Earplugs Advice

Discussion in 'Support' started by Barbara777, Mar 31, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Barbara777

      Barbara777 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2015
      I have an appointment to get some custom ear plugs made. Does anybody have advice on what kind I should get? I have the kind of T that gets very loud with outside noise. When I am in a quiet setting it goes down a bit. My problem is I work in an office where the ventilation system is very loud for me. As soon as I get to work my T spikes and screeches all day long. The noise is getting hard to take. I want to block out the constant blowing of air through the vents. It registers about 70 decibels. I know this isn't enough to hurt hearing, but it really affects the loudness of my T. The sound is constant all day and it never shuts off.

      When I made the appointment I was asked what kind of ear plugs I wanted. I have no idea what would help. would you have any suggestions?

      Thank you.
       
    2. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I know all about annoying environmental noise.

      Before you start wearing earplugs all day every day, though, definitely read up on how that can interact with hyperacusis. In general, wearing plugs very long term to block non-damaging sounds, is often thought to create more problems than anything. The reason is, when you chronically suppress the input strength to the auditory system, the auditory system compensates by turning up the gain. The effect of that, often, is increased tinnitus volume, decreased tolerance to environmental noises, and therefore increased hyperacusis as well.

      Earplugs are absolutely a good idea if you're going to be around loud music, loud gasoline engines, guns, airplanes, etc -- but using them to soften the blow of non-harmful sounds, over a long period of time, seems dangerous to me.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    3. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I agree, wearing ear plugs long term (all day long) to block out 70db may make your ears more sensitive to sounds or more sounds down the road and make things worse for you. It is your anxiety from the blowing vent air which is making your T spike not the actual blowing noise. 70db air blowing cannot and will not harm your ears. Give it some time. Your T is very new. It took me a good 4 months to see improvements to my sound sensitivity and really 6-12 months before I felt more normalized about it.

      I used simplynoise.com and tried diff levels of white, pink and brown noise to find one comfortable for me to listen to in the background during the office day. It doesn't have to be loud, just low in the background like the vent air noise. It may make your T react or spike for a few days but it will settle in time and become more soothing. I did this for a good 6 months every day. Your time with it may be less or more depending on how it works for you.

      Also try deep breathing several times a day to help you relax. Take 10 slow and long breath ins and outs (20-30 seconds each).
       
    4. Barbara777

      Barbara777 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2015
      Thank you for your advice. I guess I have a lot to learn about T. It is hard to figure it out.
       
    5. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      well, I do think that maybe things which aren't actually harmful, can themselves create a temporary spike, at least for some people? Overexposure to low volume, but annoying, high frequency sounds, definitely sets my T off. And, I've actually stopped sleeping with a fan, because I think my T is actually the quietest in silent rooms...
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    6. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Yes, I would agree. I would tend to think that most things that cause spikes aren't harmful. Many things in the body are intertwined with T. There can be physiological reasons or indirect reasons why you may be having a spike that doesn't directly relate to anxiety, stress or loud noises. I went for a 10 mile bike ride a lunch. T was low before I went, blaring right now. I didn't encounter loud noises, I wasn't stressed or anxious--- just worked up my BP some and that was probably enough to cause a spike.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    7. NiNyu

      NiNyu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma? stress?
      That's total BS! Sorry to say, but if you have reactive T it simply does react to all kind of sounds. It literally goes through the roof. It has nothing to do with anxiety or mindset. The only thing you can do is avoiding sounds that make your T explode for the time being. And I agree with @linearb being overprotective with earplugs can make things worse.

      Obviously, you have reactive T. I'd suggest changing the work space. Get a spot with less noise.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    8. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      @Barbara777 , Take it from me, in my own experience of wearing earplugs all day every day for 20 odd years, @linearb is dead right, only wear them for noise levels that are damaging, if the air conditioning is too annoying for you, try just a little bit of cotton wool, it will take the harshness off just enough and won't cause your hearing to get more sensitive!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yeah I agree, it depends how messed up your ears/brain are. I am almost completely deaf in a large range and when sounds are produced in this range, I only feel them, I don't hear them. The only thing that happens is that the noise sounds like tinnitus, not a real sound. I feel my tinnitus replace the sound and I feel pain and presure, that's it. for example, if I pour change out of a jar, I hear nothing except loud tinnitus replacing the actual sound of the change falling out. I can not even describe how f--king awful this is. This happens whenever I try to listen to anything. Even when I watch TV, I don't know what half the background noises are as its all just tinnitus sounds. Also if a person raises their voice, especially female voice it just turns into tinnitus like sounds. Again this is absolutely horifying not to mention painful
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Hug Hug x 1
    10. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Man @Telis , I didn't realize you had it so bad man, really feel for you bro!:huganimation:
       
    11. NiNyu

      NiNyu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma? stress?
      @Telis , I have exactly the same phenomenon! I've lost plenty of frequencies (left ear) in which T is dwelling. As soon as there is any sound (in those frequencies) I can only hear the T noise exploding, that's why I can't listen to music or watch movies anymore. It's hell. It seems as though both auditory cortexes are somewhat connected.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    12. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I would assume that most here have a little notch out of their hearing so if this is happening it is easily masked or not even noticed. When I had minor T at the start I could go to a pub at 80-90db and it was heaven, T drown and mind totally off T. I would assume this is 99 percent of T, there is definatly T in its normal form and T in its monster form. When I had normal T I thought it was a pretty big deal, looking back it was a joke compared to what I have now. It wouldn't have impacted my life in the slightest after about a month of getting used to it. At that point, I never could have imagined it could get this bad. I also thought I had H at that point, there I was sitting at a pub talking about how some sounds hurt. Haha. Looking back, if I could sit at a loud pub how bad was it really, it was a little painful but didn't hold me back or keep me caged up in the house.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    13. ezzy

      ezzy Member

      Location:
      Boulder, CO
      Tinnitus Since:
      nov 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Paxil?
      My boyfriend and I both have tinnitus. Me--just 5 months Him--10 years. He wears earplugs all the time and walks around holding his ears closed when outside, if he doesnt have earmuffs on. He avoids all noise of even a normal level because he says it can potentially spoke his T and he's also afraid the T will get permanently worse. I just hate to see him limit his life and activities so much. Is it really necessary to avoid even normal range noise and wear earplugs constantly? I dont think he has hyperacusus.
       
    14. Barbara777

      Barbara777 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2015
      I was at the audiologists office today, and was told that listening to noise even at 65 decibels for an extended period of hours, such as 8 hours, can damage your hearing. So if a person works 8 or more hours a day 5 days a week in an environment at that decibel level, and shouldn't wear earplugs all day, what else is there to do other than find another job?
       
    15. NiNyu

      NiNyu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma? stress?
      • Agree Agree x 1
    16. Vincent R
      Inspired

      Vincent R Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Get custom made earplugs for musicians with 15 db protection. They'll take the edge of the noise, and you'll be able to hear what people say. Personally, I wouldn't be very concerned about H getting worse because I make my sound universe a degree softer.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    17. Gr8fulDude
      Balanced

      Gr8fulDude Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      For protection in loud environments I recommend Etymotic ER 20 musicians' Hi-Fi earplugs. They are comfy and cost less than $20. Sound investment.
       
    18. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      It's definitely not necessary, and the behavior you describe sounds exactly like hyperacusis.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    19. ezzy

      ezzy Member

      Location:
      Boulder, CO
      Tinnitus Since:
      nov 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Paxil?
      He feels like he doesnt have hyperacusis, although I've wondered. I thought I had it for a few days when I had a cold. My ears were suddenly much more sensitive to sound for a few days, then they went back to my normal tinnitus. He says that noises don't bother him except for the fact that they can spike his T temporarily and he is so afraid the condition will worsen permanently.
       
    20. Gosia
      Balanced

      Gosia Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      I'm having the same dilema every day..which sounds are already harmful and which aren't ? Now it seems also we cannot spend too much time in silent places cause it will ruin the heraing too ( since the auditory system must be fed in order to live , a bit like with miners whose eyes turn bad after years of working without light ). I noticed the sound of the car and shopping in a supermarket don't cause spikes and maybe even make things better. My true dilema is the subway and the bus. The sound of the subway is far above the safety limit, but I only take it for 7 minutes twice a day, as weel as the bus. I used to cover my ears with earplugs for a while and tht caused temporary, but still spikes - not too mention each time I'm scared to death that any spike is permanent..even though I've had T for 4 weeks and a half for now and still pray it passes..cause I cannot bear it. Of course I refused any concerts or going out since..the fear of having it worse is just too overwhelming. I can therefore understand your boyfriend, Easy..What do you think about the subway, would you cover your ears ? Can T get worse permanently even though the hearing ability hasn't changed ? I will soon have a simiar dilema with the plane..but I keep reading the info here.
       
    21. Karl28
      Wishful

      Karl28 Member

      Location:
      Melbourne
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001 bad since 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music via headphones
      Barbara777 this sounds like a HR issue.
      Explain and maybe they can move you do another desk or office that's more quieter?
       
    22. NiNyu

      NiNyu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma? stress?
      I envy you.
       

Share This Page

Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. Gonz
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    197
  2. SwedishSImon
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    429
  3. Shawty
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    330
  4. Marian27
    Replies:
    9
    Views:
    1,641
  5. Maithe Marshall
    Replies:
    10
    Views:
    1,052
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.