Fire Alarm Caused a Spike in Tinnitus!

Discussion in 'Support' started by astaff14, Nov 7, 2019.

    1. astaff14

      astaff14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello, I’m a 22 year old female and I’ve had tinnitus since March 2018, so just over a year and a half. It had always been very bearable except for in the first few months, but 3 days ago I set off a fire alarm at work (MY fault- burned a pizza I was making!) which has caused a pretty bad spike for me. I believe it has caused me to have a new tone (sounds like crickets or a far off alarm) as well as made the ringing louder. I also am struggling with hyperacusis again. I was exposed to the alarm for about 2-3 minutes and only covered my ears for about 30 seconds of it because I was panicking.

      I’m really concerned because I didn’t notice the new tone until yesterday, two days after the event occurred. I took one dose of zinc and one of magnesium two days ago and have otherwise been wearing earplugs/avoiding loud situations.

      Should I try for prednisone or anything else? Is this likely to be a permanent spike? Any advice is so welcome, I haven’t felt this desolate about this since I first got tinnitus.
       
      • Hug Hug x 4
    2. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Sounds like the classic delayed spike, 2 days after the event.

      You can consider steroids for this.

      Impossible to say if the spike is permanent, although a good chance it is not. Gotta give it some months to work through.

      Truly sorry we are all going through this!
       
    3. Sash
      Doubtful

      Sash Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/01/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      cleaning out wax
      Sorry to hear about the alarm. I also had exposure to an alarm recently and have similar affects as you. I think alarms are the worse type of sound for your ears. It made me realised that I need to have earplugs with me at all times just in case of unexpected noises. I have my earplugs on my key ring now. Very important you do avoid loud sounds for a while. My mistake is that I did not for a couple of times.

      Let us know how you get on.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      astaff14

      astaff14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I am definitely considering it but have also been very weary as it’s been 4 days and some change since the event and I know you should get it within the first day or two.

      I do wonder what the delayed nature of the spike means. I didn’t notice it at all the night of (and stupidly wore headphones for a bit!), the ringing was louder the day after and then the day after that the cricket sound came.

      I work in a semi-loud environment where the ovens are constantly going and the average decibel level is about 60-70. Ear plugs have helped a bit, but they also tend to make my ears more swollen.

      My ears also ache slightly after the shift that I’ve just had, so I wonder if I’ve made anything worse.
       
    5. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      The ear fullness often means that the noise was too loud. Try it with earplugs and see if it helps.

      Some folks are better with a slim fit earplug, often for women as the ear canals can be smaller so look into those as well.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      astaff14

      astaff14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I definitely have been trying to avoid loud sounds! I just don’t know what is considered “too loud” for my shit ears. The ovens at my work definitely irritate me and make the tinnitus feel reactive, it feels a bit better in quiet. Do you hear crickets/a far off fire alarm sort of sound as well? Or what do you hear? After your alarm exposure was your spike delayed or immediate?

      I think it’s getting worse; either that or my mental state is getting worse, lol. Every random noise terrifies me and I’m so scared the spike is just going to get worse. It’s only been about 4 days so I know it could get worse yet. So scared.

      How are you coping? Have you seen any improvement since your noise trauma?
       
    7. reflection

      reflection Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert
      I know exactly how you feel, I recently had a delayed spike couple weeks ago as well and went through a similar panic and fear. Slowly overtime my spike would subdue and started improving again. I would give it time and patience, you got this!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      astaff14

      astaff14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello everyone. Sorry to make another post but I seem to be getting worse as the days go on.
      I’ve had tinnitus for a year and a half but 5 days ago a fire alarm set off in my work and I was exposed to it for 2-3 minutes with no ear protection. I could kill my self for the stupidity, I didn’t even put m fingers in my ears.

      My main ringing is louder + more variable than it was before, tones that I hardly noticed previously are also louder and I sometimes hear a noise like a very far off alarm or high pitched crickets. My ears feel full and crackle when I swallow. A lot of noises bother me, particularly anything in the higher frequency.

      I have worked 4 shifts since where the dB level is between 60-75, the ovens are always going and I am occasionally exposed to louder sounds for fractions of a second; the loudest I’ve recorded on my phone app was 105!!!! I have worn earplugs for the majority except for on Friday. I have had a couple setbacks since as well, yesterday I got in a car where the music was turned up incredibly loud (I had my friend test it after and my dB meter read around 85 but it did hurt my ears), certain loud noises at work I’m sure didn’t help, my mom yelled at me today... I’m terrified and paranoid it’s going to keep getting worse especially because it has only been 5 days.

      I haven’t noticed any true improvement, my mental state is generally getting worse as well. I’m scared everything is making it worse and I’ve damaged myself more.

      The worst part is I didn’t take care of my ears beforehand, I used headphones every day and thought I was fine because it didn’t do anything. I wish I could go back and kick myself, I’m sure I’m responding so poorly to this acoustic trauma partly because I haven’t taken good care of my ears in probably a year or more.

      I am so terrified of this alarm sound. It’s odd, almost like I’m imagining it rather than truly hearing it like tinnitus but I know that’s likely not the case. It tends to come in more when I hear irritating sounds.

      I don’t want to do anything but lay in bed. I have moments where the tinnitus sounds very screechy as well and I absolutely can’t cope with that.

      I have a doctors appointment on Tuesday, but I doubt there’s anything they can do for me. It’s too late for steroids I’m sure, I’ve taken 2 zinc 50 mg and 1 magnesium 400 mg since it’s occurred but I’ve heard that can make it worse too so who knows what to do? Probably nothing! I feel so incredibly stupid!

      I am only 5 days in and have seen many accounts where spikes occurred later than that so I am extremely concerned it will continue to get worse, as it seemingly has been since it happened.

      Any support or advice or anything would be greatly appreciated. I don’t know how to cope with this.
       
    9. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      The spike can continue to increase for a few days, so that may be what is going on here. However, you also had some secondary noise exposure, including at work and the loud radio among others that is no doubt making this worse.

      Need to have better protection, and consistently at work. The intermittent noise exposure is a challenge as is hard to consistently protect from unless vigilant.

      Toss the headphones, as did not help anything, but most important thing is no more exposure via that route.

      Are you sleeping? Getting a good night's sleep is crucial, but difficult with a tinnitus spike. Try some melatonin if having trouble falling asleep.

      I also take omega3, about 500mg daily, and found that it helped me with the loudness of the spike. I noticed a difference after a week or two so consider that as well.
       
    10. Sash
      Doubtful

      Sash Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/01/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      cleaning out wax
      Your sound threshold is much lower after the alarm. I hear proper ringing now and think my good ear has been affected. I had some discomfort/hurt in both ears but tend to switch ears never happened at the same time which is bit weird. Only yesterday the discomfort of my ear has subsided a bit though it took couple of months. Strange thing is there isn't any particular sounds that will cause discomfort for my ears.

      The biggest problem is that even sound of 60 decibels I can feel my ears struggling with.

      Tinnitus is so loud in my left ear

      How am I coping. I suppose keeping busy - need distractions. I work from home so can control my sound environment. I would struggle though if I was not working from home
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    11. Sash
      Doubtful

      Sash Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/01/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      cleaning out wax
      Please do beat yourself over the alarm etc. Everyone with Tinnitus has been caught off guard. I did the same thing as you. I just let the alarm hit me for three minutes without doing anything, Then I did even a second and third stupid thing but going to a football game then to a club a few weeks later. We all get complacent. I had warning signs a few times but ignored them and here we are . Therefore I am three times as stupid as you :):dohanimation::rockingbanana:

      Your anxiety is making it worse. If I am busy or mind pre-occupied then I don't hear it. I had a two hour meeting today and not once did I hear my 70-80 decibel Tinnitus. While Tinnitus can be debilitating - I don't know if meditation or yoga may help you. The spike is at the initial stages and seems you may have hyperacusis which exacerbates Tinnitus

      Possibly you may also look for another job though loud noise seems everywhere. Big crowds and people talking also seem louder with hyperacusis . I went jogging today and noticed how loud the traffic was when normally I just ignored it.

      I know its very difficult for you and sorry you have to go through this at such a tender age. It will improve so hold tight. Keep smiling and be positive.
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    12. MRItechssuck

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002-2015, 10/17/2019-?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      I’m just more than three weeks in from the MRI where I was exposed for 30 minutes without earplugs. It has gotten worse and worse and I feel like I am totally f%cked.

      No one without tinnitus understands....
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      astaff14

      astaff14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      God I’m so sorry. No wonder your username is what it is, I can’t believe they’d let you in an MRI without ear protection. People are so cruel and uncaring.

      Did you notice it worse right after the MRI? Or did it take time to come on? Do you have hyperacusis as well? In what ways has it gotten worse if you don’t mind me asking?

      Just want to know what to expect I suppose. I’m so absolutely terrified of it getting even worse, I have already had to call off from work and am planning to do so tomorrow as well. I hate this life.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      astaff14

      astaff14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you. That definitely is true, I just can’t believe how quickly I ruined my own quality of life, with the possibility of it continuing to get worse. Honestly I already feel somewhat suicidal, I am weak.

      You’re not stupid for going out and trying to enjoy your life at all! Don’t say that. As you said it really just is complacency because we never think it would actually get worse. I completely get that.

      I agree, I’m sure anxiety is definitely making it worse. I’ve had a few moments where sufficiently distracted where it didn’t bother me terribly and that gives me hope! That’s pretty incredible that you didn’t hear it at all for that amount of time.

      Hyperacusis is definitely hurting me indeed, the squeaking of my doors hurts a lot, shower, any noise of something hitting something else, loud voices... ugh! I swear I could bare the tinnitus increase better if I didn’t have the hyperacusis. Oh well.

      Do you have hyperacusis as well? Also with your noise exposures after the alarm, did you immediately get spiked or was it delayed? I’m sorry that everything is so much louder for you! I hope I can continue working at my job with ear protection but at the very least I plan to call off tomorrow and probably take next week off to heal.

      Thank you so much for your kind words, truly it means a lot. I hope things continue to get better for you.
       
    15. New Guy
      Doh

      New Guy Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      @astaff14

      The anniversary date of my tinnitus is late March 2018. I rounded to April 1 to keep it simple.

      My ears still haven't found their baseline and perhaps yours haven't yet either. I can still catch an increase in t from using power equipment or loud surprise noises. My ears also feel 'tight' after being around 'loud' noise, around 65-70 dB.

      The worst spike I had was after using a drill with ear-plugs and muffs for about 10 minutes last December, the tinnitus was louder for 2-3 weeks along with the hyperacusis. In under 3 months of having tinnitus, I stood by the road while multiple emergency vehicles went by with their sirens blaring and being stuck in traffic. That one amped things up for about 3-4 weeks.

      I have a tone, sometimes softer sometimes harsher, and crickets like you say that are usually in the morning to early afternoon. I enjoy the crickets, for some reason, I feel like the crickets are an improvement, not sure why. Lately, I've been getting a low warbly tone on only my left side. I don't like that one at all.

      A fire alarm for 2-3 minutes is a lot of noise but hopefully you've peaked and things will start to get better. I'm still amazed at how well the body can recover from exposure to noise.

      Keep telling yourself to be patient and don't set any timeline for when things will improve. Have faith they will in time. Keep wearing the earplugs around loud noises, your ears are more sensitive now and it's a great idea to stop using headphones.

      You're going to get through this.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. friend74
      Doubtful

      friend74 Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      1994
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      I have also ear plugs in my pockets everywhere i go. Make sure you do as well. The thing with anxiety is bad, i know that as well. At the moment its getting bit better for me. but i know the next time i'm feeling depressed it might feel worse again.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      astaff14

      astaff14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Digital Doc

      Probably right. I’m now limiting my loud sounds as much as possible and have called off from work for a couple days to hopefully heal better in that regard also. I definitely need to be vigilant especially now when I feel it keeps getting worse. Oh yeah I will never use earphones again, for certain. I regret using them at. All.

      I am sleeping okay but not great; usually can fall asleep fine but wake up a couple times during the night and Find it harder to fall asleep after.

      My main concern I guess is that it will get worse since I am only a week in. I woke up today with the ringing a little better I think but hyperacusis still kills. Every voice irritates me, every little squeak or squeal, doors closing... ugh.

      Thanks for those suggestions, I’ll certainly check out the omega. Hope you’re doing well!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    18. MRItechssuck

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002-2015, 10/17/2019-?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      I had mild tinnitus 15 years ago... that was easy-peach compared to this. I wear earplugs everywhere... movies, events, etc... except... I was more concerned with not having any metal zippers on me for my MRI than anything.

      The tech never even checked in with me... I thought I was going to sleep instead of suffering for 30 minutes holding my ears.

      The hyperacusis is the worst part really... does anyone know if when certain sounds are painful... are they creating damage... or is it just a chronic pain that’s not making things worse?

      Thanks.

      Good luck to all.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      astaff14

      astaff14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      So I went to the doctors today, they wanted to flush my left ear which supposedly has wax but i denied that, as both times I’ve had it done were extremely negative experiences. One gave me tinnitus in both ears when before it had only been the left and the other left me sitting with in my ear for ~45 min. I got a referral for an ENT and some ear drops to loosen the wax.

      While I was there the squealing of the elevator opening and closing over and over nearly made me suicidal, it wasn’t loud or anything but wow my ears hurt after hearing it so many times even with my ears mostly plugged. I hate this life, I woke up feeling a little better today and after this I feel much worse in terms of pain. :(
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      astaff14

      astaff14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @New Guy

      Hey, we got tinnitus right around the same time! Lol. What did you get yours from originally? For me my left ear was clogged for a couple days and then one day I woke up with the ringing. Made it worse at first and then better.
      Do you tend to use ear plugs in every day loud situations to combat that tight sort of feeling? Sorry you have to deal with that btw.

      Those spikes definitely sound rough but it is encouraging that you got over them after a couple weeks! I’m 8 days in now and the ringing has decreased in loudness despite the increasing hyperacusis so at least there’s that!

      Yeah I agree on the crickets; when my new tone is more cricket like than far off alarm sounding, I tend to relax more. So sorry to hear about your warbling tone, do you find it’s more reactive or a constant? How many tones do you have generally?

      Thank you! I wish I knew how loud the alarm was. Not over 120 dB surely but certainly over 100 dB. It’s encouraging to see that people can heal from these sorts of things, I’m sure I eventually will as well. One of the main things I’m worrying about is working I suppose, as I work in a kitchen whose ovens are constantly going at around 70 dB, there’s always beeps and people talking super loudly. I’ve called off for 2 days, worked 4 shifts after the fire alarm but not sure if those shifts contributed to making me worse at all. Fear and paranoia make it the worst!!

      Thank you so much for your kind words, I honestly appreciate it more than I can say. I hope you’re doing well!
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      astaff14

      astaff14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      People shouldn’t get into any sort of medical profession if they aren’t going to care! Man, that’s ridiculous. I can’t believe you weren’t even warned or anything about the noise. Wow.

      I certainly agree on the hyperacusis being the worst part. I can deal with moderate tinnitus, but I can’t deal with even light hyperacusis very well, it makes you feel so panicked to be anywhere out imo... the constant question of “is there going to be a loud noise?” It’s scary.

      I don’t think sounds that cause pain are necessarily causing more damage. What sounds cause you pain? From all that I’ve seen, high frequency noises have a better chance of doing damage at lower decibels when your ears are compromised but otherwise not really. Also spikes can occur after noises, even low ones, spikes don’t = damage though in those events. It’s a slippery slope but overall low noises shouldn’t actually cause damage.

      How are you doing now?
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      astaff14

      astaff14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @friend74

      Oh definitely, I feel so much safer wearing ear plugs even if they are uncomfortable. I’m glad it’s getting a little better for you! It’s crazy how anxiety and stress can make everything so much worse!
       
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      astaff14

      astaff14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you so much for the encouragement! How long did it take for you to get over the spike? What occurred? My ringing is a little better today but the hyperacusis is still pretty bad, that being said I’m feeling a bit in a better place! I hope you’re doing good.
       
    24. Sash
      Doubtful

      Sash Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/01/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      cleaning out wax
      How bad is the Hyperacusis - do you feel sharp pain when you hear certain sounds or is it just anxiety that causes discomfort. I don't have particular sounds that irritate my ears but I have general discomfort in both ears with loud tinnitus in the right ear that spikes if say I am on the phone too long. I may also get some discomfort in my other hear as a result.

      I don't know what to say to make you feel better as there is no solution. The only advice I can give is to keep busy and preoccupy your mind. Though in most cases Hyperacusis should get better and Tinnitus may stabilise or improve if you avoid loud sounds.

      I did notice around 5 months back (after two loud concerts) that cutlery etc did irritate my ears but that got better after couple of months. Now my hyperacusis is different and probably more reactive as well as sounds that are feeling louder. Do keep us posted how you are getting along.
       
    25. reflection

      reflection Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert
      I'm doing good, thank you! It took me about 3 weeks to recover from the spike. What occurred to me was, I attending a conference where they played a loud video clip that caught me by surprise. I tried covering my ears in time to prevent damage and the following day after where I went to the dentist is when my spike started.

      Give it time and patience one day at a time, you can do this.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    26. New Guy
      Doh

      New Guy Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      @astaff14

      I was using a power tool that had a high decibel level and pitch for about 2 1/2 hours. I had ear muffs on but apparently they weren't enough. I've worked with power tools all my life but this was the infamous straw that broke the camels back. If you want to learn more about my story read my first thread, it starts a few weeks after I got t and I keep updating.

      I only wear earplugs now for driving and when I suspect it may get loud. Sometimes when using hand tools to work on a car if I suspect there will be a lot of clanging, sometimes when using a bow saw to cut wood.

      The warbly tone is occasional, thank goodness. I only get that when I'm exposed to loud noise and possibly vibrations. It goes anywhere from minutes to days depending on what I do. Crickets are usually in the mornings and fade through the day but it varies. Usually, I have the classic eee which may be getting softer as time goes by.

      I'm sorry you had to miss work. This thing has such an effect on our lives. I've been to fast-food restaurants and the alarms when food is ready are ridiculously loud. I hope they don't have alarms like that where you work.

      You sound in better spirits. I hope things continue to improve.
       
    27. MattS
      Relaxed

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      What is with this delay? What the hell mechanism leads to a 2 day delayed spike?? I get it too, but it just doesn't make physiological sense.

      Anyone understand it?
      Is there a scientific literature on it?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    28. MattS
      Relaxed

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      Just posed the question to my wife, and her response was: well, when you overwork at the gym, you get muscle pain two days later... isn't that how long it takes for the repair process to initiate or something like that?

      ...doesn't necessarily mean it's the same process, but I think she may be on to something. At the least, that's *another* "classic two day delay process".

      Could it be that there's an explanation in there somewhere?
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    29. MattS
      Relaxed

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      Easier said than done, but the most important thing at this point - the very most important thing - is to keep your anxiety in check. As @Digital Doc indicated, the 2-day spike is classic. Moreover, for something like this, the chances that the spike lasts several weeks or more is fairly likely. So: just expect this, and don't worry day to day about whether it's going down or it's not going down. If in a month it still hasn't gone down, then feel free to start worrying. But until then, all you'll be doing is getting yourself worked up for...well, for something that you have no control over. Get into the mindset: it's spiked, and it's gonna last awhile.

      Regarding what's too loud: you're obviously going to be pretty sensitive for awhile - sounds like you're already experiencing that. 60 dB sounds should be no problem; prolonged 70 dBs is getting up there though. Wearing plugs is good, but doing so for like 8-hours/day isn't optimal. But I guess do what you have to do. Ultimately, a quieter job may be better - or perhaps this will all pass and you'll be back to your old self in no time. Got my fingers crossed for you!
       
    30. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      I hope you are at the peak of the T spike. If you can avoid another noise exposure it should start to improve over the next few weeks to months.

      You can try some melatonin to promote better sleep. I figured out that the passing cars were waking me up, and sleeping with the earplugs helped with that also.
       

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