Hyperacusis Success Story (37-Year-Old DJ/Producer), Caused by Acoustic Trauma

Discussion in 'Support' started by shurikn, Mar 14, 2022.

    1. shurikn

      shurikn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accustic Trauma
      4 years ago I experienced an acoustic trauma while DJing in a club, which triggered a case of hyperacusis and later tinnitus. I am writing this text to encourage all those who may be at the beginning of their symptoms right now.

      My symptoms have changed within 3 years from unbearable (suicidal) to tolerable and sometimes even inexistent.

      At the beginning I was shocked about the stories of all the people here and thought my life was over.

      Nowadays I have the impression that it is mainly people who unfortunately have experienced little or no healing that write and stay on this forum. For all those people I hope that a cure is found soon and/or that your body finds a way to heal itself.

      I believe, that for the people where healing is possible optimism is an important aspect of the journey - this is why I want to contribute to the forum with my „success story“.

      Before my acoustic shock incident, I never really had any problems with my ears. I was able to produce music for hours on my headphones. Sometime certain sounds created feedback loops which produced extremely loud screeching noises but I never had consequences.

      There was one thing that existed before the accident that I only realized later. During my military service, I always had a lot of trouble with the firing noise in the shooting range. With both my shots and those of my colleagues I could never manage not to wince or to not close my eyes. Looking back, I think that I had a predisposition for the accident already at that time.

      Now for the accident. It happened in March 2018. I was completely overworked that evening from an intense week of presentations, I had taken up smoking cigarettes again that week to deal with the stress and I was DJing in a small location with speakers that were way too powerful.

      Shortly before the accident I realized that something was strange. I had constant acoustic hallucinations and had the impression that noises were coming from behind me. At the same time all high frequencies felt distorted and unpleasant.

      After playing for 4 hours straight I suddenly felt a lightning-like, electrifying pain bursting into my ear, which made me throw off the headphones. At first I didn't think much of it. Let the music play a little quieter. But then I started to feel a lot of anxiety and gave the set to another DJ and went out.

      Once I was outside I was so charged that I had to jump up and down for 30 minutes because I felt „electified“ in my body. I went to bed at around 5 a.m. without worrying to much. The birds were already starting to sing and I just thought to my self— wow they are very loud this morning.

      The next morning my symptoms started gradually. First I noticed that the birds were chirping even louder. But when I turned on the water in the sink my head almost exploded. The noise was unbearably loud. It then went on with many experiences, each more painful than the other. Putting used wine bottles in a bag, the squeaking of car brakes, the beeping of the tramway. Even a friend who speaks a little louder than average and stressed the "S" was too much for me. Sometimes it seemed the sounds I heard from the world were louder than my own thoughts. I remember trying the headphones on my iPhone and only being able to listen at level 2 out of 10 and all the sounds being strongly distorted. Music and sound was broken.

      After a few days, pain started in my ear which slowly spread along the jaw and to the palate up my the top of my head. I noticed that any kind of stimulation of the nervous system made my symptoms worse. salt, coffee, cigarettes, sugar, etc.

      Calm, gentle sport, yoga and meditation would prevent the symptoms from exacerbating.

      Symptoms tended to progress in a worse direction over weeks. Became more penetrating. And every time I've relapsed from loud noises or stimulating foods, it seem to get worse or to take several days to get back to the level I was before.

      I started getting angry and desperate. Couldn't go to a bar, didn't want to meet up with friends and started to have thoughts that life didn't make any sense like this. I remember having a drink with a friend on a quiet street and feeling absolutely disoriented and overwhelmed by the sounds.

      A long, dark 9 months after the accident something interesting started to happen. I could see for the first time that my symptoms were flattening out a bit. I found a pattern of trying to have many days without a relapse while trying to expose myself to sound in a tolerable way.

      After 12 months the hyperacusis had reduced by about 30 % from the beginning days but with the reduction, tinnitus came into my life. It was as if the overall volume of a excessively loud music system was finally turned down, but the noise of what was powering the system became more audible. Even though this was a new challenge it was less brutal than the hyperacusis. I would now lay in bed and hear several a very high pitched sounds. But outside sounds had become more tolerable.

      Even in the tinnitus I started to discover patterns. Salt, coffee, stimulation, headphones fuel the tinnitus and I also observed the the connection to my neck pain, which had been there for a while. I started to work harder on fixing my neck started to do exercises daily and I have the impression that the healthier neck also reduces the tinnitus.

      I practiced yoga regularly, did some 3-4 day fasting from time exposed myself to the sun regularly and practiced meditation. I’m not sure what helped and how much it affected my healing. But it gave me a sense of control and agency.

      After about 18 months I was able to do what I had long thought to be impossible. I was able to go to the club with my custom-made hearing protection. By reducing the sound on each ear by 21 dB and protecting my ears, I was able to go into a club and dance for a few hours. I was afraid that it would retrigger the pain, but I wanted to see if it could work.

      I cried for a long time when I started to feel that it would work without a major fall back. The day after my symptoms where actually often alleviated by a bit.

      I know that sounds counterproductive and may not be right for everyone. But it was incredibly good for me to feel the sound in my body, to be happy about the music and to dance to it and to slowly dare to develop a higher sound tolerance.

      A lot of baby steps further brought my to today: It is almost 4 years ago and I am at a point where my ear problems are not the center of my life anymore.
      I have put a reminder every 3 months to check if I would feel confident writing a „success“ story. Today is the day.

      Nowadays I don't feel much of my hyperacusis. A little discomfort in the affected ear and sometimes a little pulling. There is definitely something broken that I have to watch out for and I avoid being unprotected in noisy rooms or near a bang as much as possible.

      I’ve build myself up to DJ again, although I still use the 21 dB protection on the ear where the accident happened, and lighter protection on the other ear.

      I now have tinnitus, but it is manageable. If it gets a little more intense again, I make sure I get enough sleep and turn off all stimulating foods, then it regulates itself again.

      Here and there I have a few days in a row where my accident and the horror of my hyperacusis are completely forgotten.

      At the same time I am now very vigilant and honestly still hold quite a lot of paranoia about being involved in an accident because I fear that an airbag blast could start it all over again.

      So if you are in your first year of hyperacusis, I would like to cheer you up and say that it can heal and/or become tolerable. You just have to shift your perspective of healing from weeks to months or years and go on with your life.

      Try to bring balance into your body through exercise, meditation (inner engineering) and conscious eating. Prevent relapses by protecting yourself from loud, banging and shrill noises, avoid headphones completely at the beginning

      However, regularly expose yourself to background noise that is tolerable and try to consciously control your emotions in relation to the unpleasant noises.

      I remember standing at the train station and hearing the squeak of the train - being in pain but thinking to myself: „I am in pain right now, but dear sound: I love you. I love you and I will learn to live with you again.“

      I hope this has given some hope and I wish us all that are suffering from this horrible disease recovery and relief.
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    2. Taw

      Taw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Pain hyperacusis since 03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (drum lessons)
      Congrats for your improvements, this is great news!

      How long did the pain last and what kind of pain was it (burning, stabbing, etc)?

      Did you have pain also in silence?

      Also, were you homebound? Could you drive, watch TV, speak on the phone?

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    3. nogg

      nogg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Computer noise
      Hi shurikn. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your healing! We need to hear positive stories like this.
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    4. Capstan

      Capstan Guest

      Agreed. Thank you for sharing and giving hope to others with your hyperacusis success story. I hope your healing continues!
    5. Nobody19

      Nobody19 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Thank you for writing this inspirational story. I hope I will improve like you.

      At the same time, I honestly would not recommend clubbing or DJ'ing again. Even with earplugs those places are LOUD and could trigger a new trauma.
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    6. AUTHOR

      shurikn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accustic Trauma
      @Taw, the pain lasted for 12-18 months. I still feel it sometimes today but less intense. I can't differentiate between burning and stabbing. I found it was both.

      @Nobody19, you are right. I am conscious that it is dangerous. But for now I feel like I can ride the wave pretty well. I feel a big difference when the sound is not hitting my ear drums directly but is attenuated by the earplugs. As soon as I feel discomfort I take a break or leave.

      Also when DJ'ing I pay extreme attention to signs of fatigue, I turn off the monitors next to me and I put the ear protection in a soon as I enter the club.

      It's very hard to find the sweet spot. I hope that I am choosing wisely at the moment.
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    7. Wrfortiscue

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      As long as you are ok with the risks of DJ’ing, I say go for it. You can worsen, or just stay the same. Nobody knows.

      Thanks for sharing. These stories give hope.
    8. SaraK18

      SaraK18 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sound exposure
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. It made me cry a little when you said that today was the day to write your success story. I am so happy for you, and your story for sure gave me hope. I needed it today.

      Do you remember around what year the setbacks/relapses seemed less intense and often?
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    9. NBH

      NBH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Congratulations on your recovery @shurikn and thank you for sharing your experience. It's always encouraging to hear from those who have recovered from hyperacusis.

      I was wondering; have the sound distortions dissipated since onset? And if so, how long did it take for them to subside?
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    10. Travis Henry

      Travis Henry Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2021 textme2146428395
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1 Moderna Vac, Noise and stress I guess, its killing me

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