Experiencing the Worst Tinnitus Spike After a Live Music Concert — I Could Use Some Support

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Samwise_The_Loud, Jul 13, 2022.

    1. Samwise_The_Loud
      Cloud9

      Samwise_The_Loud Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress/Noise Exposure
      Long time lurker here. I acquired mild tinnitus in late 2020, following a combination of a loud cinema and an immense amount of stress. I was 23 then. I managed to habituate and cope with it fairly well, there were even times when I had relative silence at night. Ironically, I felt my best around 2 weeks ago. Life seemed to be back on track, my job, a girlfriend and some prospects.

      However, I foolishly went to a live music concert a week ago and to my horror and despair had forgotten my earplugs which I normally carry. This wasn't complacency, just human error. I had washed my trousers and they must have fallen out. I should have just left, but it was a work event in front of my boss and I felt obligated to stay. You can imagine how much guilt and self-loathing I feel now as a result. I managed to stuff tissues in my ears to block some of the noise which was partially effective. However, as you might guess, my tinnitus has spiked to what I would say is a severe level (around 6-7/10).

      Safe to say, I'm not coping very well. I feel everything important slipping through my fingers. My girlfriend, my job and my joy in life. I feel broken. I'm 25, I had so much in life I wanted to do. Now I feel like a shell of my former self with this new spike. I don't mean to be negative, this is just how I honestly feel right now.

      I've been taking Omega-3, Magnesium and NAC. I tried getting steroids, but in the UK they only give you them if your hearing is severely affected.

      It's been a little over a week since the noise exposure with no real change, I guess I just need support to help me through this very dark time in my life. Realistically will this spike pass? I had come so far with habituating my mild tinnitus, only to enjoy it for a mere week before it was robbed from me. Why is life so cruel?

      My thanks and best wishes to you all,
      Sam
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Mister Muso
      No Mood

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Hi, UK guy here too, I've been there arguing with doctors about Prednisone. No go.

      You may well have made your tinnitus worse. But you don't mention hyperacusis. If you have no increased sensitivity, this is good news. I made the mistake of going to another concert after getting a severe tinnitus spike, and now I'm habituated to my tinnitus but the hyperacusis continues to make life difficult on a daily basis. So avoid further concerts, loud environments and headphones for 3-6 months and your spike may settle.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    3. Mr Joel

      Mr Joel Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi Sam, sorry to hear this! A week is still early so you never know, it could get better. I am also in the UK as is Michael Leigh who I am sure will be able to offer you some good advice. You are still young so that is in your favour.

      As others will no doubt say, try not to panic and focus on the tinnitus to much (easier said than done).

      I had a noise trauma well over a year ago which is still affecting me. Has it been difficult? Yes. Has it destroyed my life completely? No.

      It could be worth booking an ENT appointment to rule out anything else and they will also be able to advise you on what you should do. Even if it turns out you can no longer tolerate noisy environments, there is so much more to discover and new hobbies to find :)
       
      • Informative Informative x 2
    4. Mr Joel

      Mr Joel Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      UK crew... How long has your hyperacusis been troubling you for?
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Samwise_The_Loud
      Cloud9

      Samwise_The_Loud Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress/Noise Exposure
      Hi @Mister Muso and @Mr Joel, thank you for your kind words and information. It gives me hope that my life may still be salvageable, although in honesty right now I cannot see the way forward.

      I had a brief run-in with hyperacusis for a week following a loud bang, which was a positive hell. It resolved, however, so I remain grateful that it is only tinnitus which I endure for now.

      My main fear, as you both reference, is a permanent increase. I understand this is an individual thing, so it might be permanent, or it might not. From my research, it seems a spike can last from weeks to around 3 months, with the very outer limit being 6 months to a year. But, the longer the spike the more unlikely it is a spike I believe. It's not easy to type this grim prospect, as I want to remain hopeful it is just a spike. But at the same time, I want to make no delusions as to my predicament. Are you able to offer any advice or information on this?

      On complacency, it is a difficult balance between trying to forget and move on from your tinnitus whilst remaining vigilant. To remain vigilant is not to forget I suppose.

      In any case, I feel grateful for those of you reading this or talking to me who can understand what I am going through. It helps not to feel so alone during this time.

      My thanks and best wishes to you all,
      Sam
       
    6. Mister Muso
      No Mood

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Hi,

      I've had chronic tinnitus and hyperacusis since 2019. The two ENT doctors I saw were clueless about it, but I found one GP at my practice had some knowledge and prescribed me Amitriptyline which helped, and Beconase steroidal nasal spray which may or may not have done much.

      Also the audiologist I saw was sympathetic and agreed not to set any levels too high during my tests on account of my hyperacusis. She had tinnitus herself which helped with my session.
       
    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi Sam,

      Loud noise and tinnitus do not go well together so keep this in mind. Even wearing the best hearing protection doesn't mean you can't be affected by loud noise. If external sound is loud enough, it will pass through the head and transfer to the inner ear by bone conduction and spike the tinnitus. If you are fortunate the spike will eventually calm down to its previous baseline level. However, it's possible the spike can increase the tinnitus to a new permanent level so you need to be careful.

      I advise that you don't listen audio through headphones, AirPods, earbuds, headsets, noise cancelling and bone conduction headphones even at low volume, as there's the risk of making the tinnitus louder.

      Please click on the links below and read my posts. Go to my started threads and read: Hyperacusis, As I See It, The Habituation Process, How to Habituate to Tinnitus, Will My Tinnitus Get Worse? Can I Habituate to Variable Tinnitus?

      All the best,
      Michael

      New to Tinnitus, What to Do? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      Tinnitus, A Personal View | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Samwise_The_Loud
      Cloud9

      Samwise_The_Loud Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress/Noise Exposure
      Thanks @Michael Leigh, as a long-time reader your posts are always informative and complete.

      As an update, my spike has decreased somewhat. From a 7/10 to a solid 4-5/10.

      Just another experience to demonstrate the dire need to protect my ears from harm.

      I'll keep you all updated as to how my spike goes, as I know from experience this thread may provide reassurance to those going through one.

      I should also note that I have TMJ issues which are being dealt with.

      My thanks and best wishes to you all,
      Sam
       
    9. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thanks for your kind comments Sam.

      Protecting the ears from loud noise is the right thing to do but try not to become obsessed by it as some people do.

      Take care,
      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. Smaapti

      Smaapti Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Hey mate,

      I am dealing with the similar thing, although I got mine from a relatively quiet pub watching footy on TV... Go figure. Mine hasn't decreased in over a month and I have an added "hell" frequency in the right ear that pierces my head.

      I am glad yours has subsided a little. I wish the same for me. I feel and share your pain.

      Best of luck and look after those ears going forward, you don't want to add higher frequencies to the torture.

      Scott
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Samwise_The_Loud
      Cloud9

      Samwise_The_Loud Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress/Noise Exposure
      Hey Scott,

      Thanks for the comment, I'm very sorry to hear about your present circumstances. I pray for your health and recovery, and I'm sure time will heal your wounds.

      I shall protect my ears as best I can in this life until a cure is found.

      As a small update, my spike is slowly getting better, with it now being around a 3-4/10. However, it does increase at times during the day. I find myself more afraid of going outside or to the gym now, however maybe this fear is healthy.

      Have hope, if my ears can get better - so can yours. Stay strong and find the enjoyment which can be squeezed from life, even if sparing.

      My thanks and best wishes to you all,
      Sam
       
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    12. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      Same boat and feel so stupid.

      I am meticulous about protecting my ears. Even when I go into a restaurant I wear my earplugs.

      I had bought tickets to a concert, an outdoor concert, a couple of years ago. It has been postponed several times due to COVID-19. I went with my family any celebrated my son’s 18th birthday. I usually double protect when attending events like a musical which I attend very infrequently. When I first got tinnitus (after an AC/DC concert - no ear protection), I got custom made musician’s earplugs and I was able to attend concerts and I was able to go to musicals and I never had any problems. Then my tinnitus went away after a few years. Then 2 years ago I had hearing loss in my left ear - probably viral. It improved and the associated tinnitus in my left ear went away. Then over the course of the last two years I’ve developed bilateral tinnitus that varies appreciably in intensity and loudness. Hearing is within normal limits although it has dipped as I’ve aged. ENT and otologist think it is multifactorial having to do with her Eustachian tubes as well as TMJ and allergies

      I had just enjoyed a fairly decent period of time when it was quite low. Then I go through periods where it spikes and quite louder for no apparent reason at all. Then it goes back to baseline. I would say it’s actually not very loud, it’s more that it’s so high frequency I can’t mask it. It has the frequency of band saw. I just noticed over the last few days that I thought it was spiking slightly. It was more noticeable.

      So I get to the concert last night and all of a sudden I realize that my double ear protection method is not going to work. Not because of the volume but more because the percussion was so loud that when I put the earmuffs on, it distorted the sound and I could really feel the vibration of the percussion. Fearing bone conduction hearing loss, I took them off and just used my custom earplugs with a sealant to ensure a good seal. Halfway through, I even went to the ladies’ room and reapplied the sealant. Upon consultation with my ENT she thinks it’s very very unlikely I would have suffered bone conduction hearing loss. So, I repeatedly removed myself and went to the concession stand area, which was covered and slightly quieter or retreated to the bathroom taking repeated breaks from the show.

      Prior to going, I had told myself this will be my very last concert. I actually haven’t been to a concert in years. But this was a special one for our family. It was a favorite band celebrating their 50th anniversary and playing at Fenway Park in Boston.

      Today I noticed that my normal tinnitus is a lot louder. I will admit I’ve had louder spikes, particularly in my right ear, but it’s definitely louder than usual. I don’t believe I have any new sounds and I don’t have any hyperacusis or ear fullness. Absolutely no threshold shift because my ears had some decent protection. About 30 decibel. I used my dB app and the music covered between 77 to 100 dB, but more consistently in the 80s. I know that I have phonophobia. While I have no hyperacusis, I am very fearful of noises that I perceive to be loud or think is loud that other people don’t necessarily respond to. That’s a consequence of tinnitus.

      I’ve had spikes like this before based on no sound exposure and for no reason.

      I went to urgent care and started on Prednisone today.

      Any support anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated. Honestly, if any respondent is just going to tell me that what I did was stupid or that you can still have noise exposure even with my ears protected, I have already read that. I don’t really need to hear it again. I thought it was a really good plan that has worked in the past and it didn’t work last night. It’s also possible that the spike has nothing to do with the concert and I have randomly spiked like before.

      If you have words of encouragement, please share.

      Thanks.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    13. Ngo13

      Ngo13 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Baby scream (acoustic trauma)
      @Forever hopeful, I'm sorry you are dealing with this spike. I think you did all you could do at the concert and you shouldn't beat yourself up over it. It's done now, and you even have Prednisone. I'm still relatively new to tinnitus but I know that I do experience real spikes from anxiety and stress (I also have phonophobia since my onset). It's possible you are spiking from the hyperawareness/stress from the concert and not the noise itself since it doesn't seem like you were exposed to damaging levels with your ear protection.

      Regardless of the why, I'm sure you will go back to baseline. You admitted yourself that you have spikes, but they have always returned to baseline. Just give it some time and try to distract yourself. I hope you feel better soon.
       
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