Hammer and Chisel Made Tinnitus Worse — Even with Wearing Ear Defenders

Discussion in 'Support' started by Rust, May 10, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Rust
      Gloomy

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Hello everyone,

      Last night I was using a chisel and hammer to chip away at some concrete type material indoors for about 20 mins.

      I was wearing my 30db ear defenders whilst doing so, and the noise didn't seem crazy loud at the time - it wasn't hurting me or anything.

      Though I'm scared and worried now, because afterwards I noticed my tinnitus has definitely spiked and remains the same today. I also wear spectacles, so the arms of the glasses protrude against the edge of the ear muff seal. So I don't think i was even receiving the full 30db protection. It was probably more like 20 db or something. I really wish I wore my ear plugs as well.

      What do you think?

      Will the spike likely subside, or is a hammer and chisel too loud even with ear defenders for us tinnitus sufferers, and I am in for a permanent increase?

      Thanks
      R
       
    2. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Hi Rust,
      Time will tell but I think a few days should settle your ears down again for you.
      Try stay calm and try not worry about it .
      You could go see your doctor to see if he will give you a course of prednisalone to help you and worth a shot.

      lots of love glynis
       
    3. Path Maker

      Path Maker Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      I'm all for using not only ear plugs, but also those big ear-muff sound protector things. You can get them at many well-stocked hardware stores. Using both should hopefully give extra protection. Until then, my lawn is growing ever higher this spring ...
       
    4. Rust
      Gloomy

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Thank you Glynis. What is Prednisone?
       
    5. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      It's a steroid anti inflammatory that can be given for noise trauma to the ears amongst other things....lots of love glynis
       
    6. fishbone
      Happy

      fishbone Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      If your earplugs were at 30db, then you should be fine. I believe that it might be the fear/excitement of the activity that may have spiked your tinnitus. It can happen and has happened to me before, the actual noise of the hammer, with 30db ear plugs should not be all that loud and destructive.

      Be well.....
       
    7. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      When in doubt double up. Hammer hitting a nail looks like about 120db peak which I doubt a chisel would be as loud. So with 30 db protection that would give you ~108db max for a very short duration if I understand correctly.

      Am I calculating correct? I was looking at this site: https://www.noisemeters.com/apps/occ/prot-nrr.asp and it seems to match up.

      I'm sure you will be fine, though.
       
    8. Phones
      Dreaming

      Phones Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD/headphones ?
      Been using very loud tools today (seriously loud ) with full ear defenders with no adverse effect, however a hammer and chisel does induce plenty of physical impact through the body so maybe this contributed , otherwise just a random spike.... ?
       
    9. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      There are limits to what earmuffs can reduce...up to 31db on the USA scale so if its really noisy like a large caliber revolver shot or rifle at 150db then it can still do damage over time

      I would take longer breaks in between if there are no other ways around doing it

      Also, use the best muffs on the market now - Peltor x5a + good plugs deep inside the ears that gives 5 more db which is equivalent to double the sound intensity reduction, even though the number may seem to be small
       
    10. Rust
      Gloomy

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Yes, but like I said, my glasses arms stopped a full seal, so perhaps it was more like 20db protection. Either way, it didn't seem loud or hurt my ears at the time. Time will tell I guess...
       
    11. Rust
      Gloomy

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Thanks, yeah, I just read online that a hammer hitting a nail can be 120db. That's crazy! Surely not? I used my iPhone DB app to record the hammer hitting the chisel and it said 90-95db. How can it be 120?! It certainly didn't seem too loud with ear defenders on. Though it was repeated hits with the hammer a lot.

      108db still sounds like a lot of noise even with the defenders on. Man I wish I wore plugs too.
       
    12. Rust
      Gloomy

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Yeah, I've used lots of power tools recently too and had no problems too. I'm worried it was the continuous strikes of the hammer on the chisel causing the noise that's caused the problems. Though the noise didn't hurt me with the ear defenders on. I tried 1 light strike with them off and it certainly did sound loud! I just don't know...
       
    13. Rust
      Gloomy

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Thanks Bobby, I've just ordered those X5a's online! I will couple them with my silicone custom plugs with solid inserts in future. Though for now I really hope this is a temporary strike caused by the aggravation
       
    14. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      That's probably 120 peak in perfect conditions. I doubt it's that loud most of the time. That's also impulse noise meaning it's for a very short duration. You phone DB app will not be good at detecting impulse noises.
       
    15. Rust
      Gloomy

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      If I purchased a proper sound meter would that detect impulse noises any better?
       
    16. Phones
      Dreaming

      Phones Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD/headphones ?
      Just to repeat again , there's probably quite a shock wave travelling up to the skull, I probably wouldn't be too keen on that myself , metal against metal against stone ?... Ouch .. Maybe a hard plastic mallet depending on the job in hand eh ? Take care ..
       
    17. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Depends on the time window you are measuring from. I'm not an expert, but I think you need a pretty short time window to get an accurate measure. Sound pressure cannot be measured in an instant, so there will always be some averaging.
      Short answer yes some meters can, but I'm not sure if a cheap meter will sample in a short enough time window.
       
    18. Rust
      Gloomy

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Good call, I will definitely get a plastic/rubber mallet next time!
       
    19. Rust
      Gloomy

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      True, I wil do some more research. Thanks man
       
    20. click
      Busy

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure

      Vibration causes the volume of my T to increase. Perhaps that's why you were affected even when wearing ear defenders?

      I used a jigsaw for about 30 seconds to cut through a softwood table and my T did scary stuff for 3 months. Every time I put my head on my pillow I could hear a 'rumbling' that hadn't been there before. I thought it was permanent and I hated it.

      Fortunately it went away. Hopefully your spike will also settle down - hope so. Good luck!
       
    21. Rust
      Gloomy

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Thank you Click!
       
    22. Rust
      Gloomy

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      4 days on now and no improvement. I'm starting to get pretty scared about this and it's becoming harder to remain calm. I just don't understand how it could get so much louder whilst I was wearing ear defenders?
       
    23. Rust
      Gloomy

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      @Alue I have always subtracted the DB noise protection rating stated on earplugs/muffs from the actual sound level.

      i.e. 120db noise - 30db rated ear muffs = 90db actual noise heard by the ears.

      Have I been completely wrong all this time? This is worrying, as 108db is a LOT to be exposed to!

      Interestingly though, I have just now come across this... The website you linked to is the US version (where I presume you are based?). The UK version (where I live) of the same companies website states a different calculation method that is the same as my calculation. This is based on a SNR rating (my ear defenders state 30db SNR on them).

      https://www.noisemeters.co.uk/apps/naw/prot-snr.asp

      It seems that NRR is a US based measure, and SNR is a UK (maybe Euro?) based measure.

      If that is the case, why is there such a huge difference between the sound encountered at the ear when wearing NRR/SNR hearing protection that is rated the same (i.e 30db)?
       
    24. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      What exact pair of ear muffs did you wear?
      Some seem to inflate the numbers
       
    25. Rust
      Gloomy

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      http://www.toolstation.com/shop/p89518?table=no
      Foldable Ear Defender 30dB
      Standard noise reduction (SNR) 30 decibel. Approved to EN352-1.
       
    26. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      I have this exact pair at home - I bought a lot of different muffs.

      This one is the cheap Chinese made/designed no-brand muff which I think does about 29db maybe when perfectly fitted, and the plastic shell is a very thick material so it is sturdy BUT the issue is that the fit with the skin around the ears isn't very tight and the heavy plastic shell muffs tend to sag each time along the metal wire so in practice you don't get 30db as it lets noise in especially if you move a lot...and worse if you have long hair on the side.

      Once you try the peltor x5a you will understand what I mean by fit around the ears, much better no-sag design and improved noise reduction.

      Muffs are a bit like plugs, on paper they write a high number but if the fit is not perfect it can drop a lot.

      Best to double up with plugs.
       
    27. Rust
      Gloomy

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Ah yes. I have ordered the x5a's, so will be using those when they arrive.

      What sort of protection do you think these cheap Chinese ones really offer when they are loosely fitted then? I'm guessing 20-25bd?

      Loosely fitted is probably how I would liken to wearing them with my glasses arms poking though the sides.
       
    28. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      with short hair on the side I would think around 25 db - so thats about half the sound power reduction
       

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