Ear Wax or Hearing Loss

Discussion in 'Support' started by Kazue, Sep 19, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Kazue

      Kazue Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/19/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello everyone. I'm new here. I'm quite saddened to say I think I have tinnitus. I'm only 15 by the way. A few months back, I went to a party. I was sitting next to a speaker (such a dumbass), when I got home, I had temporary ringing. I was so scared. I didn't know how to live with that constant high ringing my whole life. But it went away. Now, a month ago, I noticed things started to get quieter. I was running water and it sounded really faint. That's when I started to question if I had hearing loss. Music is my life, I've been listening to it since I was 7-8. It hurts me knowing I can't listen to music anymore, frightened I might be deaf. The loudest I would play my music is 75-80%. But I am also prone to excess ear wax so that might be the problem. My ears been ringing for 2 weeks now so I've been keeping my music to the minimum. My anxiety levels are off the charts right now but I'm trying not to think of the worst. I'm going to the doctor in the next few days to see what's the problem. I will now definitely wear ear plugs where I go and stop listening to music so loud. I thought since I was young, I wouldn't have this problem. I wish to hear stories of other teenagers like me with this problem. Nice to meet you all. :)
       
    2. Michael B

      Michael B Member

      You're doing the right thing by seeing a doctor and I would recommend being referred to an ENT as well. You need to figure out why this sudden hearing loss. Hopefully it's the ear wax like you said.
      Oh, and another thing, stop using earphones as that may be the cause of your tinnitis and if it is you don't want to make matters worse. It was for me. I still listen to music but now use headphones as they have a broader frequency range.
      Good luck.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. Coyotesheaven
      Depressed

      Coyotesheaven Member

      Location:
      Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Dysautonomia/Vascular
      @Kazue

      Yes, it's good that you are going to see the ENT. Given that you are prone to ear wax it is likely just that, especially since it has been quite some time since the loudspeaker incident. Even if you do have a noise spike of some kind, it likely will resolve over a few months because you are young and your body is resilient! If any small amount of damage exists it will heal over and your T will get better, and if it's wax then you will get better 100% as soon as your ears are cleaned.

      But this should be a meaningful and well-timed message for you to be wary of loud music and loud venues.

      As a personal story, my hearing started to go when I was 17 because I abused my Ipod, and I had exceptional hearing back in those days and had a gift for music appreciation. In college, I went to a lot of dance clubs and parties and I still didn't really get the message that I was slowly hurting myself, even though I sometimes wore ear protection. It took just 4 more loud noise events back in 2015 to finally push my body over the edge; at 21 I developed chronic migraines that basically fueled hearing losses by themselves, and other neurological problems that I still can't get a-hold of. Not to mention that my body has become intolerant of loud noises and that I cannot go anywhere in public where they exist in high quantities.
      I, like you, also love music, probably more than I love a lot of people in my life! I still have some of my music with me, but I am losing both the low and high tones now, and I empathize with you in that it can be totally heartbreaking and a scary thing to think about. But you are still far, far away from that happening I assure you!

      I don't mean to share these experiences to scare you, as I think I was extraordinarily unlucky to develop these problems and that it would not happen to you. But being that you value your music so much, I would hate to see this happen to someone else like you who has so much life ahead and beautiful things to listen to.
      I've left some advice below which you can take or leave, but I think it will help to protect your ears and music appreciation in the future, while also allowing you to keep engaging with and enjoying music for as long as you live.

      On the ipod topic, I would be very careful with listening to music with your ipod. You may want to consider getting a pair of portable speakers to plug into your ipod instead and let the sound waves go into the atmosphere; they diffuse and scatter, leaving more space between them and your ears, so that way you are less likely to get hurt by the noise. If you still want to have the private awe inspiring listening experience then:
      • Buy headphones that fit over the ears, not into the ear canal so that the sound waves are not so close to the inner ear
      • Set the max volume to around 40-50%.
      • Don't listen for more than 30-45 minutes a day. I've had things happen to my hearing when listening at the quietest levels possible after just an hour.
      And just for future advice if you go to concerts/noisy venues again:
      • Make sure to bring well fitted earplugs every time you choose to go to one (foam earplugs are the best, but you can also buy custom made 'musician's earplugs' if you can afford them, which are very comfortable for ears).
      • Stay as far away from the speakers as possible (probably stay at the back), and take breaks from the venue if you can to give your ears a rest.
      • Drink lots of water, as dehydration can make you more susceptible to the loud noise.
      • If you can bring your phone in to an event, download and use a free app called Decibel. It measures the sound levels of the environment around you. If you see the sound levels start to go about 100, and especially 110 at a venue, that spells trouble especially if that sound is bass (bass cuts through earplugs). That should be the signal to leave the area, as those levels can cause inner ear damage in just a few minutes time, which could be permanent.
      • Last but not least I would also think it best to limit the number of venues and concerts you go to. Some have the potential to do lasting damage even if you do everything to protect yourself. Maybe choose a couple a year, saving your absolute favorite artists for your choices, and be choosy about the genre (metal concerts are particularly loud and destructive).
      Aand...that's about it. I hope I have given you something that is at least reassuring and helpful (hopefully not just plain annoying). And I am hoping the best for your ENT visit!
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. Kazue

      Kazue Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/19/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks everyone for your thoughts and advice. I will follow them with great care. :) So I'm going to urgent care on Tuesday to get it checked out. I've been postponing it because my doctors blame everything on my allergies and sinuses which is annoying. I could be blind and my doctors would say it's sinus and prescribe me Clartin or something. :/ I'm slowing leaning to thinking it's tinnitus because it's louder when I wake up, in the shower, and when I listen to music. I'm sure some of my higher and lower frequencies are gone. It's not really loud or life threating, I can deal with it as long as it stays this quiet. I still hope it's ear wax so I can continue to live my life without all this anxiety that any noise will destroy my hearing. My parents are planning to take me to a circus and I'm not liking that idea. I'm definitely buying musician earplugs. I wish I could go back in time and yell out myself for playing in band, going to loud events, and playing my music so loud. Thanks you guys. I hope this ringing goes away after the cleaning.
       
    5. Michael B

      Michael B Member

      Keep us updated.
       
    6. Kazue

      Kazue Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/19/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I'm going to the doctor tomorrow. I'll be sure to tell you all the results. :) Let's hope it goes away.
       
    7. Coyotesheaven
      Depressed

      Coyotesheaven Member

      Location:
      Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Dysautonomia/Vascular
      @Kazue

      Hope everything goes well today. If you plan to buy musicians earplugs, make sure to get the ER 25's. They offer the best protection (I really wish they had better protection than that, however). You will need to get molds taken by an audiologist for those, however. Phone your ent and ask if they do earplug molds there.
       
    8. Kazue

      Kazue Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/19/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      So...I'm getting a bit worried now. First the doctor said he heard a bit of noise in my heart as he listening to it. But I don't think that was much of a problem since he didn't address it. They looked in my ear didn't mention wax so that's bad...Apparently my ear membrane was pink and not the normal grayish color. My nurse feared it might have a hole in it so she gave me some pencillin. To insure it's all right, she referred me to an ENT for further investigation. So I probably have to wait 2 weeks or so to know what's really going on. I hope I'm not going deaf, I hope I still have a wide range of hearing. I hope I'll go back to normal. I hope I don't have to live with this ringing. *sigh*
       
    9. Jacob83

      Jacob83 Member

      Location:
      Wisconsin
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud headphones
    10. Kazue

      Kazue Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/19/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you for the article, that puts me at ease somewhat. I see a bunch of students blasting their music and I can't help but to cringe. To know that they might have hearing problems later on in life. ANYWAYS, UPDATE: I have a really bad cold right now. My nose is stuffed up and I keep blowing my nose. I'm taking Zyrtec to clear the fluid behind my ear drum so it can heal properly. My ears are really stuffed and still ringing. Loud voices and noises annoy me and my ears to the max. The perfect time to get a cold :) I don't think my hearing or ears will ever be the same at this rate.
       

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