Listen to Your Ears — Maybe I Could Have Avoided Tinnitus and Some Level of Sound Sensitivity

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by olu, Apr 28, 2022.

    1. olu

      olu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Hi,

      I've been a long time lurker and decided I would like to be a part of it...

      First of all, thank you Tinnitus Talk community for all your advice and stories that has helped me through this unbelievable condition. I decided to say hi because I always find it very helpful when someone shares the story which is similar to mine - and maybe this time someone can find my story somehow useful.

      I have tinnitus and some sort of sound sensitivity from a party that includes everything that I now know is almost every possible cause of tinnitus. But I believe my journey with hearing disorders starts earlier.

      First of all, almost 2 years ago I was a person that had no serious health issues and had never heard about tinnitus and hyperacusis. But despite this I remember that I started to find loud noises as unpleasant. Like - for no reason. All I can remember is that sounds like coffee grinder, blender, live music, loud music in car etc. started giving me nothing more than a feeling of discomfort (no pain in the ears) - that was just a FEELING. Strange - I thought. But I kept living like this since as I mentioned - I have never heard about something like hyperacusis and also no one except me has issues like that with ears. So I thought that I'm a strange person or maybe this is anxiety that I have had a problem with for years and I should be normal like everybody and was trying to ignore that feeling.

      To be honest I have never really liked loud sounds, so I wasn't a concert going person, never listened to loud music in headphones or in car - I kept the volume low or moderate level. I'm a bit neurotic and have eye migraines. But of course when I was younger I went to a couple of concerts, I was going to night clubs and parties like other teenagers. But I never noticed any problems after that. For more than 7 years I wasn't so much a party person anymore, just house parties, outdoor bars etc, 2-3 times per month. Mainly I was working. This feeling that I mentioned started somehow 2 years ago, let's say "out of the blue".

      Fast forward to July 2021 - I was at an award-winning party that included outdoor concert, silent disco and bar at the same time. First I decided I would not go to the concert part because I do not like when it's loud and I was concerned about possibly having this "FEELING" once again, which scares me a little bit. I kept drinking beer outside, but anyway they asked me to go on the stage to get the award... It was loud, but somehow bearable. When I got to the stage, a second half of the final song for this concert was playing and I thought that everybody is on the stage so it should be okay; once again I thought that I should ignore this feeling and try to be like "a normal person". Shortly after my ears felt weird - the best description is "I could feel them", maybe a bit muffled. I kept asking people do you "feel that" but they said "no" or "yes but I do not care" - so I decided once again that probably I might care too much. I was on the silent disco for like 1 hour and later I went to the bar.

      Next day I woke up and I started to check if everything is okay with my ears. I didn't hear any ringing or anything else but I felt like someone hit me hard in my head. I felt weird. 2 days later I woke up and heard the tinnitus for the first time. It was very silent so I wasn't even sure if I heard it or not. Also none of my friends or family members had ever heard about tinnitus and they also thought I maybe care too much and probably it's stress related or I'm tired.

      But then it kept getting more audible and 2 weeks later I finally got to an ENT - the tests showed classic stuff - no hearing loss, perfect hearing and they gave me steroids. They helped a little bit but probably gave me some level of sound sensitivity.

      And that's it.

      Anyway, the reason why I made this post is to tell you to always listen to yourself. If I knew that I was not crazy, what I've got is a real medical condition - I would never have gone to any concert or any loud place and I would have taken care of my ears properly, which could maybe have prevented me from getting tinnitus.

      How do I deal now? I would describe my tinnitus as easily maskable - when I'm focusing on something it goes to the background. I usually can hear it in quiet room. It's not reactive, however, it sometimes spikes when any sudden loud noise occurs or after a loud event (like meeting with 8 people in the same room). I still do not know how it works. Surprisingly I can sleep with my tinnitus. I do not know if it's better or not, what changed is I just learned how to live with it a bit. I'm not overprotecting, I use earmuffs only when needed - when I feel I need them - usually in a loud tram, near construction workers, loud music in the stores, when it's more than 75- 80 dB. I'm not going to loud places but I want to go to the theatre or cinema in the future with earplugs. I'm trying to listen to myself. Of course I wish it never happened but at least I have stopped blaming myself.

      I still have hope, bad and good days, fear of noise of all kind, grief, anger and moments of relief and happiness. But this is truly life-changing event. My biggest wish is not to let this thing change me.

      I will stay here for a while and post some updates.
       
      • Hug Hug x 4
    2. Monkee Man

      Monkee Man Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure/Acoustic Trauma
      Hi Olu, welcome to the forums. How is your sound sensitivity these days? Do you experience any actual pain from loud noises? Pretty interesting how you never really abused your ears much through loud concerts and headphones but still ended up with some tinnitus and sensitivity.

      I can relate to the theme of this thread, as I recall feeling some very slight symptoms in the months leading up to my tinnitus onset late last year. All I ever felt before the acoustic trauma that set off the tinnitus (and hyperacusis a few weeks later) was a slight, brief tickling sensation in my inner ear when listening to headphones once in a while. I never thought much of it, and would usually just turn the volume down or take the headphones off for the day, attributing it to the volume being a bit too loud or just plain old ear fatigue. Looking back, I really wish I had been more freaked out by this feeling and booked an audiologist appointment back then, as it very well could’ve saved me from this whole mess and made me take hearing protection more seriously before it was too late. But alas, the past is the past.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      olu

      olu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Hi,

      I guess we are in similar age, I'm almost 30. My initial hyperacusis wasn't severe but however all sounds of the cutlery and other everyday noises seems to have "touched" my ears. But as I remember it slowly decreased over time, after first 6 months without any other small noise traumas. However my hyperacusis baseline now is around 70/80/85 dB of continuous sound exposure - depends what type of noise it is. To me - the most dangerous sound is sudden and high-pitched noises.

      My way of dealing with hyperacusis is to "rehabilitate" my ears which means - I give them time to rest but at the same time I use them in normal sound environment. I'm trying not to over protect them and not to just sit in silence. Of course as everything connected to tinnitus is easier said than done.

      I also find it strange as I never like it loud. But I guess I just have some sort of predisposition to have this condition - having some problems with jaws, teeth and spine (and still not I'm not even 30 ;)) . For example my mother used to listen to music on headphones so loud that I could hear it in other room but - she has neither tinnitus nor hyperacusis. The same with people on this award-winning party - none of them I know has tinnitus or hyperacusis or even pain in the ears after that.

      How are you dealing with tinnitus and hyperacusis these days? Especially with parties and other types of entertainment?
       
    4. Monkee Man

      Monkee Man Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure/Acoustic Trauma
      I’d say I am definitely in a better place emotionally than I was a few months ago, mostly due to the shock of the situation fading into acceptance as time moves on.

      Day-to-day life has become somewhat easier as I am learning what triggers setbacks and which situations call for using hearing protection.

      The hyperacusis and sound distortions tend to level out as long as I avoid setbacks to the best of my ability.

      Unfortunately I’ve had to basically give up concerts/live music as well as performing in bands, both of which were a huge part of my life and a “happy place” for me for the better part of 15 years.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      olu

      olu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Sorry to hear that. I'm working in the film industry and not really able to go to the cinema or film festivals so I can relate to you somehow.
       
Loading...

Share This Page