Is the Occlusion Effect a Big Concern for Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by geg1992, Jun 3, 2015.

    1. geg1992
      English

      geg1992 Member

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure + Antibiotics
      There's lots written about it and how it can be dangerous, but I've never heard of any experiences of people having an increase in tinnitus because of it?

      I saw someone on here who used to regularly go to clubs with plugs in and never had a problem with the occlusion effect.

      Any experiences?
       
    2. Karl28
      Amazed

      Karl28 Member

      Location:
      Melbourne
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001 bad since 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music via headphones
      Or at the dentist with earplugs in.
       
    3. Elfin
      Sad

      Elfin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      Is the occlusion effect enough to cause a worsening of tinnitus? Had my plugs in for quite sometime (working amongst noise), so had this effect for several hours.

      Any help greatly appreciated!
       
    4. dingaling
      Tired

      dingaling Member

      Location:
      London UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown, probably loud music
      In short - yes

      The occlusion effect (plugging your ears) means there is no outlet for tinnitus - the sound is trapped within the occluded canal causing a perceived increase in loudness of the tinnitus
       
    5. Aaron123

      Aaron123 Member

      Tinnitus may be temporarily be louder or more noticeable while wearing earplugs because you aren't hearing external sounds that might distract you from the tinnitus. It may also be the case that the brain cranks up the volume to compensate for the lost input. In either case, in any reasonable circumstance, it is not going to make things permanently worse.

      This is incorrect. Subjective tinnitus is not an external sound and cannot be "trapped".
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    6. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      The occlusion effect applies to sound coming "from the inside" (for example, when you talk), not outside noise. Tinnitus doesn't qualify as inside sound because it isn't physically represented by a sound wave (so it won't reflect/refract). So unless you were screaming during all that time, I wouldn't worry.
       
    7. Elfin
      Sad

      Elfin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      Thanks guys - what I'm saying is is the loud internal noise (hearing own voice louder with plugs in) enough to cause noise trauma?

      I know I'll hear my T more with plugs in, but worried of acoustic trauma from occlusion effect.


      Thanks!
       
    8. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
       
    9. dingaling
      Tired

      dingaling Member

      Location:
      London UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown, probably loud music
      [QUOTE="Aaron123 said: This is incorrect. Subjective tinnitus is not an external sound and cannot be "trapped".[/QUOTE]

      @Aaron123 I beg to differ. Sounds from inside the head are perceived as being louder when the ear canal is occluded. The important word here is "perceived"
       
    10. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      But only sounds that are actually made of actual sound waves (ie pressure waves in the air) can reflect on a plug. Subjective tinnitus isn't made of sound waves: it's an electrical stimulus that is generated without any sound wave, so by definition, it cannot reflect on a surface. You can't capture subjective tinnitus with a microphone for the same reason.
       
    11. dingaling
      Tired

      dingaling Member

      Location:
      London UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown, probably loud music
      You can capture subjective tinnitus with a microphone - it then becomes objective tinnitus. How do you think OAEs are captured?
       
    12. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      By definition, subjective tinnitus is the kind that you can't capture with a microphone, so no, you can't capture it.
      Tinnitus itself is partitioned in two sets: objective and subjective. Objective is not a subset of Subjective. They are disjoined sets.
       
    13. Aaron123

      Aaron123 Member

      Sorry, but you can't.
       
    14. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      OAEs are not tinnitus. They are the very faint sound caused by outer hair cell vibrations in response to external sound.

      Unless you’re suggesting tinnitus is those hair cells vibrating?
       
    15. dingaling
      Tired

      dingaling Member

      Location:
      London UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown, probably loud music
      What about SOAEs then? They can occur in the absence of external sound. I know technically, they are not tinnitus
       
    16. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      They are still not subjective tinnitus caught with a microphone.
       
    17. Zinnia
      Owned

      Zinnia Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/15/17
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      @Elfin , The occlusion effect causes the decibels to literally increase in your ear. There is no question surrounding that. I personally believe it can worsen T depending on how loud your own voice is. I've read accounts of people saying that just screaming (w/no plugs) has permanently increased their tinnitus.

      My own T is so reactive that I can barely talk with earplugs in without spikes so occlusion really bothers my ear. I would be wary of speaking loudly w earplugs in.
       
    18. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      What should one do at the dentist with drilling - wear noise blocking headphones or not?
       
    19. hans799

      hans799 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      Always had it
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Baseline: born with it, Morse code since 01/2017: dentist
      I've read many threads and the consensus seems to be to not wear plugs at the dentist. Dental drilling generates physical vibrations inside your head and the earplug removes an outlet for these, leading to an increase in perceived and actual loudness. You can try this easily - go to dentist, plug ears, unplug ears, you'll see that being plugged is worse in this specific case.

      The recommended practice is to reduce noise by asking the dentist to drill 5 seconds, then stop for 10. You might have to shop around for a sympathetic dentist. I was brushed off by 2 older docs, and the third one, a 30-something doc was the charm, he's superbly understanding. (Also superbly expensive haha.)

      Finally, focus on developing excellent dental hygiene. Brush twice, use mouthwash twice, floss once every single day with quality brushes, paste, mouthwash and floss. The single best thing you can do for dentist noise is to prevent it by preventing cavities. I had to go to the dentist every year like clockwork; this year I picked up these habits and 0 new cavities, plus all gum inflammation is gone, no more bleeding when brushing etc, it's just great.

      (One of my incisors is artificial and I broke a piece off by biting into something hard, that's why I need the aforementioned sympathetic doc - not a cavity.)
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1

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.