Driving a Loud Car (Mustang) and the Possibility of It Making Tinnitus Worse?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Brandon1994, Mar 26, 2019.

    1. Brandon1994

      Brandon1994 Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise Exposure
      Hello everyone, it's that time of the year where I get my Mustang out of storage because where I live we have snow in our winter months.

      Anyway I love this car but it's loud, on the outside it has a performance exhaust.

      I have a personal decibel reader that I own and when driving it's between 80-85 dB inside the car.

      When I get on it full throttle it's around 93 dB on the inside.

      I was wondering if I keep driving this car will it eventually make my tinnitus worse?

      I don't know if it's overkill but I've been using NRR 33 dB foam plugs and earmuffs at the same time. It seems to cut a lot of the sound down. But with this I can't enjoy this car or even hear the radio at all.

      What are your suggestions? I really don't want to sell the car. I don't know if just foam plugs are enough?

      I've read that foam plugs stink and don't block a lot of the sound out when it's low frequency which I believe it in this case is.
       
    2. Johan_L

      Johan_L Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Switch earmuffs to Bose QC35. They are as good as your earmuffs for engine and road noise, and you can play the radio through them. Of course you will still not hear that much from the car, but that is kind of the point, is it not?

      I have a old Porsche from the 90's, and it is unfortunately going up on Craigslist this month due to my noise sensitivity.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    3. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      How much is the car worth? I'm asking because if it's worth enough, I would get a quieter vehicle?

      I was in a 2014/15 (not sure, which year exactly) SUV and it was so much more quieter than my late 2000s sedan. I wanted to trade vehicles so bad!

      I would research which vehicles have a quiet cabin. I think it will make a difference even if it's not major.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      You can try to use Bose 25 noise-cancelling headphones + plugs. Noise-cancelling headphones have been implicated in people's tinnitus getting louder, so the plugs are there to protect you from NC headphones. You should be able to listen to the radio, as NC headphones ought to cut the low frequency hum.
       
    5. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I'm not sure you know what a Mustang puts out, especially with performance exhausts. It's nothing like a hum... it's an earthquake rumble! Nice sounding rumble of course!

      Low frequencies travel fairly well (that's why we hear the bass from our neighbor's party through the walls), in particular, through bones (hence the bone conduction tests). I don't know how much actual protection the NC headphones would provide, especially if he drives around for long periods of time (like a road trip).
       
    6. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Do those cars come with a muffler?
      In any case, the safest thing to do would be to give yourself another year to heal. If you don't want to do that, then try driving with protection for 15 minutes and see what impact this has on your tinnitus. If you don't see any worsening, gradually increase your time in the car.

      Play it by ear - even if there is no worsening, if it feels like the car is too loud (even with all of the protection), then consider selling the car. A lot is at stake...
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Brandon1994

      Brandon1994 Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise Exposure
      Yes my setup includes mufflers. It's a dual exhaust setup being a Mustang GT. I was able to drive it today for 30 minutes. With my setup of having 33 dB plugs and earmuffs I don't consider it to be that loud in the car. So far I can't tell if my tinnitus has spiked.
       
    8. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      They do, but as the OP stated, it has been modified and now has a performance exhaust, which generally increases the sound volume significantly (due to fewer "muffling obstacles" that the exhaust pressure has to deal with, which increases the performance by allowing the engine to "exhale" better).
       
    9. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      A progressive approach seems reasonable.
       
    10. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Instead of selling the car, perhaps it is more sensible to modify the car back to its original state.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. Steve G

      Steve G Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      20th November 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Slap to left ear
      Hi, I live in Australia and drive a HSV Clubsport - LS 2 engine (similar to the Pontiac G8 if you live in the US). I kept the car but went back to standard HSV mufflers as my ears would vibrate with the noise of a performance exhaust muffler. See how you go when you get the Mustang out of storage. It may make your tinnitus worse as it did mine. Go back to standard mufflers if it's too loud.
       

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