Horrid Spike After Exposed to Loud Music at an Engagement Party

Discussion in 'Support' started by Stacey427, Feb 24, 2019.

    1. Stacey427
      Alienated

      Stacey427 Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2014
      Hi All,

      Just chiming in to see if I could grab some support?

      I had an engagement party last night, I decided I’d have a dance and try to live normally. I danced for s good hour or so, music was loud and so was outdoor area with tables and chairs (closed in under a cover and had to yell to speak).

      Wore my 30-40 dB NRR custom made Hearsaver plugs for majority of the night, wore them all the time I was dancing and even outside when talking. The only time I didn’t wear them was when I was outside and took the left one out to hear my friend speak for 20 minutes and at the beginning and end of evening (total amount of time about 40 minutes combined) when saying hello and goodbye to people. No music then, just a lot of yelling and noise from people talking.

      Anyways, huge spike today, woke up not even thinking or worrying about a spike and it hit me like a full speed train.

      I tried my best by wearing my custom plugs, but I’m concerned with the amount of time I spent on the dance floor / the fact I was dancing’s next to the speaker the entire time before realising and moving! (I didn’t notice that much because the plugs cut out a lot of noise).

      Anyways, looking for support in regards to spikes? I thought I did the right thing but maybe I didn’t :(

      Hoping this will go down, I struggled enough learning to live with the tinnitus the way it was, I don’t think I could handle a permanent spike!

      Thank you in advance,
      Stacey x
       
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    2. Contrast
      No Mood

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Clown World
      Tinnitus Since:
      late 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise injury
      I hate to say this, but do not engage in loud club activities again as you can lose more hearing and get louder tinnitus. I hope your spike settles and hearing/tinnitus recovers to less awful levels.
       
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    3. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      You are not alone. Many people learn the hard way that earplugs provide a false sense of security.

      Hopefully eventually this spike will settle. (Note that temporary spikes can last for months.
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/head-movement-spikes-tinnitus.25179/#post-290614
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/poll-how-long-do-your-tinnitus-spikes-usually-last.23110/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/poll-how-long-was-your-longest-spike.22099/ ) But if you keep trying
      eventually the spike might become permanent.

      Check out the two posts below

       
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    4. Ross McLauchlan

      Ross McLauchlan Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/04/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced due to music production and motorbikes.
      Hi @Stacey427

      I've been in this situation a good few times too, each time the spikes have subsided.

      I know exactly how you are feeling right now and it's an awful feeling - the best way to deal with it is to give yourself some time to recover.

      I had a terrible spike from the first wedding I attended since acquiring tinnitus around two years ago. It was horrible at the time, but a few months later I was dealing with it fine and so will you. Just be kind to yourself and give yourself plenty of time to recover.

      With regards to worrying if you did the right thing or not, I don't imagine you'll get a standard response here - many of the members are at the extreme end of a very wide spectrum of sufferers.

      All I can say is, I've been here, it was terrible but it gets better. I've been to weddings, etc, since then and have been absolutely fine but it has been a learning curve. However, I've also had spikes for no reason at all, which have made me feel equally as bad.

      I still want to engage in life, so I accept that I have to make some concessions in order to do so. I take more breaks from loud sound, I'll avoid clubs/gigs, but I will try, when I can, to attend gatherings, weddings and other social events because they are important to me. It has taken me some time to figure out what works for me, and I've had some setbacks along the way.

      I hope you feel better soon. Take it a day at a time.

      Take care,

      Ross.
       
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    5. Drone Draper
      Jaded

      Drone Draper Member

      Location:
      U.K.
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      NIHL, ETD and work stress
      This is horrible to hear - you did everything right!

      I've got a wedding to attend soon, I'll need to be extra cautious myself. The last one was where my T I got T from the wedding band.

      I do hope the spike subsides, you did *everything* you could. :huganimation:
       
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    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Many people think by wearing noise reducing earplugs or custom made types with high attenuation, it will eliminate the risk of having a tinnitus spike. This is definitely not the case. If external sound is loud enough, it will pass through your head/skull and be transferred to your inner ear by "bone conduction" and most likely spike the tinnitus. If a person is fortunate, the spike might reduce but it all depends on how loud the sound was and time exposed to it.

      If a person is unlucky the tinnitus will increase to a new and permanent level. Sorry to sound so sobering but these are the facts. It is for this reason I do not like to put my faith in earplugs. Please click on the links below and read my posts Hyperacusis, As I see it & Tinnitus, A Personal View, which you might find helpful.

      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/are-spikes-from-loud-noise-permanent.18156/
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Stacey427
      Alienated

      Stacey427 Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2014
      @Ross McLauchlan

      Thank you very much for the detailed reply!

      Maybe I ask, was your spike permanent?

      Thank you xxx
       
    8. Ross McLauchlan

      Ross McLauchlan Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/04/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced due to music production and motorbikes.
      Hey @Stacey427

      Aspects of my spike were permanent, for example my tinnitus has been a hissing sound since then. But the overall volume has generally been lower - this did take a few months.

      I've had days of near silence and days of ridiculous volume, but generally I have more good days than bad days. It's hard to keep that in mind when you're going through a bad patch - so tell yourself it'll pass, just takes time.

      I'm in the middle of a spike now (no reason for it, just one of those weeks) but I know it'll get easier. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but at some point I'll realise it's not as bad as it was.

      Worth noting that I do not wear earplugs anywhere other than loud places. Normal/everyday sounds are no longer an issue for me despite the setbacks I've had. I over protected before and I was miserable - the mind set was debilitating. You'll be fine, just be sensible about volume going forward. Hopefully in a few weeks you'll be a bit happier.

      Take care,

      Ross.
       
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    9. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      This is an old thread I am hoping to revive.

      l had to attend an outdoor graduation party today. I wore my custom-made musician's earplugs with the solid plugs-in. So well over 30 dB of protection. They had a band and I tried to stay as far away from the band as I could but the band was loud. I kept pushing my earplugs in. But I didn’t feel like I had the best seal because the band sounded so loud.

      Every time I’d move my jaw to talk I feel like they would loosen. I feel like I spent the whole day pushing them in. Finally about halfway through the party I got them pushed in so far that I could really tell the difference that they were in solid. I never took them out the entire time or loosen them. But that doesn’t eliminate the 1.5 hours or so I feel like I was somewhat exposed. I would say I certainly had some protection but not as good as I did in the latter half of the party. I can’t figure out why they didn’t fit as tightly as usual. I did wet them to try to get a good seal. The band didn’t play the whole time but played a lot of the time.

      After four hours I finally had enough and left. But I would say that I had very good protection for at least two of those hours. The only time I was closer to the band was when I went up to get some food and twice to get a drink. And some of that time I was inside the house looking for wine where you couldn’t really hear the band at all.

      My decibel reader registered between 79-88 decibels where I was standing. A couple of times it registered up to 92 decibels for a flash second.

      Called my ENT who says I am likely ok and I would not have done any damage to my ears because I had the earplugs in and still had some protection.

      My tinnitus fluctuates and comes and goes and I’m in the middle of a period where it has been loud and where it’s been bothering me for the last few days. Now I’m worried if it’s a spike from the band or if it’s just my normal fluctuating tinnitus being louder at night as it usually is. It’s actually been louder in the past than it is now.

      Every time I try to go and do something, I feel like I’m screwed. It was not my choice to have this band at the party and I didn’t even really want to go but the whole family had to go. I tried to sit away from the band in the back of the yard and my husband kept giving me dirty looks and asking if I was just going to sit over there or not talk to anybody.

      Other people were there and were saying that they didn’t think the band was super loud. And I could tell that people could have conversations without screaming so it must not have been as loud as I was perceiving it to be. I do suffer from a bit of phonophobia. I can’t believe the people that were sitting at the tables right in front of the band. They had to be crazy.

      Anyone have any experiences to share?
       
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    10. LilCC

      LilCC Member

      Location:
      Florida, U.S
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to loud noises
      Hi Forever hopeful, by the way nice name. I have an experience to share.

      Last 4th of July I decided to go to a club, mind you I still had tinnitus and hyperacusis but it was healing and I felt confident I would be able to stand the sound, boy was I wrong!

      When I was inside the club I didn’t feel much pain nor did I notice an increase in my tinnitus, I thought I was fine and my ears would be ok. I did check my app and to my dismay the noise levels were at 120 dB, I didn’t care much because I had 33 dB NRR earplugs and had no idea what bone conduction was at the time. I knew those levels were dangerously loud, but I figured these earplugs would be more than enough.

      Anyways, as soon as I got home that night and went to my room, I noticed this horrendous spike, my whole heart dropped and I knew I had made a huge mistake, I didn’t know the hell that would soon follow me till this day.

      After that specific night my tinnitus started slowly increasing and my hyperacusis went from mild and slowly reached severe levels, I currently have severe catastrophic noxacusis, I’m completely homebound, though my tinnitus spike did go down somewhat it never went down to its original baseline.

      I am paying greatly for what it seems to be such a small mistake, it has turned my life upside down and I so wished I could go back to that day and warn myself to keep my ass home!

      It just goes to show how useless earplugs are, especially when you are exposed to such dangerous levels of sound. It seems that many of us on this forum have made this huge mistake and paid greatly for it, fortunately for most people they won’t have to deal with noxacusis, as myself and some other people truly reach catastrophic levels, but it does serve as a warning that your life can turn upside down if you don’t stay away from loud noises and protect your ears.

      Wishing you well and I’m more than certain you will recover.
       
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    11. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      I think you’re good honestly, given the protection and honesty may be just a daily fluctuations or spike from anxiety. You’ll probably be good tomorrow or in a few days.
       
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    12. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      So sorry to hear. I pray you improve.

      How long did it take for your tinnitus to worsen?
       
    13. LilCC

      LilCC Member

      Location:
      Florida, U.S
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to loud noises
      It was a slow process, for several months it kept getting louder until I reached my current baseline. It fluctuates between moderate to severe, but for the most part it’s always moderate.
       
    14. Vincent R
      Caffeine

      Vincent R Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Custom-made earplugs are only beneficial if you want an even attenuation across different frequencies. For maximum protection, ordinary foam earplugs are better. They have a more reliable fit and a higher attenuation.

      You won't get 30 dB of protection in real life with any kind of hearing protection. Foam earplugs, properly inserted, will give somewhere between 16-20 dB. You might edge 25 dB if you also wear earmuffs on top.

      You will get through this spike, if you even have one. The difference between having some protection and none is huge. But the unpleasant experience motivates some future adjustments. (If you don't want to go, say no.)
       
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    15. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      That’s very interesting because that’s not the same messaging I’ve received from my ENT or my audiologist. My ENT has tinnitus by the way. They certainly don’t look down on foam earplugs but as explained to me, the goal of the custom-made ones is to get a great seal in your ear - fit like a glove. I have multiple fittings - 15 dB, 25 dB, and the solid ones which are supposed to be over 30 dB. These cost hundreds of dollars. I feel like a lot of people have been lied to. Westone is a well known brand.

      So you’re basically saying that I really haven’t gotten any of the level of protection I thought I had?

      I will have to call my ENT and ask about that as I was going to have my son fit with some so he could wear them to concerts. I always feel like the foam ones, if they don’t expand enough in your ear, aren’t providing good protection.
       
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    16. Vincent R
      Caffeine

      Vincent R Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      When I've read up on the topic online, the sources have told me that foam earplugs have better sound proofing qualities:

      During the development of an intelligent hearing protection and communication system the attenuation of two different earplugs were measured. Both earplugs were measured separately and in combination with earmuffs. Foam earplugs and custom-moulded silicone earplugs were both used. The hearing protection system in question is able to measure the ear canal with respect to leaks. If a leak is detected, the system will warn the user. The measurements show that the foam plug gives higher attenuation than the silicone plug at all frequencies, but particularly at frequencies below 2 kHz.​

      My emphasis added.

      Your ENT and audiologist say that custom-made earplugs are preferable, because they provide a more reliable seal. I am sure they have a good basis for their claim. Foam earplugs only work well if they are deeply inserted, and many people don't learn to use them properly. Custom-made ones might be a better option for sloppy users. (Like, say, teenage boys going to concerts.)

      I think some individual experimenting might be necessary to find the best solution. I bought custom-made earplugs, and while they were pretty okay, they did not fit like a glove, but seemed to slide in and out a little. You also had problems with your custom-made ones during the party you visited. After trying different brands of foam earplugs, I ended up with Uvex X-Fit, which both fits my ears and protect my hearing better than custom-made earplugs. Protecting our hearing is critical, so I want a solution that is safe and simple.

      With regards to protection level, the US Navy carried out a study showing that classical 3M foam earplugs can provide at most 20 dB in protection, assuming you insert them so deeply you won't get them back out again without help from your local nurse. If you insert them deeply but still are able to nip them, they provide 16 dB in protection. If you want a conservative estimation of how high attenuation you can get in real life, I think the study gives one as good as any.
       
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    17. David L

      David L Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      2000/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      I think we have discussed this in the past, I think your post is a bit misleading.

      The 16-year-old study you are referring to was done on the old classic M3 earplugs that has an SNR rating of 28 dB, fully inserted they reach 22 dB protection, according to the study.

      Modern earplugs like the 3M EAR soft fx has an SNR rating of 39, I would not be surprised if they reach close to or over 30 dB protection when correctly inserted.

      I agree though that foam earplugs perform better than custom made earplugs in pure reduction, that is my experience as well (with reservation that the custom made earplugs I had was made about 15 years ago, the new ones might be better).
       
    18. Vincent R
      Caffeine

      Vincent R Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Yeah, I recall a similar exchange in relation to a thread about shooting and hearing protection.

      Page 14 in the Navy's study provides an image with attenuation in relation to insertation depth. If you are to obtain 22 dB, then you would have to insert the earplug so deep I'm not sure I understand how to get it back out again. I think that if we are to go with this particular study, then 16 dB would be a more astute expectation.

      Still, different studies generate different results. There is no reason to why we should attribute the Navy's one good-like authority.

      In any event, modern earplugs probably provide better attenuation just like you say. Classic M3 earplugs have NRR 29 while most modern ones have NRR 33. That is four decibels difference. (Should we use NRR or SNR? I have no idea, as I do not understand why these two standards provide different results for the same earplugs. I use NRR since it tends to be lower; I intentionally error on the safe side of being catious.)

      Attenuation also depends on frequency. Foam has better sound proofing qualities against higher frequencies, and those noises are often the dangerous ones (sirens et cetera).

      To sum up: 16 decibels protection for a properly inserted foam earplug is a conservative estimation, probably too conservatice for modern ones. We would have to dig up more studies and compare to get a better idea of how much protection we can actually get.
       
    19. Vincent R
      Caffeine

      Vincent R Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      One may expect that, in the real world, 80- 90% of trained and motivated users should be able to achieve an attenuation of about 15 dB for broad band noise and about 20 dB for high-frequency noise. These are thus realistic values to base a hearing conservation program on.
      [...]
      The main purpose of this document has been to try to identify, if possible, some reasonable field value of ear plug attenuation, a value that ”most users should be able to achieve or exceed”.
      https://www.norskoljeoggass.no/glob...k-generic-ear-plugs-franklemstad-03042013.pdf
       
    20. David L

      David L Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      2000/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Interesting, I think this aligns with what we have seen before, insertion depth and fit is important, but for some people you might not reach enough protection with only earplugs, depending on the shape of your ear canals and how deep you manage to insert the earplugs.

      For myself, when I need good protection (using powertools or other loud machines), I insert my earplugs almost fully (90-95%), and from what I can tell they seal and protect very well, so I would guess that I am in the 10-25 percentile group of users in the table below.

      I wonder how they determine the actual dB reduction, hearing tests with and without earplugs?

      upload_2022-6-21_10-17-55.png

      upload_2022-6-21_10-23-57.png
       
    21. DT_N_DA_CLUB

      DT_N_DA_CLUB Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2011
      I hope you're feeling better, probably just a random spike. Your ears were absolutely protected.
       
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    22. Vincent R
      Caffeine

      Vincent R Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Subjective hearing tests won't provide reliable measurement, so hopefully they used technical devices.

      The attenuation some people seem to get from foam earplugs is just crazy high, especially for the higher frequencies.
       
    23. 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
      That's because low frequency sound penetrates material much easier than high frequency sound. My 3M 1100's are rated +40 dB above 2 kHz. I think it's more accurate to compare and judge the attenuation at every given frequency, rather than going by a specific NRR or SNR-value.
       
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