Listening to Classical Music with Headphones — Time to Give Up the Habit?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Phinehas, Jan 29, 2021.

    1. Phinehas

      Phinehas Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      late spring/2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced
      Hi!

      I am new here. I do not know how much I will be here. I am a very busy man, having two jobs...
      I think it might be valuable being here, taking part of your knowledge.

      I wanted to read a little about using headphones, and decided not to use my headphones anymore (except for shorter moments), although I had just recently bought a new pair.

      It is not that I listen to loud music. I listen to classical music (for example Bach).
      But as you have discussed - maybe it could be harmful even at low levels.
      I plugged in my small computer speakers, and I can actually feel the vibrations when I touch them, even playing at a very very low level.

      I have had tinnitus since spring 2004. (I am now 36 years of age, so I've had it for half my life.)
      Recently (end of last year) it has gotten worse, and I now use "rain sounds" at night in my bedroom, with the computer speakers at a very low volume. - But it helps me to re-focus.

      This worsening has come after several years of sleep deprivation, although I think the cause has been being around kids at work.
      I now wear earplugs more often (although I have also used ear plugs before).

      I live in Sweden.
      We have snow here - absolutely stunning!

      Greetings from
      Phinehas
       
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    2. Drachen
      Tired

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Välkommen, Phinehas!

      Thank you for taking the time to join the forum and tell us a bit about yourself. I am very sorry to hear that you have not only dealt with this symptom for so long but have recently experienced a spike of some sort.

      When it comes to headphones, there are generally two sides of the debate when it comes to sufferers: some will state that you must never use headphones under any circumstances at any volume because it could cause a worsening. On the other hand, there are those who believe it is fine as long as you maintain normal volume levels; even better, use them at slightly lower volume levels than what those without tinnitus would do.

      There is do definitive way to show that either party is correct. Sadly, as with many things, it comes down to the measured risk you wish to take.

      As someone that hasn't really using headphones consistently since high school, I would suggest you instead invest in a quality pair of speakers to play your classical music. You already use speakers for your rain music, so I would say to try them out there, but I know cheaper PC speakers are generally less than ideal in terms of musical quality.

      Sleep deprivation is of course no good, not for your symptom and not for your general health. I am a bit of a hypocrite when I saw this because I have abused sleep for so long, but I now understand quite intimately its importance. I hope you are sleeping better now. Is it a matter of insomnia or are you just working too late hours? Either way, I suggest you try to rectify this problem as best you can.

      I hope you are able to find substantial enough support and advice here on the forum. Ta hand om dig!
       
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    3. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Hi Phinehas, my advice would be to keep listening to classical music. I think it is beneficial for our ears and brain. If you don't feel comfortable with headphones, buy a nice HI-FI equipment and good speakers and listen to music on speakers.
       
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You have noise induced tinnitus. People that have this type of tinnitus risk making it worse using headphones, earbuds or headset even at low volume. Some people with noise induced tinnitus use headphones and the tinnitus doesn't increase. However, the risk is always there. If the tinnitus does increase it may not reduce to its previous level so the choice is yours. I used to listen to music through headphones 25 years ago and eventually gave me tinnitus, because I wasn't aware I was listening at too high a volume. Since then I haven't used headphones.

      I listen to classical and opera music through speakers and suggest you do the same. You will appreciate all the subtle nuances these genres have to offer, especially when listening to soprano and mezzo soprano that even the best headphones can't recreate - and I've listened to some of the best electrostatics. Invest in a good quality HI-FI system and you'll see what I mean. Please read my post: Does Your HI-FI System Sing, and Will My Tinnitus Get Worse in the links below.

      All the best
      Michael

      Will My Tinnitus Get Worse? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      Does Your Hi-Fi System Sing? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Phinehas

      Phinehas Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      late spring/2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced
      Thank you, Drachen!

      Maybe I can inspire more people to learn the beautiful language of Swedish :)
      My sister, though being married to an English speaking person, has not succeeded, except for a few words.

      I think the advice to buy some decent speakers is what I will do for now.

      The thing is that I was just getting better sleep when this problem arose. I had sleep deprivation due to a situation in the family.

      On the positive side, I have moved to a new place - one of the smaller cities in Sweden - and that has been better for me, compared to living in a big city. I can feel that my stress level has gone down.

      It is not insomnia. I have been waking up a lot during the night, not getting enough deep sleep, and that has had health effects on me.
      My working hours are normal and I go to sleep early. I have never been able to stay up late :)

      Thank, you!
      Hoppas du får en fin kväll!
      Phinehas
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Phinehas

      Phinehas Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      late spring/2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced
      Thank you Juan!

      I take it you also like classical music?

      I think classical music absolutely has a positive effect on the brain. It would be hard to live without it!

      Take care,
      Phinehas
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Phinehas

      Phinehas Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      late spring/2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced
      Thank you Michael! I think I saw some of your posts when I searched the subject.

      I was not aware low volume listening could affect your hearing. But now I have read about it.

      I also had earwax blockage recently. I found out afterwards that tinnitus could get worse after having it removed through use of water flush.
      (Although the tinnitus spiked long before I had the wax removed.)

      It is always hard to find out about information AFTER the damage is done, especially when you are trying really hard to lessen the impact of your tinnitus, as I know many of you are trying to.

      Take care!
      Phinehas
       
    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You are welcome @Phinehas

      Noise induced tinnitus is different from tinnitus caused by an underlying medical condition because the cochlea, in the inner ear, has been directly affected by loud noise. With this type of tinnitus, not only has the cochlea been affected but the auditory pathways or gateways in the brain have been too. They open up and this is another reason a person becomes more sensitive to sound or develops hyperacusis.

      People that have tinnitus caused by an underlying medical problem are not affected in this way and thus, it's one of the reasons many (not all) are able to use headphones.

      I have corresponded and counselled people with noise induced tinnitus, that have returned to using headphones, earbuds, headset and found their tinnitus has increased. This may not happen immediately but over time. When this happens the tinnitus may not return to its previous baseline level, so a person is taking a risk each time they use them. If they are not careful or subject themselves to other forms of loud noise exposure, their tinnitus could become worse and also affect their mental and emotional wellbeing. Noise induced tinnitus and tinnitus caused by an underlying medical condition, are not to be taken lightly, as they can both be very debilitating when severe.

      Take care
      Michael
       
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