I Think Earplugs Are to Blame

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by dpepper73, May 23, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. dpepper73

      dpepper73 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sleeping with earplugs
      I recently had to move back in with my parents and since my old bedroom is now my father's model train room, I'm having to use my sister's old room which is at the front of the house on the second story. The traffic is really loud at the front of the house and being on the second story puts me on the same level as the many birds that live in the trees surrounding the house.

      Before I moved back in with my parents, a white noise machine was all I needed to block out the ambient sound around me while sleeping. But here at my parents' house, the sound machine just didn't seem to be enough, so I started using earplugs.

      I started using them right after I moved back in, which was a little over two months ago. However, I found it too uncomfortable to wear two earplugs at once. So I would put the earplug in whichever ear wasn't on the pillow. This required me to take the earplug out of one ear and put it into the other ear whenever I would change sides. Got it? Seems like a lot to go through I know.

      Well, I'm writing this in the early hours of Monday, May 23rd, and I first noticed the low humming sound when I got up on Saturday, May 21st. So this is just the second day that I've noticed it, second day in a row. When I got up on Saturday, I sat up in bed and heard what I thought was a loud car stereo system with a lot of bass. But the car didn't seem to be moving, if you know what I mean. But a little later, when I was sitting outside with my parents and listening to some music, I realized the low frequency hum had gone away. But it was back when I got up yesterday. I spent most of the day by myself and that humming was just too much, so I started googling.

      I feel that it's a result of the earplugs and I hope and pray that it will go away if I stop wearing the earplug, singular. I've been a drummer since 1984, but over the last ten years I haven't played nearly as much as I did in the 80's and 90's, so I don't think it's that. Another reason that I think it's the earplug is lately I've been feeling some pressure in my ears even after I wake up and get out of bed. Also, I haven't exactly been very worried about keeping my earplug clean, although I would get new ones and I also washed a pair once. That's a bit embarrassing, but I'll share it if it helps one of you to help me.

      I sincerely thank in advance anyone who can shed light on the earplug cause of tinnitus. I look forward to helping one of you one day if I can.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Aighton
      Curious

      Aighton Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2015
      My tinnitus also started with humming noise in left ear. And I also worked in a factory so I kept wearing these earplugs also when I was going to sleep. And not much longer after that my tinnitus started coming up. But I don't think it's earplugs that are the blame of tinnitus though..

      Or it maybe who knows for sure.. Maybe because your brain hears nothing anymore through the earplugs it's turning volume up which isn't there.. But personally I think it's just coincidence.
       
    3. dpepper73

      dpepper73 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sleeping with earplugs
      But I'm hearing the hum after I take out the earplugs. Of course it's worse in a really quiet environment.
       
    4. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      I also first noticed my tinnitus when I started to use ear plugs for studying and sleeping. Hard to tell if ear plugs cause them, probably not, since a lot of people use ear plugs without tinnitus. Most likely I've had it for a while but just never listened to it or heard it.
       
    5. dpepper73

      dpepper73 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sleeping with earplugs
      Hello LeQuack, I think the earplugs may have caused an infection or perhaps a wax impaction and, in turn, the ear infection or whatever may be the cause of my tinnitus. Before I decided to join this group I did a little research online and read where earplugs can lead to tinnitus. I'm going to try to find those websites again so I can read about it some more.
       
    6. Julien87
      Balanced

      Julien87 Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to loud sound (concert)
      Very interesting. I sometimes suspected the use of earplugs of provoking a humming in my ear.
      My "main" tinnitus is high-pitched and was due to a concert, and 3 years after the onset of this tinnitus, a second tinnitus appeared, and it was the humming kind (so, totally different from the first one). But I don't know the cause of this second tinnitus.The first time I noticed it was in the middle of the night. I first thought it was external but I quickly realized that the sound was in my head.
      The difference with my main tinnitus is that this one seems "mechanical", I mean, I feel like there is something wrong with my eardrum or within my middle ear. Strangely, this humming disappears if I put my fingers in my ears, and appears again when I take them out (but only hearable in quiet environment). I never really knew what caused it.. and I already thought of the earplugs that I sometimes wear.. but I really can't tell.
       
    7. dpepper73

      dpepper73 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sleeping with earplugs
      I went to a concert last Monday, the 16th, and another one on Tuesday, the 17th. But I didn't notice anything until Saturday, the 21st. The first show was pretty loud, Parquet Courts was the band. The second show wasn't very loud at all, Snarky Puppy was the band. I did some more reading online and found out that it is possible for earplugs to cause an ear infection which in turn can cause tinnitus. Earplugs can also cause wax impaction which in turn can cause tinnitus. I'm hoping that whatever caused mine is reversible. I'm standing outside right now and the only sounds are birds and a little bit of traffic in the distance, and I can't hear that low hum, except for every now and then. When I do hear it, it's much more quiet than when I'm in a quiet room. Also, if I were to put in one earplug, I wouldn't hear the low hum. Frustrating to say the least.
       
    8. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      If you keep plugs for long wax has no way to escape out and can pile up close to the drum which causes muffled hearing and maybe more t if you have already t
      That's noticeable when removing the plugs

      Happens to me as well

      Make sure to wash to ear canal with soap and warm , soft water stream and that's it not a big issue. The wax in this case - not real wax - is water soluble
       
    9. dpepper73

      dpepper73 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sleeping with earplugs
      I really hope that my problem is nothing but ear wax piled up against my eardrum, or an ear infection, and I'm hoping that when I get rid of the wax buildup and/or the infection, the low-pitched hum goes away. I formal believe that the low-pitched hum has something to do with me using the same earplugs night after night without washing them properly. Over the last couple of months I've experienced a slight pain in one of my ears during the day, after sleeping with earplugs.
       
    10. Hopeful1
      Depressed

      Hopeful1 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      ear plugs may have caused my H and then T in a few days. I have been clubbing since a years with no problems not even a temp. T.....i wore ear plugs on weekend to a party and H started after 2 days and also T after a couple of days.....so i suspect ear plugs
      ...latest research suggests differential damage of IHC and OHC may be the reason for T .... ear plugs might be to blame for differential damage.
       
    11. bill 112
      Studious

      bill 112 Member

      Location:
      Republic Of Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Explain what you mean by differential damage?
       
    12. Hopeful1
      Depressed

      Hopeful1 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      • Informative Informative x 1
    13. dpepper73

      dpepper73 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sleeping with earplugs
      Well, I have very good news. The low hum that was so very present in my left ear is no longer there. After I made my initial post, which was very late Sunday night, or very early Monday morning, I went to bed without using any earplugs. I could hear the hum before I fell asleep and whenever I would wake up and roll over. After a few hours sleep I could still hear it. I drove to a nearby city about 25 miles away that day, and listened to music in the car the whole time. (I'm a music lover and have been all my life.) When I got home that afternoon I spent some time outside with my parents and I couldn't hear the hum. I figured it was because of the conversation, the birds, the traffic, and other sounds around me.

      Later that night I noticed that I couldn't hear the hum when I was inside with the tv on. When I went to sleep that night there was no hum. Also, there was no more hum the next morning.

      I'm feeling very relieved, and at the same time, grateful for those of you who shared your advice and experiences with me. I'm also feeling very concerned for the people who haven't been as lucky as I was. I read several random posts and comments and it opened my eyes. I've known the super-basic definition of tinnitus for a long time. "A persistent ringing in the ears." As I quickly learned by browsing through this forum, tinnitus is much more than that.

      Thanks again to those who shared your stories and knowledge in the hopes that it would help me deal with the humming that I was hearing. I suppose the humming could come back at anytime, so I'm not going to rule that out.

      Peace.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    14. mrodent

      mrodent Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      wooshing
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Personally I do think earplugs are to blame... but I suspect the T caused by them is unlikely to be permanent.
      It's mysterious though: for some time, years in fact, I have been using "mighty earplugs", blue wax-based ones, which you mould and then use as a plug in your ear. They are very very effective at blocking sound.

      But it's only recently that I've been having tinnitus problems. I've never been in really noisy environments and am generally careful about protecting my ears.

      This might conceivably have sthg to do with stress in my life, or not enough exercise... or not enough fruit, or too much alcohol (seriously).
      But I also suspect that, in addition to making the brain work overtime, due to too much silence, there may be an element of causing stretching, even if quite slight, in the outer ear tube (i.e. the bit where you put the plug). I have the instinctive feeling that doing this, even if you are quite gentle about inserting the plug, probably puts a strain of some kind on the eardrum. NB I don't make a long tube shape, but rather a ball, so it doesn't penetrate into the outer tube too far.

      Finally, another suspect factor with these earplugs for me might be the actual chemicals comprising the plug. Again, I have a feeling that a tiny amount of this material may be left behind in the outer ear tube, and that somehow this might be transferring itself to the eardrum. A solution to this *might* be to wash the outer ear in water, or maybe water with something in it, which is capable of somehow dissolving and removing any residue from this (non-human) wax earplug.

      All in all I think the ear is a very sensitive organ and unfortunately stopping sound in this way may be inadvisable. Incidentally I can't prove any of the above theories about what's causing my present T.

      I'm not too bothered though at the moment as I have a gut feeling that my T is almost certainly temporary. I suspect that this will apply to you too if your T is caused by earplugs. Best thing is probably to take a holiday from them and see what happens... good luck.
       

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