Hearing Loss and Ear Pain/Nausea from Earplug Removal and Suction?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Lauren Morse, Dec 9, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Lauren Morse
      Cowabunga

      Lauren Morse Member

      Location:
      Salt Lake City
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma/Migraines
      Has anyone experienced this? I've always thought of this possibility, and have heard an account or two of this happening to someone on this site. I think it's important to get any awareness out there if this is the case.

      Though I am careful with my earplugs (ok, sometimes I itch my ears with them), and take them out slowly when need be, I'm just not sure there is a way to be completely safe when putting them in and taking them out. I've just always wondered whether the loud sounds of removing/adjusting my earplugs are actually the cause of many of my hearing losses as opposed to accompanying loud sounds, especially the popping noises made when you break the suction on the earplugs. I've heard that the retraction of the eardrum that comes from earplug removal, followed by it snapping back into place, is very dangerous for one's hearing because the ossicles send enormous vibrations to the inner ear.

      Today, I ended up having a dulling of hearing in my right ear (accompanying a loss from earlier this week in both), along with an increase in my nausea and a spike in my depression. Not sure of the cause, but I remember having to remove a pair of silicone gel earplugs as they were all I had on me at the time. The right one was particularly tight, and it took a while of adjusting and setting off loud booming sounds in my ear to get it to stick in the right way. Pretty typical stuff, and usually I come out fine, but not today it seems.

      So yea, I would love to know what other people think/ if they think their T and hearing damage has been brought on by earplug use in some fashion.

      And, as a general heads up, I would advise everyone on this site to avoid using silicone gel earplugs if they can. They just can't be safe :/.
       
    2. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      My Father's partner recently developed T & H from a kiss on the ear. Sounds crazy but I've seen it referenced here before. Its the negative pressure and I think you've hit the nail on the head with this cause. I stopped using silicone plugs because I realized that, being a bit harder than soft foam, they caused a percussion effect when I was walking on hard surfaces. "Dull" of hearing you say? It would be interesting to know if that sensation was accompanied by measurable low frequency hearing loss as that can be an indicator of damage to the ossicular chain.
       
    3. Lauren Morse
      Cowabunga

      Lauren Morse Member

      Location:
      Salt Lake City
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma/Migraines
      Ah geez, I'm sorry to hear about your father's partner. That's definitely a possibility and clinical reports/ explanations of mechanisms even exist in the literature.

      I would think a kiss, however, would provide a much more powerful suction than silicone earplugs, but who really knows. I do agree with you on the possible percussive effects, which is what I think may have gotten me trying to remove them (which would have done cochlear damage from the loud noise, not ossicular damage). Have you felt like you may have gotten damage from those types of noise too?
      My damage also seems to be high-mid frequency, but I would have no way of knowing as I just got an audiogram the morning before (and will not get one in the immediate future).
      It's only a very minor loss of any, but it just compounds with the other dozen losses I have had this year and makes me feel off balance. I guess I am just waiting for things to heal up now.

      Percussive effects from walking with any earplugs however are very hard to avoid, and I am surprised that you have found a way around that! I would have gladly switched to foam earplugs as per your suggestion, but for me they are very difficult to fit properly and I never feel adequately protected with them (and impossible in a timely manner when a loud train comes, for instance).
       
    4. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      If you had hearing loss and sharp pain as well as vertigo/nausea immediately after removing ear plugs you should seek immediate medical attention. Those are the most definitive symptoms of inner ear damage, especially for barotrauma. If you wait and see what happens it will be too late for treatments.
       

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