Ear Issues After Stupidly Mixing Music with Earbuds

Discussion in 'Support' started by James S., Dec 14, 2018.

    1. James S.

      James S. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Mixing Music
      I'm a musician. I don't regularly mix music but did so three months ago with a pair of Apple Earbuds (I couldn't find my over ear headphones). It wasn't a long mixing session (maybe 2.5 hours?) but I was sweeping frequencies and listening at a decent level. That night my ears hurt (even felt some drainage) and I was beginning to develop a fullness sensation. It's been three months and I have a range of issues. The biggest symptom is aural fullness (accompanied by a moderate achiness) which seems to be triggered by listening to music. When this happens I also lose ability to hear detail in the music, everything sounds mushy and annoying. I have some degree of hyperacusis (environmental sounds like cars, horns, sirens, brakes, all sound like nails on a chalkboard). I have some crackling, popping when swallowing (seemingly eustachian tube related). I also have some very mild tinnitus in my left ear (It's very faint and it could be psychological).

      I've consulted an ENT who thinks it could be related to the tiny muscles in the ear overreacting. I did a trial of Sudafed with no luck. About to try Flonase unless someone here advises against it.

      Perhaps someone has had a similar experience and could shed some light. Surely I'm not the only moron who decided to mix music with earbuds!
       
    2. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Ears take forever to heal. Your aural fullness ought to be gone sometimes in the next two years.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      James S.

      James S. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Mixing Music
      Update: nearing a month since my last post. Sensitivity to sounds decreasing. Phew. Still have tube issues (some improvement however): popping, feeling full, crackling. Still feels low-grade ear infection which probably means my ears are still inflamed. In quiet space I can hear ringing and moving my jaw can make the ringing more pronounced.

      Note: Of all the remedies I've tried for the tube issues (quite a few), I believe steaming and neti-pot have been the most effective.
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      James S.

      James S. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Mixing Music
      Figured I'd post an update.

      Early March I noticed a pretty big improvement of my symptoms. The faint ringing went away and sounds weren't bothering me anymore. Back to normal? No. I still have eustachian tube issues: occasional crackling when moving jaw etc. And still have dull pain that comes and goes. I can listen to music with headphones but I haven't tried for prolonged periods.

      One strange thing I discovered is when I get out of shower and am drying my ears if I pull on by ear it makes a cracking sound (which turns out to be a popping sound when heard by someone else). I starting doing this regularly because it sort of felt like it relieved my ears but I have since stopped because it didn't feel like a natural thing to do. Maybe someone knows what this is? Here's a video of what's happening if anyone's curious (NOT me in the video).
       
    5. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      I do not know what that is in the video.

      However, thanks for the update, and glad you are doing better.
       
    6. Strife_84
      Energetic

      Strife_84 Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Mixing music for long hours and too loud I guess.
      I damaged my hearing in the same way as you did. I mixed music with headphones too long. It probably was the high frequency content that did my ears, mixing and eq:ing synths and hihats. Of course there has been too much volume, but I also did long hours.

      Now I've been almost month without music. No headphones, not even from speakers.

      I have very similar symptoms what you described. It feels like my ears are fatigued, tired, dull and lifeless and certain Frequencies really feel bad to my ear.

      In the future, if I can make music again, I will do everything differently...

      And most likely give up mixing my own tracks. It sucks because I actually like mixing and learning new techniques. That's why I busted my ears. I got some new plugins, and was super excited working with them and then I suddenly noticed that there is ringing in my ears. I lost myself into the world of music...
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      James S.

      James S. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Mixing Music
      @Strife_84, how are you progressing?

      I was hoping I wouldn't have to visit this forum again but unfortunately I had a pretty nasty setback recently. In early August I was feeling nearly back to 100% although I was still being quite careful about noise exposure. In late Sep to mid Oct I guess I subjected myself to a series noise insults (wearing headphones for music production, going to a concert with shitty ear protection, loud bars). I'm not sure what is wrong with me because it doesn't quite fit the box of hyperacusis, although I suspect that's probably what it is. My ears (one is worse) is just in constant pain, tightness, achey etc. It feels like an old fashioned ear ache but concentrated deep in the ear. I suppose I'm sensitive to certain sounds (high pitched sounds like car brakes, etc.) but generally speaking sounds aren't really bothering me. It's just this constant PAIN. It feels like there must be a stretch or maneuver that could release all this pain (but I haven't discovered it). It doesn't feel like Eustachian tube issue which I've had before.

      I'm trying to take my mind off of it and relax but the pain is pretty nasty. My worse ear has a bit of tinnitus too, faint but there. Tylenol helps a bit but pain not going away. It's been about 3-4 weeks of this.

      Anyone have any thoughts? I am making another ENT appointment with low-non existent expectations.
       
    8. markdubby

      markdubby Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music + headphone use
      Reviving this thread as my symptoms are really similar.

      Did any of you find any resolution?

      Thanks!
       
    9. StubbyJ

      StubbyJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise Exposure
      Fellow musician who had to give up live play and recording due to hyperacusis. You are lucky. My advice, back off for some time as you ears are warning you. In the time away look at physical therapy/strength training for your back and neck. I have no proof other than my own experience, but I do think the forward sitting position we musicians spend hours in has something to do with this crap. It can't hurt.
       
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