Is It Possible to Sleep Past Noise Levels That Are Damaging to Hearing?

Discussion in 'Support' started by K.A., May 28, 2021.

    1. K.A.

      K.A. Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008, then 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      It might that I have become more sensitive to noise the last months, but sometimes when my neighbor uses his washing machine in his apartment below mine, the last part of the spin cycle (the one with high RPM) makes me feel the noise in the room above is quite loud and especially if you put your head/ear into a pillow, the vibrations sounds even louder.

      What I started wondering is whether it is possible not to wake up from sleep even if the noise reaching the ear is above damaging levels? Anyone know something about this?

      P.S. I wake up normally from an alarm clock, but this kind of noise is very low frequency so I wondered if it might be different..?
       
    2. star-affinity
      Gloomy

      star-affinity Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1993, increase in 2020, then new in 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Maybe during a soundcheck – sudden sound from speaker
      I fell a sleep to music that two hours later most likely damaged my left ear – got a high pitched tinnitus and some hearing loss on high frequencies (the same ones where my tinnitus is at?).

      I have measured the volume I was playing at being 35 dB average with occasional peaks at 40 dB – sometimes the background synth goes pretty high frequency, though. So no high volume really, but my ear was likely too fatigued to handle it.

      I did in fact wake up seconds before my ears did this two-second "twisted chirp" and directly after that the high pitched "sssssssss" started in my ear.

      But you're talking about lower frequencies here – I understand the ear is more sensitive to higher frequencies. At the same time, if you start to feel "ear fullness" in the sound environment I'd be careful and try to sleep somewhere quieter.

      Can you measure the sound volume somehow?
       
    3. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      I need meds to sleep or ears keep me awake. The buggers.

      Love,
      Glynis
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      K.A.

      K.A. Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008, then 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      @star-affinity, it is really difficult to measure the dB, my phone app says 35 dB but I think its microphone does not work well at lower frequencies. I actually feel it more than hear it, but I also feel it in my ear, if possible to understand.

      Very difficult to determine if it is actually loud.

      Sorry to hear about your experience, to hear about people have this happening at below 60-70 dB is really scary. There are some many places and vehicles that are louder than 45 dB.

      Have you verified the hearing loss with an audiogram? Ruled out neck/TMJ issues?
       
    5. star-affinity
      Gloomy

      star-affinity Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1993, increase in 2020, then new in 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Maybe during a soundcheck – sudden sound from speaker
      Oh, sorry – I had missed your reply.

      Is it like you feel your ear drum is vibrating, distorting when your hear that low frequency sound? Can't be too good in the long run I think...

      Yes, it's difficult to know how reliable an app and the microphones on a phone is. I tried measuring with an iPhone XS Max, which should have relatively good recording capabilities:

      The XS Max’s reproduction of the timbre of an original source was excellent across the board. Bass, midrange, and treble were impressive, as was the overall tonal balance among these frequencies (see graph below).

      Source:
      https://www.dxomark.com/apple-iphone-xs-max-audio-review/

      I used the app db Meter (also available for Android) which seems pretty accurate.

      Still not sure exactly what volume I had on my phone, but definitely not peaking over about 45 dB and an average of 35-40 dB at most. And I even had some toilet paper tucked in my left ear to dampen things a little! But my ear was probably too fatigued to handle even this. I had sever fullness and “whooshing” in the ear when going to bed which I didn’t have the months before – this left ear has been fine. Easy to in hindsight say that I of course should have skipped music at night altogether since my ear was in the sate it was. Still wouldn’t have thought things would turn out as bad as it did with that ”chirp” at night and then new high pitched tinnitus. :(

      This is the music I was listening to:
      https://tidal.com/browse/album/77525403

      It worked fine on that level for months, so in general it is most likely fine to listen to music on such sound levels long term, but I do think if depends on the individual and the current state of the ear(s) and the frequency of the music. If one start to feel ”ear fullness” or ”ear hollowness” and hear whooshing in the ear I think that's a warning that the ear cells and/or synapsed are stressed and needs a break = the sound levels you can usually handle doesn't apply.

      I find it strange that the (two) ENT specialists I've been talking to seems to neglect there being situations where sound and music can contribute to hearing damage and/or tinnitus even it the music is under that 70-80 dB level that many seem to cling on to – without taking into account any nuance such, as the things I mentioned above.

      I have verified my hearing loss with an audiogram. At the same time I was doing that just a couple of days after my trauma at night and I had been crying a lot and barely slept. Left ear ”sssssss”, major ”hum/drone” in the head and right ear was ringing a lot too. Also did the the test in a poorly isolated room, so maybe I would get a better result with a new audiogram. But at the same time the right ear was fine...

      I've also tested playing high pitched insects (cicadas) on my phone speaker, and I can hear them with my right ear, but not with my left. :( Music also sound a bit different in high frequencies – tracks that I know has a more dull sound in cymbals and tambourines than before. So sad. :(

      Haven't ruled out neck/TMJ issues, but think it's unlikely. Whatever I do with my neck or jaw doesn't seem to affect the ”ssssss” in the left ear.
       
    6. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      I've woken up too many times with that super annoying ear fullness sensation related to noise when I was asleep, such as an electric heater. Now I try to sleep in quiet with earplugs, and no more of this.
       
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