Is All Hope Lost for Me for Driving in 'Louder' Cars?

Discussion in 'Support' started by carfan13, Aug 27, 2017.

    1. carfan13

      carfan13 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      So I'm not sure if what I have is tinnitus or not - but I had to sell my last high - performance car (V10 engine), convertible etc because of a very strong ear / pain / flare up after I would drive it (almost no matter the distance, whether it is a few miles or much longer). This flare up would last anywhere from 1-6 hours depending on how long I drove the car. Did not matter if car was top up or top down. It is very painful and besides ear pain and mufflness would give me a long lasting headache(s). The car did have a loud factory exhaust on it. I tried driving with ear plugs on, without much relief.

      So I ended up selling that car earlier this year, and went to look at another high-performance car yesterday - that definitely is not a 'quiet' car (relative to a lexus) - but nowhere near as loud as my previous one. Loved everything about it - until I took a drive and literally after a quick 5-10 minute test drive was plaqued with the same ear pain / mufflness that I experienced before. The symptoms typically wind down after several hours - but those initial hours are horrible and seem to take over my head.

      Now I LOVE exotic / sports / high performance cars - and as a side effect they typically come with additional road noise, less insulation and much louder exhausts. I am also not a big 'fan' of having to drive with ear plugs - as that almost in itself 'defeats' the purpose of hearing the cars engine, exhaust etc -- sounds which I do enjoy but keep getting a very STRONG ear pain and reaction right after I'm done driving it.

      Typically in normal day-to-day settings I dont have 'ear ringing' , 'mufflness' etc - but I am very hardly ever subjected to loud environments - and my daily driver is as hush as can be.

      So what say you - just move on with life and forget louder / sports cars? I do not want to create 'damage' to my ears and go through these bouts of pain after driving the car - because that would also hinder any and all enjoyment that I would derive from driving one.

      I am in my 30s so it took me by surprise when this first started happening as I've been around louder cars my entire life. Part of the issue might be me having a convertible in my early 20s that I drove for 4+ years.

      Any suggestions are GREAT as I'm torn on purchasing this car as it is literally EXACTLY what my dream/perfect build of this car is - but in no way can I commit to a purchase that in itself would already start causing me 'pain' by using it.
       
    2. Apocalypse77
      Loved

      Apocalypse77 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/8/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (go-kart racing)
      I have only once been in a loud sport car and this was before I got T. I was only fro about 5 mins in it, my brother was little longer and he has told me that this was easily on his top 5 loudest noises he has ever heard list.

      So I would say when you drive for more than 1 hour straight you should probably use earplugs just to be sure you don't get T.

      But as I said I am not a car expert, I would wait for other answer. :)
       
    3. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      @carfan13 - if you have the $$, a Tesla could be a good choice.
       
      • Like Like x 3
    4. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      @carfan13, I was in your situation in August 2014... you can read my post from back then. I love sports car. I did get one but it was bit loud so I drove it about 2 years with ear plugs then I decided to put a resonator in the muffler. Noise level has gone down lots and most of the days I drive without ear plugs.

      I have worked very hard and I always wanted to buy car which is ultra loud..I have given up on that dream but I can still buy other fancy sports car which are not that loud.
      You can buy sports car and there are ways you can make it quiter and still get thrill of driving a sports car .
       
    5. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Large caliber rifles/machine guns and loud Music/clubs
      I had to put back the regular exhaust on my louder car. It was just too much

      Ear plugs won't work well since it's mostly under 1000hz frequencies but good ear muffs like the pelotor x5a will work fine and are easy to put on and off and give your ears a break - assuming you have really noise damaged ears not stress related T

      It may help measuring the Db inside the cars just to get a feel on how really loud it is

      Also you can develop an outer ear infection if you scratch the inner ear skin with plugs and enough bacteria is in there - happened to me once ...muffs are safer
       
    6. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I doubt you get to scratch the inner ear with plugs because there's an ear drum in the way. You have to get past the ear drum first, and then get past the middle ear, before you reach the inner ear.

      I think what you mean is that you can get an infection from the rubbing of the plugs on the walls of the ear canal, which can get close to the ear drum (perhaps that's the area you refer to as "inner ear"). That could potentially lead to an outer ear infection indeed.
       
    7. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      @Bobby B , hi Bobby I have never heard of any getting ear infection with plugs .
      It's
      Important to insert plugs and remove it bit gently . I use hearos plugs and they are so soft , I just don't see how they would cause any scratch or irritation to ear canal .
       
    8. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Large caliber rifles/machine guns and loud Music/clubs
      Yeah I pushed these dirty plugs too hard back and forth and it was hot and humid

      The ear canal quickly swelled and I could not hear much after a few hours

      All cleared up after a week on antibiotics so no permanent issues unlike noise damage
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      carfan13

      carfan13 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I was getting ear ringing and pain about 5 minutes in if I use plugs or not. I did not really care all that much about my previous car so did not spend tons of time / experimenting into finding a better solution but scared of going into another car - where I will be trying to manipulate everything just to end up in the same place - selling it as I wont be able to take the horrible ear pain that develops after driving a 'louder' high-performance car.

      You're right - earplugs don't work well as I found - and that seems to be consensus of many who tried going that route. Getting my hopes up with being comfortable in these types of vehicles - basically anything more 'extreme' then a standard / luxury car --- and its a shame as the time finally came when I worked so hard to reach the point of being able to enjoy them - only for this to get in the way! Such is the way of life I guess...

      I also thought that my ears would 'acclimate' over time to the 'noise' - and it would be easier or more negligible to me over time (and the earaches / ringing / etc would go away) - but I dont think that holds true either...
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      carfan13

      carfan13 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Are there earplugs that do a better job of blocking out 'low frequency' noise in cars? I tried several and most have not mitigated the issue for me!
       
    11. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      That's because low frequencies find a way around the ear plugs. There's no ear plug that will shield you perfectly from low frequency sound energy, unfortunately.
       

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