Going to the Pub for First Time Since Tinnitus Started

Discussion in 'Support' started by Sarah Williams, Oct 15, 2021.

    1. Sarah Williams

      Sarah Williams Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      14/07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Extreme Sound Exposure
      Hi everyone.

      I've have had sound induced tinnitus since July and I have been invited to go to the pub/bowling alley on Saturday night.

      I've avoided any areas that are too loud since July and I am very anxious about tomorrow. I can confirm no bands will be playing at the pub, just house music ,and I will be wearing my earplugs.

      Will this be enough and will my ears be safe?

      I'm also worried about all the sound at the bowling alley, music, arcades. I'm trying not to be over cautious, but I've had a few flare ups the past few months and I really want to avoid flareups for my ear health and my mental health!
       
      • Hug Hug x 4
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @Sarah Williams.

      Recovering from noise induced tinnitus is possible for most people but it's something that takes time and cannot be rushed, especially if the person has hyperacusis, which often accompanies noise induced tinnitus. Gradually introducing your ears and auditory system to sound is the way to go.

      Not only does this help to desensitize the auditory system treating the tinnitus and hyperacusis if it is present, but also helping to reinforce positive mental thinking which is vitally important but is often overlooked. The reason for this is because tinnitus is mostly mental and can affect our mental and emotional wellbeing considerably and hence, is one of the reasons you are anxious about attending the pub and bowling ally tomorrow.

      Whilst wearing earplugs is a good idea and can offer some protection, there is no guarantee that you will be completely safe from external sounds due to bone conduction. If external sound is loud enough it can pass through the head and transfer to the inner ear and irritate tinnitus and hyperacusis. The overuse of earplugs or becoming too dependent on them is also not a good idea. It can reduce the loudness threshold of the auditory system making it more sensitive to sound and reinforce negative thinking which results in increased stress. Stress makes tinnitus worse and tinnitus can make stress worse. It can become a vicious cycle.

      You will have to make the decision whether to go out or not but if I were you then I would go even for a little while. This will hopefully increase your confidence and encourage you to go out more instead of avoiding places of entertainment. It will do your mental health a lot of good and have a positive impact on the tinnitus and any oversensitivity to sound that you might have. You are in the early stages of tinnitus so take things slowly as it does improve with time.

      Please go to my started threads and read the following posts: New to tinnitus what to do? Tinnitus, A Personal View, Tinnitus and the Negative Mindset, Acquiring a Positive Mindset. Hyperacusis, As I See It, The Habituation Process.,How to Habituate to Tinnitus, The Complexities of Tinnitus and Hyperacusis, Will My Tinnitus Get Worse?

      If you are able to print the posts then I advise that do. The idea is to reinforce positive thinking so refer to them often.

      All the best
      Michael
       
    3. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nonnatural energy source
      Awesome news about starting to get your life back. I'd say if you no longer have active symptoms of trauma (fullness or the ears, twitching, etc.) you should absolutely go with your earplugs in. If it is too much call it a night call an Uber and try again in a couple more weeks.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    4. Vincent R
      Caffeine

      Vincent R Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Us with tinnitus easily get stuck in a paradox: We want to keep doing normal stuff. But when we do, we won't enjoy ourselves because we'll be worried about about our tinnitus getting worse.

      The pub/bowling with earplugs doesn't sound terribly risky to me. (Make sure to insert the earplugs properly. I recommend the foam ones over custom made/Christmas tree shaped.) Would I do it myself? No, because I know I would be too anxious to enjoy myself. I would rather seek out other ways to socialize.

      Differently put: If you are stressed about doing something, it ceases to be recreation. Instead, you might be doing it to save face in front of friends.

      You'll have to decide yourself if you want to go. Like I said, if you use earplugs, the risk doesn't sound enormous to me. But there's no way to guarantee you won't have a spike afterwards. It might depend on how noisy this particularly venue is.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Very bad idea, I think... the bowling alley may be incredibly loud, not only because of bowling noises and the loudspeakers but also due to echo and sound bouncing everywhere...

      As for the pub... depends on where you go.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    6. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      It really depends on how loud it is and how good your earplugs are. Once the volume exceeds 85 dB things can get a little hairy. Make sure you have really high dB earplugs at that point.

      Use a sound app to check where your at and if it gets too loud it may be time to leave.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      Sound like a lot of fun!

      I really don't want to be a downer, but if I were you, I'd decline. I believe those environments easily can peak over 80 dB which can be harmful. It's true that tinnitus alone shouldn't keep us in isolation, but I think we have our limits. In my book, there's no greater feeling than getting on with life, having stable tinnitus under control and being comfortable with it. Challenging that with louder exposures can make things go downhill.

      If you decide to go, make sure to wear really good earplugs. I'd recommend deeply inserted foam earplugs, even though it can be harder to hear what others are saying.

      Wish you well,
      Stacken
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    8. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      I am very excited for you, that you are feeling good and want to go to this gathering. This is a personal choice that only you can make, but I will say this much: These types of places could be loud, stressful and could annoy your tinnitus. Your mind might think, "Hey, how loud can this place be?", "Could the loudness affect the ringing?". The last thing you want to do is to possibly over-load your mind, thinking and possible stress.

      This is the thing with tinnitus, it's half a battle of stress and half a battle of noise. BOTH could annoy the ringing and cause possible spikes and just pure mental stress. If I could re-do my tinnitus journey and i had access to the loving people on this site, I'd protect my ears MUCH better and avoid ANY loud venues that might cause a spike or worst... EVEN if i was wearing protection for my ears.

      Try to understand this as well, wearing hearing protection can possibly cause stress as well. I've been on the road with tinnitus close to 34 years and I would re-do tons of things and for sure avoid places that can possibly annoy and affect my tinnitus.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. David L

      David L Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      2000/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      85 dB with good earplugs would be about 50-55 dB reaching the ear, right?

      I guess it boils down to your personal noise tolerance, driving a modern car is about 55-60 dB, if you can do that without earplugs and without problems you should be fine.

      Over protecting is a real problem, spikes (or permanent new baseline) from too loud exposure is of course also a problem, it's a fine line of weighing risks and the only one that can decide that is yourself.
       
    10. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      There is leak with earplugs, which can reduce effectiveness up to like 60% in worse case scenarios.
       
    11. David L

      David L Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      2000/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Sure, there will always be some reduction in effectiveness, but properly fitted and sized foam earplugs should be quite close to the SNR rating, or at least within 5-10 dB (I think UK health and safety specify 4 dB?).
       
    12. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      I am not sure. OSHA standard is (X-7)*.8 to (X-7)*.50. Where X is the NRR.
       
    13. Vincent R
      Caffeine

      Vincent R Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      The US Navy conducted a study with 3M Classic, NRR 28 dB. Well inserted, they provided 16 dB in protection. Many foam earplugs on the market has 33 dB in NRR, so I figure somewhere in the range 15-20 dB would be realistic to expect.
       
    14. DT_N_DA_CLUB

      DT_N_DA_CLUB Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2011
      Old school bowling alleys aren't very loud. The ones that have the cool lights and loud speakers are a different story. You're not going to a club or concert, just wear earplugs and you're good.
       
    15. David L

      David L Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      2000/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      But the * 0.5 to 0.8 must surely be to compensate for improperly fitted hearing protection?

      Whenever I see someone using earplugs they almost always have them halfway inserted, and in that case the * 0.5 reduction for OSHA makes sense.
       
    16. David L

      David L Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      2000/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Do you have any more information about that study?

      I have seen those numbers mentioned before but they seem quite low compared to other sources.
       
    17. Diesel

      Diesel Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      1-2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      20+ Years of Live Music, Motorcycles, and Power Tools
      This is correct. It is for calculating workplace safety so the employer / safety director knows how to limit liability and reduce injuries. Take this example. A machine shop has 100 employees. The average dB of the the operating environment is 95dB over an 8-hour shift. That machine shop is required to supply hearing protectors to the 100 employees. There's no way all 100 employees are going to wear their hearing protection properly each day for all 8 hours of the shift. They'll take them out for breaks, lunch, etc. So, the person in charge of safety needs to de-rate the hearing protection to find a true average exposure amongst the 100 employees. From there, they can determine the appropriate PPE to protect the average employee from violating OSHA regulations on noise, and determine if breaks need to be taken in a quiet room, or if other measures are required from that calculation.

      If you want to know how well a specific type of hearing protection actually reduces sound decibels received at the ear drum, the good manufacturers provide a data sheet to show the average reduction in dB per Hz. Then, you're able to select the right type of earplug / earmuff for the environment. 3M is good about this, so is Mack's, and many of the custom earmold makers. If they don't offer any type of data on the hearing protection besides NRR, do not buy. Here's an example from 3M:

      https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media...g-protection-earmuff-technical-data-sheet.pdf

      Note page 2.


      The second piece is to learn how to properly wear the protection, and get good at it by practicing. The better you are at proper fit, the more likely you'll be at benefiting from the technical specs of the hearing protection.
       
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    18. Vincent R
      Caffeine

      Vincent R Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I attach the study as a PDF. Go to page 11.
       

      Attached Files:

    19. David L

      David L Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      2000/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Thanks, they don't really say how they came to that conclusion but from what I can see it's 22 dB when fully inserted.

      So SNR -6dB for that specific earplug.
       
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