Don't Overprotect Your Ears

Discussion in 'Support' started by grandfunk1, Mar 25, 2015.

    1. ruben ruiz

      ruben ruiz Member

      Location:
      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I believe it was meds and stress
      How can exposing your ears to noise help hyper acusis? I dont see it. Another thing I noticed with the low level lazer.
      During the application its soothingly warm. After I take the unit out the ears cool and its back to the same old grind.
      The warmth makes the ears feel better. Call me a goof ball but I wished someone would make an electric unit that warms the interiors of the ears. Just some basic relief without hideous side effects thats all I want right now! It just might work!
       
    2. jeffie7
      Wishful

      jeffie7 Member

      Location:
      Maryland USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2003
      After my last shift in T I started over protecting and it caused H, many normal sounds that never bothered me before were painful to hear. My ENT told me to STOP WEARING EAR PLUGS SO MUCH!!!! after 3-4 weeks I no longer have pain from sounds, also when I heard those painful sounds before, my T would almost always spike later that night, most likely due to me being aware that I had *hurt* my ears.

      My car is 85db at 50mph and it can get up to 90-92db with the exhaust sound. I use to wear ear plugs, now I no longer wear them. My T has gone down, my H has gone away... I normally drive 25-30 minutes to/from work or wherever it is I'm going, so I'm not too worried about damage, however if I were to drive it on a road trip somewhere far, I'd wear ear plugs. Better yet, I'd drive our other car lol.

      It's all about finding balance, you don't want to go out to a bar/club without protection so you can expose your ears to loud noise. However, you don't want to be plugging your ears because you're at a busy restaurant for 1 hour and the sound levels seem high from the customers talking. Yes I also use to wear ear plugs at restaurants.

      P.S I was aware about over protecting ears and how it can cause problems like H, I honestly didn't think I was over protecting them. Clearly I was wrong.
       
    3. Geo

      Geo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      When i got my first stint of H last july it hurt like hell the sounds i mean.. I didnt leave the house unless i had to for like 2 months i probably left like 10 times.. But my H i would say was extreme like it is now i would say maybe a little over mild at that time.. But after like 5 -6 weeks i misses exercising so i bought some bars and dumbells and a bench and at night i would go workout outside little by little exposing my ear to outside noise i could hear the winds and certain cars pass and in a couple of weeks felt that my H slowly went away.. So i started going outside more often instill tried to avoide really loud sounds but i started going to the gym and that was noisy certain days i wore protection and others i didnt and months pass and i get hit with it again i guess i was over exposing my ears too much again.. And now it came back with a fury and now i cant go outside again..and somehow my H is reacting my T and making it very worse in tones and volume these past couple of months its very hard every day that passes even in my house the sounds outside hurt like when a motorbike passes or a really loud stereo in a car.. Its ridiculous im thinking of taking a chance in that keppra stuff they keep talking about i know they say a cure or treatment is on the way in a couple of years but some of us that truly suffer feel like we aint got that much time as its still worsening.. H gets overlooked and especially mixed with T is bad if ones condition is very severe... We are in this together i hope we can see a better day friends...
       
    4. Geo

      Geo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      Ohh and guys i know certain brands that have newer cars have a very quiet cabin.. You should look into them for the ones that drive a lot...
       
    5. jeffie7
      Wishful

      jeffie7 Member

      Location:
      Maryland USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2003
      I want to add, not protecting my ears isn't why my T levels went down, it went down because I was sure that I had new hearing damage which caused the over plugging to happen. Once I found out I didn't have any new damage is when I was told to stop over plugging. I think reduction in T was 100% mental both knowing no new damage had happened and also not being freaked out daily with H anytime a glass plate was put away when washing dishes or a cabinet door was closed...
       
    6. jeffie7
      Wishful

      jeffie7 Member

      Location:
      Maryland USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2003

      Cheaper lower end base models tend to be louder, nicer stuff tends to have more sound reduction material used.
      Civics are going to be louder than an Accord, Corolla will be louder than a Camry.

      We've had our share of civics and the main factor in road noise for them is tires, since the car doesn't do a great job of reducing round noise, a quiet tire can go a long away. Also having a bad alignment or other issues can cause tires to have feathering or wear in weird ways. Feathering tires are LOUD!!! Our 07 civic had a rear control arm recall due to causing tire feathering. We had to replace tires about halfway through their life span because the road noise would get so bad. Honda did offer to pay back some of the expense, sadly we didn't keep any records of it =( ohwell

      tirerack.com reviews/surveys list tire noise. That is something I ALWAYS look at before buying new tires.

      Then on the other hand you have toy cars like my loud one, it's loud because there is ZERO sound reduction material used, and it has big sticky tires which let you know they are big and sticky by the sounds they make.
       
    7. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      exposure therapy works for anxiety disorders across the board; arguably it's one of the only things with a clearly demonstrated track record. Avoidance behavior makes anxiety worse, also more or less across the board.

      With regard to hyperacusis specifically:
      http://scitation.aip.org/content/asa/journal/jasa/114/1/10.1121/1.1582860

      There are many, many studies which show changes in audio processing based on sound exposure vs sound avoidance.

      I read a fairly fascinating account recently of a zen master who did a 50-day intense meditation in perfect darkness and silence. When he returned to the world, as you might expect, everything seemed incredibly intense.
       
    8. attheedgeofscience
      No Mood

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      I don't know if it is or not. For me, ear plugs are a bit like putting on my seat belt or using safety glasses if I were to perform certain activities that could danger my eyes. If I leave the house, I put in my ear plugs - just like I would put on my shoes - and I go about my business for the day e.g. drive my car, go to the gym, shopping, and then, upon return, I take out my earplugs again. As such, I put in my ear plugs about three to four times a day (just like I would put on my shoes three to four times, per day). Nothing obsessive about that. And I do not feel I am constantly obsessing about volumes either when outside my house (because I have my earplugs in!). But someone who does not have their earplugs put in might well be constantly on alert - that I can understand...

      I think you need to read more about terms such as misophonia, hyperacusis, and phonophobia.

      And lastly, purely for the record, I do not have hyperacusis.
       
    9. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      So, how do you think that the research around the impact of earplugs on hearing thresholds factors in to this (like the one I linked above -- http://scitation.aip.org/content/asa/journal/jasa/114/1/10.1121/1.1582860, I have several others if you're interested). I personally believe that the psychological impact is probably pretty significant for some people, but the research doesn't attempt to address that (at least, nothing I have been able to find does).

      My conjecture here is that if the simple act of wearing earplugs for a period of time causes audio percepts to be expressed more strongly, people who are hyperacoustic are not doing themselves any favors by "over-protecting". And, this seems to be more or less the basis by which various audiologists discourage excessive earplug use. Also note, to be clear, I'm not suggesting that you are over-protecting, as I have no idea what dB levels you're exposed to daily. From carrying a dB meter around my city with me, I know that there are a number of "commonplace" noises which can easily exceed the 90 dB threshold, and when this occurs at very high frequencies, I certainly wear plugs. For me, my office environment is around 45db, and street noise on my walk to and from rarely exceeds the high 60s, so I don't worry about that. On the other hand, if I'm going to take the subway, I generally wear plugs.

      I'm pretty familiar with these terms and the differences between them, because I've had periods of phonophobia and hyperacusis during profound stress, and my wife unfortunately has misophonia to a degree that she has to make some accommodation for it in her daily life. But, if you have anything specific that might be of benefit for me to read, by all means send it my direction.

      Well, I think this might put you in a somewhat different category with regard to earplug use, than someone who is profoundly hyperacoustic... just as someone who has profound allodynia as a result of fibromyalgia is in a different category than I am with regard to getting a full body massage.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. jeffie7
      Wishful

      jeffie7 Member

      Location:
      Maryland USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2003
      You would never know if you're plugging pretty much always.

      Without plugs in, try clapping your hands together as loud as you can for 1 clap, did it bother you?
       
    11. geg1992
      English

      geg1992 Member

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure + Antibiotics
      Plugging my ears too much was the worst thing I've done, avoiding sounds too. My hyperacusis went through the roof, which sent my T crazy.

      I learnt to expose my self to normal sounds, since then my H has gone, my T is much lower too. I only plug my ears when completely necessary, such as at football matches. Over obsessing about sound levels made my anxiety increase which made T worse. Just getting on with life has made everything better.
       
    12. Gosia
      Balanced

      Gosia Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      @geg1992 , what to you mean by saying ''normal sounds''? What location do you live in? Often in a busy street? Bus, underground? I'm afraid we cannot compare people exposing themselves to normal sounds in asmall town and in London, for instance. .
       
    13. geg1992
      English

      geg1992 Member

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure + Antibiotics
      That's true, sorry.

      I live in the suburbs, but when I go into the town I still never wear ear plugs unless in a loud restaurant or football match etc, I avoid all other loud sounds at the moment.

      For example most days I will drive to work and walk for about a few minutes past the motorway which is fairly loud but I know it won't cause me damage.
       
    14. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      Geg, you seem to have come some distance since your earlier posts here. Would that be a fair comment?
       
    15. Gosia
      Balanced

      Gosia Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      Thanks @geg1992 for the precission. I'm'still a bit panicked about all that new possible demage stuff. For example today another metal door slammed not far for me. It's kind of enough to ruin my day. I hope NAC protects my hair cells though.
       
    16. Carm

      Carm Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/01/2011
      To avoid hyperacusis developing, hearing should only be protected in loud environments.
       
    17. geg1992
      English

      geg1992 Member

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure + Antibiotics
      That's what I do. :)
       
    18. Gosia
      Balanced

      Gosia Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      Yeah, I got that Carm..what I'm trying to state however is what "loud'' is the one that requires earplugs and which loud isn't that loud and is safe. Loud is relative.
      For example many people write they wear earplugs in shopping malls. I never do even though I consider myself quite obsessed. Are shopping malls in the US so loud? Here it's just people walking and putting things in their carts. Except for a kid yelling every now and then it's pretty quiet. Just some humming of fridges ..which is quite a good masker. It's definitely louder in the street .
      i don't wear earplugs outside but I keep my hands ready to cover my ears in any moment.Iagree witb somebody who wrote that we weren't created to stand noises of traffic and honking cars so wearing earplugs while near them should not lead to H. People who live in the countryside don't develop H only vecause they're not exposed to street noises, do they.?
       
    19. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      Hyperacusis develops from auditory damage, not sitting in quiet places.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    20. Gosia
      Balanced

      Gosia Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      So how come so, many people develop H from wearing earplugs which I understand is protecting their hearing? H does not come automatically with hearing demage, sth conditions it.
       
    21. Vincent R
      Inspired

      Vincent R Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Science doesn't fully understand how T and H works, so it's all a trial-and-error-thing. People have noticed that overprotection makes their ears more sensitive, and therefor advice others to avoid it. That's all there is to it. Maybe there's some truth in what H is trying to tell us, that our ears no longer can take the noise level we could when they were healthy, maybe H is just as irrational as T itself. I'v read posts from people here on TT who have exposed themselves to what they thought were safe levels, but getting worse, and I've read posts from people who have done the same and been perfectly fine. So what to believe? Personally, I'm more worried about T than H, so I protect my ears a lot and pay the price, if there is any. My point is, that since we can't know for sure, you'll just have to decide what assumptions that makes most sense to you.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    22. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      Most of the people here who claim to have developped H because of ear plugs also had pre-existing T. This is what compelled them to wear ear plugs in the first place. I have never heard of people with no audiological complaints develop H after using hearing protection. Sounds may be a bit overwhelming at first when removing ear plugs, but so is the hot shower when just stepping in.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    23. Gosia
      Balanced

      Gosia Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      When I go back in my memory, I had some H far before I got T..nothing serious, but the fact that the slightest noise woke me up and noises that bf didn't notice (coming from neighbours) were driving me mad. I also thought he watched tv far too loud but it might have been my h already. I still don't think i have serious H problem. It's mostly psychological- I'm so afraid of damaging even 1 more hair cell that I keep my hands free to cover my ears whenever I encounter a source of noise.
      If I cover myvears for around 20 mins per day, am I overprotecting? Let's say 5 mins on a bus..break . Another 5 mins in a subway..and each time a motorbike passes or an alarm in a store turns on etc. It doesn't sound like much but at the end of the day i feel like I cover my ears quite often only for very short periods. Usually moments. It's been 10 weeks. I need to stick to some strategy..
      tonight i have a slight spike. I hope it's not because I overpotected too much today..
       
    24. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Drugs barotrauma
      If you don't think that you have a serious H problem, you don't. When you have a serious problem with H you will know it, getting out of bed will be too loud.

      You really think that you spiked your T from covering your ears for a few seconds? What would happen if you were at home in the quiet for for serveral hours? Your T and H would explode? You don't need motorcycle noise and alarms to keep your ears healthy, whoever told you this is out to lunch. Listen to some music if you are are concerned that your ears are not getting enough input for the day, and keep covering your ears around loud noises, it won't hurt you thats for sure!!
       
      • Like Like x 2
    25. Gosia
      Balanced

      Gosia Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      Yeah, I know that. I sated it myself. That was never my question.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    26. sometimes h develops first.
       
    27. Mike34

      Mike34 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      This is actually a great question and the same question I had when I developed H.

      First, you have to get rid of the word "afraid". H is a processing problem in the brain, and the more you worry and are afraid the worse it will be.

      20 minutes out of a day that has thousands of minutes is mostly likely not too much, but you only want to protect against sounds that cause you pain. Anything else, even if it's bothersome, would be the definition of overprotection because you don't need it.

      The key with H is your brain HAS to get used to sounds again somehow. You have to exposure your ears to sounds constantly to get there.
       
    28. Mike34

      Mike34 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      FYI my Hyperacusis is functionally gone after having it for 6 months from following the default "rules" for hyperacusis. They worked for me.
       
    29. Why is it when someone's H disappears they somehow become an " authority" on H in GENERAL?

      Personal experiences do not apply to all people! You can't say that whatever it is you did is why your H left...why? because no one truly know what the hell H is!

      H isn't always about anxiety or fear @Mike34

      Really happy your H is gone. You must be thrilled to have your life back. Cause H is a real show stopper..

      but some of us still have it..its worse and it's not fing anxiety.

      O.k? I spent all last year NOT being afraid and now I'm worse. Period. How is that for a generalization.

      I am sorry if I sound harsh and believe, every single day I get up, take my " anxiety meds" face the world, take care of my family and I am exposed to sounds all fing day long...to the point where my ears are screaming for peace and quiet..

      Does that sound like fear to you? It sure doesn't to me..

      and my H is no better than the day it started.

      Peace out.
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
      • Like Like x 1
    30. Geo

      Geo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      I feel the people that always bring up anxiety are ones who suffered from it before t.. I never really suffered from it ill get it time from time but from certain situations like when my t spikes bad from a incident then ill calm down and wont have it for a while..i get it plays a big factor for some people but not all...
       
      • Agree Agree x 1

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.