wont be harmful to most people, but i would carry ear plugs around in case you feel uncomfortable. Let your ears rest a while. Other then bars and restaurants, you could try to find quite ones to go to, or try some outdoor and day time activities.
       
    10. 2131e
      Wishful

      2131e Member

      Location:
      Hobart
      Tinnitus Since:
      19/2014
      Hi everyone,

      Thanks so much for the support I really appreciate it!!!! I've read a lot of people here saying don't overprotect too but I've gone into that mode a bit - wearing earplugs all the time seems to be helping, but my T started a month ago so I think it is good to do this at the moment. I'll try gradually exposing myself to more sounds as I get more confident and am going to get fitted for some of those musician ear plugs - Etymotics look great and like that they have the changable filters.

      LadyDi: Thanks for all the restaurant tips!!! they are handy. And cullenbohannon thx for the suggestion about the white/pink noise.

      I actually found this online noise generator I use at night so I don't stay up worrying about the T:

      http://mynoise.net/NoiseMachines/northernLightsDroneGenerator.php

      Free and sound quality is great - I think it has an app you can download for your phone
       
    11. 2131e
      Wishful

      2131e Member

      Location:
      Hobart
      Tinnitus Since:
      19/2014
      Does anyone have thoughts on whether sounds around 85-95 db (like a loud bar, blaring speakers at the gym) is bad if you wear good plugs and you're there just for an hour? Seems like all of us, if we want to live a half normal life will have to deal with 1 or 2 hours at times in an environment a bit above the 85 db threshold.... is that safe with plugs so long as it is for not too long a time? I know the official charts seem to say it is but I think in these environment I 'feel' it damaging my ears. But maybe that is just the brain.
       
    12. Pipo
      Pooptoast

      Pipo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Vancouver
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      I know i kinda feel the same even though i do not suffer from H, only T. I think we should not overprotect but maybe be careful not to be exposed to dbs above 85 for too long.
       
    13. Sjoerd

      Sjoerd Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09-2013
      85 dB is considered safe for something between 2 to 4 hours (without earplugs). With ear plugs is is way below to limit. If you find it to loud or it makes you uncomfortable, just use earplugs. Use the kind that allows you to still be able to talk to one-another.
       
    14. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      @LadyDi nailed it.

      I eat out on the daily, and I'm fine in most restaurants but if I'm ever somewhere really busy, playing loud music or just a place with weird acoustics, I just put on my musician plugs and I'm good to go.

      If you have the money, definitely invest in a pair of musician ear plugs. If you don't have the money, save up and get them anyway because they are awesome. In the mean time, you can always start off with something simple while you get it sorted out - I use a pair of these http://www.etymotic.com/hp/er20.html as my back up plugs.
       
    15. 2131e
      Wishful

      2131e Member

      Location:
      Hobart
      Tinnitus Since:
      19/2014
      Thanks all. yonkapin - i used to live in melbourne - so many great restaurants!!

      which musician plugs have you got? I see they are available in 9, 15, and 25. Can you still hear other people with the 25s?
       
    16. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      Awesome, yeah it's a great place to have a bite :D

      I've got a pair of ReSound custom musician plugs with the similar filters. They are a couple years old now and I will be getting an Etymotic pair next.

      Definitely can, I lost my 15, and 10db attenutation filters and have used 25db in restaurants (when I need them) for the past few months and I can hear everything fine, the plugs actually help to block out background noise and I can hear the people with me a lot easier. But 9 or 15db of attenuation in a restaurant setting is also decent enough 95% of the time, unless they have ridiculously loud music.
       
    17. 2131e
      Wishful

      2131e Member

      Location:
      Hobart
      Tinnitus Since:
      19/2014
      yeh i know what you mean. i couldn't believe the pizza place i was in was 90db. i guess they want you in and out fast!

      how did you get etymotics in australia?
       
    18. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      With custom fit etymotics, you need to find an authorized audiologist who will do the mould and order them for you, you can also find someone through their website if I remember correctly.

      With the standard plugs I just grab them from here: https://www.storedj.com.au/products/ER-ER20STD
       
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    19. frohike
      Approved

      frohike Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I find that a full restaurant is 85-90, rarely 95. Custom plugs with a 15db filter are enough to feel safe. People find it natural that I wear them. They never ask about it. I guess they think I'm hear impaired or something.
       
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    20. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      @Greg Clarke I was wondering if you could explain exactly what about my post was funny? It's not a big deal but I am curious.
       
    21. Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      @cullenbohannon Nothing at all funny about your post. I browze the forum using my phone mostly so can only guess I hit that icon by mistake as I was reading down through the topic. No offence intended.
       
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    22. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      No worries Greg I actually do that as well and thought it might be that. I hope I didn't come across the wrong way with my post. Take care.
       
    23. Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      @cullenbohannon . No worries mate, it's not the first time I've done it! Need a bigger keypad! I removed it all the same
       
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