I Can Handle Ear Ringing Better When Ears Are Plugged?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Foresthike, Feb 23, 2020.

    1. Foresthike

      Foresthike Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Prolonged exposure to loud(ish) music
      Hi!

      I'm just wondering if it's possible that I can handle/ignore the ringing in my ears better when I'm wearing ear plugs, opposed to when I'm not? Is this an indication of a certain type of problem with my ear?
      With the ear plugs I can still hear ringing, but for some reason I'm able to ignore it better it seems.
      Perhaps I become more 'overwhelmed' with outside noise and the ringing, compared to just the ringing.

      I plan on having a hearing test done very soon, but I'm slightly uncomfortable as I've heard some people say that it made their tinnitus worse? Also, at my first hearing test I was practically sent away because of my age (18) and the audiologist thought it was unlikely related to hearing loss. Has anyone else developed tinnitus this young?


      I'm fairly new to tinnitus support and would be grateful if I could get insight on a few other questions:

      When I clench my teeth together, the ringing seems to go higher and louder in that moment. Unclenching, it goes back to normal. Is this an indication of a "specific form" of tinnitus (perhaps 'treatable')?

      At loud events, no ringing is induced but I tend to go partially deaf afterwards for an hour or so. Can this be an indication of anything?

      I've had various problems with my ears from a young age, some that the ENT said would go away with age, which they have. If my ears get direct wind exposure, they will definitely hurt afterwards/I'll get a cold. Does anyone else have tinnitus with similar ear problems/medical history?

      If I stop my daily habit of listening to music for hours using headphones, is there a chance for the ringing to become subdued/go away?

      Would it be best to visit an ENT, since the ringing is still present with plugged ears? Doing research, many people say it could be an internal tube problem. Would an audiologist be able to detect any problems and direct you to an ENT if needed?


      Thank you!
       
    2. Tweedleman

      Tweedleman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Noise
      Sounds like your ears are very sensitive to noise and you may have a reactive form of tinnitus.
      LDL (loudness discomfort level) is the portion you want to avoid having.
      This just goes to show the sad state of affairs in the hearing world. That audiologist was a complete joke, of course it's possible you could have hearing loss at a young age. In fact, hearing loss is on the rise among young people due to headphone abuse and stupidly loud concerts/events. I got tinnitus when I was 10. Likely from some miniscule hearing loss caused by ear infections/noise.
      It's possible some of your tinnitus may stem from TMJ issues.
      This is a really bad sign. Not sure what kind of events these are (concerts?) but you should absolutely be protecting yourself when exposed to high dB levels. Get a dB measurer app on your phone and when you plan on staying in any environment where the noise is consistently over 80dB for a length of time, earplugs.
      There is a chance, yes. You will find some very militant anti-headphone members on this forum. @Michael Leigh. Given your circumstances I would completely cut out the headphones altogether as they literally pump sound into the ear canal with no way to escape.
      Audiologists are basically useless hearing aid salesmen, go straight to the ENT. But if they can't find a physical problem like wax buildup or ETD, don't expect them to be able to fix your tinnitus. You sound like your T is mainly noise-induced in which case the only thing you can do is rest your ears and start protecting them vigilantly. Absolutely get a hearing test done, if you have measurable hearing loss that's the indication that your T is most likely noise-induced. If this is the case, the T may fade to managable levels after many months of rest.
       
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @Foresthike

      My advice to you is to stop overusing earplugs as you will make your tinnitus more intrusive over time. Although you might find this practice helpful at the moment, long term overuse will lower the loudness threshold of the auditory system making it more sensitive to sound. By blocking off external sounds using foam earplugs or reducing them with noise reducing types, will increase oversensitivity and hyperacusis. Please click on the link below and read my post: Hyperacusis, As I see it.

      From the information you have given in your post, I firmly believe your tinnitus is noise induced. If you have been using headphones regularly in the manner you have mentioned prior to the onset of your tinnitus, then it is headphones that has caused it and has nothing to do with TMJ. I advise you to stop clenching your teeth to see whether it reduces or makes the tinnitus worse. Headphones are the most common cause of tinnitus and I advise you to stop using them immediately and not to use them even at low volume. Headphones in my opinion are dangerous for anyone that has noise induced tinnitus.

      Make an appointment at ENT to have your hearing tested and anything else your doctor advises. If as I suspect, there is no underlying medical problem causing the tinnitus. Then you need to be referred to an Audiologist that specialises in Tinnitus and Hyperacusis treatment and management. Unfortunately, I have to agree with @Tweedleman Some Audiologists are glorified salespeople whose main interest is to sell expensive hearing aids for monetary gain and don't care about the welfare of the patient. This is an outrageous and unethical practice that thankfully, does not happen in UK NHS hospitals, as our healthcare system operates differently.

      I have corresponded with people abroad that have tinnitus. They have told me even though they don't have hearing loss or it is very slight, their Audiologist's main interest is to sell them hearing aids costing thousands of pounds/dollars that they can't afford because their medical health insurance will not cover them. When a patient has tinnitus resulting from hearing loss, fitting of a hearing aid/s can reduce the tinnitus over time. However, many people that have noise induced tinnitus (including yours truly) do not have hearing loss. Even when there is some hearing loss it is not sufficient enough to warrant purchasing expensive hearing aids.

      A patient with noise induced tinnitus and finding it problematic needs to be treated correctly. Therefore, they need to be referred to an Audiologist that specialises in Tinnitus and hyperacusis management, for treatment. This can included: TRT, CBT, Counselling, Sound Therapy using white noise generators, Hearing aid/s when they are deemed necessary because a person has impaired hearing that would improve with the fitting of these devices.

      Please click on the links below and read my posts in the links.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
       
    4. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Definitely stop using the headphones. This is continuing to cause damage, and for the T to persist.
       
    5. shasta0863

      shasta0863 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2007
      While my noise induced T isn't from headphones, I'm curious on the reasoning for many to say not to use even at low volumes. Does not the db level matter all around, regardless if the source originated form less than an inch from your ear, or 10 feet away?

      If something is entering your ear, even closely, at less than 85db, how is that any different than being in a restaurant below 85db?

      It would seem to me that taking a shower would be inducing more noise than using headphones on low.

      Just curious, as almost every case of noise trauma I've seen from constant headphone use has been using it at extremely loud volumes, for extended periods of time. No different from going to loud concerns and venues for extended periods of time. Damage is damage.
       
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I have written many posts in this forum on Headphone use for people with Noise induced tinnitus. Please use the search box at the top of the page to find them or, peruse my posts by clicking on my Avatar and choosing, search started threads.

      All the best
      Michael
       

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