Firecrackers, Fireworks & Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Robb, Dec 31, 2014.

    1. Robb
      Question it

      Robb Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Yesterday eve, I walked through town and at a distance of say 25+ meters a firecracker went off, a loud one!

      I feel it has spiked my tinnitus. Now a day after I think my tinnitus I slightly more present.

      Did this event cause any damage? Do I need to take any steps?

      Thanks for help.
       
    2. Marcini
      Dreaming

      Marcini Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2008
      @Robb It is unlikely to have caused any damage though may have given you a short term spike. It should settle within a couple of days.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Robb
      Question it

      Robb Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      @Marcini so you don't recommend I take anything like cortisone, or?
       
    4. Marcini
      Dreaming

      Marcini Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2008
      I would not suggest you take anything. There is nothing out there that can truly help, not least of all cortisone. Try to avoid any uncomfortably loud noise in the future and use earplugs when necessary. Your current spike should settle down shortly but i wouldn't worry about it.
       
    5. attheedgeofscience
      No Mood

      attheedgeofscience Member Podcast Patron Mighty Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Resolved since 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      See information page
      Medicine is not a perfect science and the effect of noise exposure in a given situation is difficult to predict.

      For a healthy human ear, exposure to a loud fire cracker in a non-enclosed space (i.e. walking down the street) at +25 meters should have close to 0% chance of causing damage, I would guess. But... for a non-healthy ear, who can say...? I still think the risk is minimal, even so.

      What I do know, however, is that I have encouraged the use of earplugs many times in my posts (and as recommended by Dr. Wilden). Just recently, there was another member on this board who - like you - also complained of a spike after being exposed to a fire-cracker. Incidentally, this specific member was someone whom I had specifically replied to earlier on about the use of earplugs for everyday noise. If the person had taken my advice back then, he/she would not be having a difficult time right now. But, it seems that there are a number of people on this board who are more concerned with discussing the theories of hyperacusis, accuracy of decibel meters, and pros & cons of earplugs instead of just plain simply using them! What's the point of having a decibel meter showing noise exposure to you when the damage has already been done? I am not sure I understand that logic.

      I was myself exposed to a military grade fire-cracker about 3 weeks ago. It went off about 10 meters away from me in a small parking lot outside my house. It was one of those powerful ones where you could feel the pressure wave. However as I am someone who "plugs in" everytime I leave my house (even for a quick 5 minute walk "around the corner"), I had pretty much nothing to worry about. My split second reaction was "damn it"... but then I recalled that I had taken the extra precaution I always do, which is to let the foam earplugs expand while keeping them pressed in when inserted. And so with full 33dB protection, there is not too much that can can go wrong.

      And the above situation is actually the 2nd time it has happened to me. I had a similar incident back in the Summer while crossing a park nearby where I live. But again with earplugs in, there is pretty much nothing to worry about ie. military grade fire-cracker = about 140dB - 30 dB NRR = 110 dB (brief exposure) in an open space at 10 m or so. No big deal...
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Robb
      Question it

      Robb Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Update: My tinnitus settled down. God damn ears!
       
    7. Vinnitus
      Tired

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Fireworks caused my initial bout of tinnitus back in 2010. It took 3 months to subside (seems I was lucky that time). Before that event I never heard of tinnitus and I didn't develop the anxiety for it until I read about it later on the internet ("it is permanent" and all the doom and gloom stories).

      I can certainly understand the anxiety for fireworks in people who already have or have experienced tinnitus before. One single fireworks cracker was all it took to cause 3 months of agony for me. Fireworks can cause or worsen existing noise-induced tinnitus.
       
    8. Amber
      Depressed

      Amber Member

      Location:
      Alberta
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/1999
      A family friend got tinnitus from fireworks this year, hasn't still gone away.

      I wonder how many people all over?
       
    9. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Many people get damaged because of fireworks or firing arms. These are typical examples of one off noises that can damage hearing for life. Because damage is cumulative, some people will think "oh, but I used to go hunting without hearing protection and was always fine".. that's just until the day the same noise that only gave them temporary T or deafened them for a couple of hours does permanent and irreversible damage.

      Firecrackers are also very dangerous. Every year there are accidents, and people lose fingers, hands, even some people die because of unexpected explosions of places where fireworks and firecrackers are stored or sold (there was a major accident very recently in Mexico). Also, some people put firecrackers inside glass bottles and do stupid stuff like that, causing accidents.
       
    10. Vinnitus
      Tired

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Yes, it should be forbidden like it is in a lot of other countries. It is little better than bombs nowadays really.

      I would opt for organised fireworks by municipalities instead; the quality of the fireworks is often much better in such cases and the dangers and costs to society because of injuries, not only to oneself, but (even worse) also to others who didn't even ask for it will be greatly reduced. One can then choose to watch the fireworks or not, or stay away from it altogether (H patients would be greatly relieved by such option I'm sure).

      It is actually strange that firearms are forbidden in a lot of European countries, but fireworks are not. Fireworks are able to cause just as much or even more damage than firearms (in a greater radius). In Holland we once had the fireworks-disaster in the city of Enschede; it kind of levelled a whole neighbourhood down to the ground.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enschede_fireworks_disaster

      If that doesn't speak for the danger of fireworks, I do not know what does. Then again, a lot of laws do not make sense.
       
    11. Jiri
      No Mood

      Jiri Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise + injury
      Ok, some idiot just started firing a set of ground firecrackers from the next yard. I'd say those were the ones 120 dB - 130 dB at max. I was sitting close to the window and then this lol It seems like I'll never even get the chance to recover

      Is there anywhere on the internet a chart showing how the explosiveness of the sound wave decreases over a distance?? I'd say I was probably about 20 m away from the 'boom'. Or anybody knows how to calculate that?

      The last thing I need now is a new tinnitus spike or a new squaky eeeeee sound in my head :banghead:
       
    12. tonydushaj

      tonydushaj Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Last Fourth of July I took a few steps outside in my front porch and a single firework went off from what seemed like right above my head in the sky and it sounded like a big explosion so I quickly ran indoors and looked to see where it came from and couldn’t figure out who was did it since no one was in sight nearby but it sounded close like it could have been my neighbors in their back porch?

      It still worries me till this day because I wasn’t wearing any hearing protection for that quick exposure and all I remember was feeling pain in my ear and I’m worried it caused major damage to my tinnitus/hearing that I still haven’t noticed or possibly damage that will happen over time unexpectedly.
       
    13. Jaysterk
      Blah

      Jaysterk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin
      So I’ve had one of the toughest two weeks in a while. I live in an area of town where people do fireworks (illegal/commercial type) from the month of May up until the second week of July. I’m talking about maybe 50 to 75 fireworks daily during the week days and about 300 to 400 on the weekends leading up to 4th of July.

      I live in a second floor apartment unit that has no other units surrounding it so it sticks out like a sore thumb. I keep all windows closed for 2 months and do not venture outside unless I have to go to my car and even then I wear ear muffs.

      Luckily about 95% of the firework blast/sound does not make it into my apartment. I can hear them but my dB meter does not pick it up.

      However about a 2 weeks into this madness, the neighbors decided to detonate an M80 explosive about a block away (300 to 500ft away). Although the sound was louder than most other fireworks, what worried me the most was the blast/vibration it caused. My whole apartment rumbled.

      The following day, at around the same time (9 p.m.), another M80 explosion. It was there and then that I decided to leave my apartment every day from 6 p.m. to 12 am.

      I spent the next week and half inside my car (6 p.m. to 12 am) driving to random places where they do not do fireworks. I left my dB meter recording inside my apartment (55 dB) and had my neighbor contact me when the m80 went off again. It goes off daily at 9ish p.m. every day. When I came back to my apartment, the decibel meter read at 77 dB. So as I suspected the explosion isn’t loud per say inside my apartment but the blast is a different beast.

      So I spent about a week practically living off my car and this took a very big toll on me. My stress levels were through the roof. I am in Law school and had to do Law class on my laptop inside my car. I was eating fast food everywhere and I literally got no sun for almost two weeks. At this point the ringing in my ears became noticeably louder. I don’t know if it was the stress or the M80 blasts.

      I’ve since decided to get a hotel room for the next two weeks until the 5th of July.

      To make the story short, I also had these loud sound occurrences in the same week span:

      *Very loud bike drove by me (50ft away) as I was washing my car at a dollar wash (I was wearing ear muffs).

      *Another very loud motorcycle drove by me in an underpass tunnel for a few seconds (I was inside my car with windows up)

      *A firecracker (smaller one 120dB type) caught me as I was getting off my car at my place (700 feet away verified)

      *A friend decided to lock his car which caused it to do one of those half honks about 15 feet away from me behind me at an underground parking garage.

      *A hotel door closed loudly behind me and I was not wearing ear muffs as I didn’t think the locking mechanism was so loud.

      Needless to say, these occurrences have caused a lot more stress on top of the stress I already had. I tend to clench my jaw when stressed which seems to cause elevated tinnitus. Before the fireworks started, my tinnitus was on the quieter side. I don’t know if any of the M80 blasts or other occurrences in the past week have caused additional damage, or perhaps temporary spikes. Perhaps it’s the stress?

      Regardless, I am contemplating taking prednisone but I’ve taken it 6 times in the past year. My tinnitus/hyperacusis was caused by Neomycin (ototoxic drug).


      Suggestions? Pointers? Greatly welcomed.

      P.S if you want more details feel free to ask.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    14. Jaysterk
      Blah

      Jaysterk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin
      Anyone???
       
    15. RichardRR
      Tired

      RichardRR Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      So here’s the scenario:

      I was in the doorway leading from the house into the garage. A guy in the garage lit off a fire cracker in the garage.

      Factors:
      • Garage door was open
      • There was a guy between me and the firework when it went off
      • Firework went off about 13 feet away

      Immediately after, I felt slight fullness in my ears but no change in tinnitus. Took NAC when I got home, went to bed. Next morning, small to moderate increase in high pitched tinnitus.

      Any thoughts, knowledge or experience on this matter? Trying to get an idea whether or not this is permanent or temporary.

      Thanks!
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    16. RichardRR
      Tired

      RichardRR Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      I’d probably say I was habituated at a 3/10, now I’m at a 5/10.

      Also this happened yesterday.
       
    17. Nobody19

      Nobody19 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Clubbing
      I had a firecracker explode near work. I also had the slight fullness for a day or 2, luckily I had no increase in T or TTS sensitivity.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    18. Julien87
      Not amused

      Julien87 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (concert)
      Sorry to read this. My guess is it is only temporary and it is probably due to the stress induced by the incident. But of course we are all different and there is no exact science when it comes to tinnitus worsening.

      What I can tell you is that other tinnitus sufferers, including I, experienced worse and it did not have an impact on our tinnitus.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    19. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      They're loud. I stayed inside when I heard the first one of a series. I closed my windows as tight as they would go but the sound proofing sucks. 'Could still hear it as the muffling was still inadequate.

      I hope you guys weren't outside near any.
       
    20. TheDanishGirl
      Sad

      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017 (H since 06/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term noise exposure (headphones), maybe some stress.
      I've been wondering about this for a long time...

      How loud is a firecracker? I'm not sure what kind of fireworks this is, as we obviously have different names for fireworks in my country. We have something called cannon bursts (can't really translate it properly). They are illegal, but people buy and fire them off around new years anyway. They are something like 150-160 dB!! I'm really afraid one day I'll run into one of those.
       
    21. Sevv

      Sevv Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12.04.2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      Sometimes I wonder if one should make sure that the other one also gets tinnitus. Sometimes people just don't learn. But of course this might escalate in a bad way...
       
    22. Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I think in the EU they are regulated to be 120db or under. In the USA we aren't so lucky.

      I had an old firecracker go off nearby today (it wasn't quite a M-80 but it was one of those types). I was inside but with the backdoor wide open and they were lighting them outside. Had hearing plugs in but it was still very loud. The person that lit it told me his hearing was warbling after it went off.

      I can't believe I used to light those things as a kid with no hearing protection.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    23. TheDanishGirl
      Sad

      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017 (H since 06/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term noise exposure (headphones), maybe some stress.
      DAMN! I hope you and your ears are okay?
       
    24. Tanni
      Twisted

      Tanni Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ???
      Hi Jaysterk,

      I sympathise - I hated fireworks even before having tinnitus!

      I know the July 4th celebrations will be over now, but I've just looked online and it seems that M-80s are consumer fireworks that require a license to be used, specifically due to the damage they can cause. Did you consider reporting your neighbours to the authorities? You should not have had to sleep in your car/run up hotel costs because of illegal firework detonation.

      I think you were right to be anxious about that particular incident, but you seem very worried in general about noises, especially since you have taken prednisone 6 times in a year (which I think is supposed to be quite dangerous as it's a powerful steroid?) Perhaps your anxiety over noise damage and the stress of the situation has either temporarily spiked your tinnitus, or the additional attention it has received has made it seem louder.
       
    25. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Hello! I have been in a similar situation as yours but in my case regarding construction on a nearby house. I would leave my own house and roam around for hours on end, in my car, or go to the library, to the beach, for a walk.. it was really tough. In the end I had to rent some other place for a few months, and in the long run I moved and got a new house.

      If your ears are very sensitive, and I think they are, according to the situation you described, my advice would be to look for a new apartment.

      With sensitive or damaged ears you should not live in a place where fireworks are thrown unexpectedly during more than a month and a half straight. It is just not worth it to be anxious about it or having to forcefully leave your home and roam to avoid noise. My conclusion in my particular case (very similar to yours) is that the situation could not be fixed so I had to move. And so far so good...
       
    26. Jaysterk
      Blah

      Jaysterk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin
      I did but there are soo many going off that it's impossible to even know where they are coming from. On the 4th of July I set up a dB gauge inside my apartment and left the camera recording it. I counted a total of over 1000 fireworks in 3 hours. None of them ever reached over 78 dB. However with some (m80s) you can hear the apartment (table where camera was set up) vibrating a bit from the blast. Can this cause damage even though the decibels are in the high 70s?

      It's the 9th of July and they are still doing around 20 - 50 fireworks a day. Someone just exploded a half force m80 about 300 feet from my place.

      I live in an area were I think they will never stop year round. (Huntington Park California).
       
    27. Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      They are (relatively). Don't seem any worse a week later.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    28. Jassiel

      Jassiel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      fireworks
      @Vinnitus what kind of fireworks caused your initial tinnitus? After the 3 months did it fully go away or just decrease? Did you do anything to help it heal? I have had tinnitus for 18 days after being close to one of those small pack of red fireworks that pop like 12 small ones. Unfortunately one of those popped by my foot and I’ve had ringing since. Might do hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Has anyone done HOT within a few days/weeks of acoustic trauma?? Thanks.
       
    29. Jaysterk
      Blah

      Jaysterk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin
      Take prednisone.
       
    30. CAgirl

      CAgirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      3 M80 Firecrackers
      @Jassiel I’ve had hissing and ringing that I can hear over everything since the 4th too. Also from fireworks. But they were three of the huge, loud M80s that one of my neighbors fired off. So close I smelled the smoke. I had no warning.
       

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