Internal Noise... So Confused

Discussion in 'Support' started by Telis, Dec 20, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I don't get out a lot but when I do I like to excercise. I try and go for a hard skate, throw the puck around once a day (this is really my only outing) outdoor if the rink is empty. Not sure if anyone has ever played hockey or skated outside, there are ruts and bumps, the ice is far from perfect most of the time. When I put my ear plugs in, there seems to be a TON of noise internally from the vibration. It's kind of like a jack hammer in my head/ears as I glide over the ruts and bumps (my tinnitus seems to break up and become a loud series of beeps for every bump I encounter). I can not measure this with any type of meter obviously. If I skate with no ear protection I can NOT hear this internal noise at all, just feel it in my body.

      On another note: is the interal noise actually louder with ear plugs in???Has my brain somehow turned up the gain while using ear protection? Or again, is it just lack of outside information/masking?

      I'm confused as to what to do. Keep wearing the plugs as the external noise is pretty loud? Ditch the plugs becasue the internal noise seems to be louder or maybe IS actually louder (although maybe just perception or a lack of external masking )? Stop this all together?

      Please help!! this is the only activity that is keeping my sanity. But on the other hand I can't take a further worsening.

      Thanks
      Telis
       
    2. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
    3. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      Telis,
      I'm happy your out skating!
      The ear plugs will make you focus on the sound more. The external sounds help distract your brain from focusing on the T like masking.

      If it's bothersome with the plugs, take them out... Or get musician plugs that have filters so you can block out some of the outer sound but not all.
      Westone makes generic ones with 15 and 25 db filters. Get both filters.
      You can tailor how much sound gets in.

      I dint know what volume the skating is but if it spikes your T that's a problem. But that's usually temporary.

      I'd try the musician plugs.
       
    4. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thanks Larry. I don't mind the noise with plugs in for a hour or so, I am just concerned I am making thing worse and louder than if I was wearing none. To get a idea what I mean, try jumping up and down on your heals with ear plugs in. It's sounds freakin loud!! Is it always that loud or does our brain do something different, like crank the gain with the blocked out hearing? And even if it doesn't, and it just is perceived as louder, is this enough to damage our fragile ears further? I don't know if anyone can say for sure I guess.

      If the foam heavy protection aren't making things worse I would like to play competitive hockey again, just not sure if all the protection can make things actually louder internally than less protection.
       
    5. Bart
      Balanced

      Bart Member

      Location:
      Antwerp
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/06/2014
      Good question Telis.

      I wondered about this myself.

      When I am for example in a busy restarant with earplugs in and I eat something crunchy like a simple salad the sound from the crunching in my mouth sounds so amplified by the plugs I am worried it will spike my T, without plugs it sounds normal. Or walking and running with earplugs in will make it sound terribly loud inside my head, very strange.

      I would love to hear an answer about this from someone.
       
    6. Kopesy
      Balanced

      Kopesy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England, United Kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      19/09/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma'?' (Unknown)
      @Telis
      Hey man, it's great that you're getting out & about atleast, I'm 25 & literally house-bound atm & have been for a few months now, my ears go crazy when I'm not sticking cotton wool in them! Try doing what you're doing without them, try & get your ears used to everything again, I'm not brave enough to do it myself yet :(
       
    7. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      Get the earplugs I mentioned. You can have some attenuation and some natural sounds which is great for ear pressure release. It's like having a volume control on your ears. Not perfect but with the try.
      They don't make the version I have anymore but check them out here:

      https://www.westone.com
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    8. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      I'd just not worry about it . its natural sounds. I get it with jogging
       
    9. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I know it's a natural noise...I'm wondering if our brain is turning up that natural noise with ear protection in and a lack of external input.
       
    10. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yeah I have been pretty much house bound for a year...I still am really. I try and get out, I have to excercise, i am a athlete. I Spend so much time at home and in bed, I have to get out. I just can't do it. My ears freakin hurt and I am not coping but I feel this helps my sanity. And because it hurts I feel I am doing the wrong thing.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yeah same thing, I swear it's not that loud normally. I think with ear protection in our brains crank up the gain.
       
    12. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      I definitely think that's what happening. our brains crank up the gain.
       
    13. Kopesy
      Balanced

      Kopesy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England, United Kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      19/09/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma'?' (Unknown)
      Know the feeling dude, was in such good shape before this happened, I've lost so much of what I once had :( Excercise is definitely a must but like you I fear whilst I'm doing the excercise it'll make my T worse! I feel like I can't win -_-
       
    14. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Well, it sounds to me that you have a very serious problem indeed. Housebound for a year? How absolutely horrible. You have sort of created a sound cocoon for yourself. But the net result is that you've isolated yourself, but you're not appreciably better.

      When my wife had breast cancer, she sought the very best advice possible. When I have a serious problem, I too seek the very best advice possible. What have you done in that specific regard? I mean besides asking folks who have serious problems themselves and who haven't yet figured out what to do about it.

      Telis, I mean no disrespect. You seem like a decent guy who is carrying one helluva burden. In order for me to "help out here" (your words), it would really help if I knew what you've done and whom you've seen.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    15. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Hi Doc,

      Well I am quite are aware there are no proven treatments for tinnitus. I am just trying to live with it and take calculated risks. I don't have mental issues, I never have so there is nothing to treat there. It's just my broken ears, I'm trying to get a hold on what will and what will not make my situation potentially worse. Example: should I be out playing hockey? Do ear plugs increase the vibrational noise? Is the vibrational noise potentially dangerous like sound waves.

      I could go to any doctor around and they would tell me to stick to the normal healthy ear guideline for safe noise exposure, well I'm not sure of this is correct. So what better place to ask for advise than here, especially when there are people with decades of experience dealing with T. And doctors like yourself that know tinnitus.

      I have been to an ENT, a tnnitus therapist, a weekend tinnitus workshop, the message is th same...live with it, go on with your life. When I ask questions like the ones above I get a blank look or some made up on the spot answer.

      I guess there are no definate answers, just opinions...this makes it tough for the patient and the doctor a like.
       
    16. Sjoerd

      Sjoerd Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09-2013
      I experiance this while I ride my bike. I wear 36 dB earplugs in a helmet. I hear the bumps in the road en other low frequency thumping. I was concerned with the sound levels. I bought a Bluetooth headset so I could play some music while riding. The soul reason I bought it so I was able to have reference levels of sound. I was able to monitor sound levels to to sound levels of the music. My conclusion, when wear earplugs for a long time you tend to overestimate the actual
      sound levels

      Maybe that is an option for you?
       
    17. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      @Telis what you are experiencing is called "the occlusion effect".
      It is well documented, you can Google/Wiki it...
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    18. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thanks Dan..will do
       
    19. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      @Telis posted:

      "I could go to any doctor around and they would tell me to stick to the normal healthy ear guideline for safe noise exposure, well I'm not sure of this is correct. So what better place to ask for advise than here, especially when there are people with decades of experience dealing with T."

      .................

      Do you really want to be dealing with your tinnitus for decades? I'd prefer you to not have to deal with it at all. I don't deal with mine. I have it, but I no longer deal with it. There's a difference, you know.

      ...............

      "And doctors like yourself that know tinnitus."

      ................

      Well as a doctor who "knows tinnitus" (your words, not mine), the first thing I'd want to see is the shape of your LDL curve compared with the shape of your audiogram.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    20. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      So as it turns out the internal noises ARE actually louder with ear plug in!! Not just perceived this way, in fact 20db louder than not wearing ear plugs at all.
      When you chew your food, walk, run, basically any noise that should be escaping the ear canal from within gets trapped on its way out by the ear plug and then bounces back toward the ear drum...

      The occlusion effect occurs when an object fills the outer portion of a person's ear canal, and that person perceives "hollow" or "booming" echo-like sounds of their own voice. It is caused by bone-conducted soundvibrations reverberating off the object filling the ear canal. When talking or chewing, these vibrations normally escape through an open ear canal; most people are unaware of their existence. When the ear canal is blocked, the vibrations are reflected back toward the eardrum. Compared to a completely open ear canal, the occlusion effect can boost low frequency (usually below 500 Hz) sound pressure in the ear canal by 20 dB or more. This effect can be measured with a probe-tube microphone.[1]

      A person with normal hearing can experience this by sticking their fingers into their ears and talking. Otherwise, this effect is often experienced byhearing aid users who only have a mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss, but use hearing aids which block the entire ear canal.


      **Thanks @dan for mentioning this in a prior post in this thread**
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    21. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      I'm probably missing the point here, but please explain how this piece of information is going to affect how you plan to conduct your life on a day to day basis. Thanks.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    22. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      It makes a huge difference....I won't wear ear plugs on the ice every day, I will wear protective ear muffs instead. That is 2 hours a day for the entire winter season that my ears will be better protected. Isn't it better that I know the risks so I can make choices/adjustments to my lifestyle? I am fairly possitive the internal noise is around 80-100db on the rough ice surface when my ears are plugged, I can't hear any exterior noise at all while I am skating-running over the bumps, it sounds like a jack hammer in my head. I wasn't sure if it was my imagination/perception, now I know.
       
    23. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Sorry for not responding to this earlier. I don't really know how these test can help? If my ears are found to be sensitive at certain frequencies, what can I do about it anyway? Do I protect more or less based on these tests results?
       
    24. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      @Telis -

      Regarding your two responses above, the curve comparison would help delineate the nature and extent of your decreased sound tolerance so that a treatment plan could be tailored to your needs. It seems to me that your current approach is protect protect protect, which is nice in theory, I guess, but it really isn't getting you anywhere. With respect to the question of ear plugs vs ear muffs, I understand the theory, but in real life it does not make any difference at all clinically (i.e., in terms of potential auditory damage, etc).

      Look, I know you are getting a lot of information from a lot of people, many of whom are likely no fans of mine, but as I see it the end result is that you have become (for lack of a better term) an auditory cripple, an isolated one at that. And it's so damned unnecessary.

      I sincerely wish you well.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    25. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      Sorry but for the uninitiated what is an LDL curve.
      thanks for explaining
       
    26. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Well I am not worried about the pain, I can tolerate it. If I just had H, I would walk around saying ouch a lot, that's it. The fact is that I'm scared to death that I am doing damage with the sensitivity. Trust me, I'm not afraid of pain, I am however very afraid of loosing more hearing and worsening my T. So I'm not sure where that leaves me.
       
    27. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Loudness Discomfort Levels - measured by an experienced audiologist at various frequencies so that accurate measurements can be obtained without stressing the auditory system

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    28. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Where does it leave you? It leaves you in need of good information, an accurate diagnosis, and a carefully monitored treatment plan based upon that accurate diagnosis. Just like if you had chest pain radiating to your jaw.

      As I see it, anyway.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    29. Jesse Pinkman

      Jesse Pinkman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2011
      Do you think Telis can obtain the same results as you have? With respect to his current condtidion?
       
    30. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Well from what I understand and I realize I may not know what I'm talking about...the ear canal acts as an escape route for internal noise. If that route is blocked, the noise bounces back at the ear drum. If I wear ear muffs the noise/vibrations can escape the ear canal. This seems fairly simple, maybe I am missing something. I'm not sure how this doesn't make any difference clinically in terms of auditory damage.
       

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.