Listening to Music Is My Dying Passion: Do I Risk Making My Mild Tinnitus Worse?

Discussion in 'Support' started by corza000, Nov 14, 2020.

?

In my situation, would you keep listening to music?

  1. Yes

  2. Maybe

  3. No

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    1. corza000

      corza000 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I already know the answer to this one but I’ll put it out there.

      I love music. It probably got me to where I am now with noise-induced hearing loss. I spent my adolescence and 20s listening to very loud music. Now in my 30s and aware of the damage done I am far more cautious. I have mild tinnitus. I can mainly hear it in the morning upon waking and when in a quiet room. Since developing it I have continued listening to music under 80 dB with headphones and cut out any exposure to other loud noises. Seems silly to continue to listen to music but in a life filled with anxiety - listening to music is my zen. It brings a smile to my face looking forward to listening to new music I have discovered.

      Now better judgment and reading horror stories online has me reassessing what I do. Part of me wants to continue and put in safe guards such as Nicotinamide Riboside and NAC prior to listening to music (yes that’s how much I love music) and the other side says I need to put down the headphones.

      In some ways I’m more anxious about not listening to music than I am about tinnitus. But I know that tinnitus can be MUCH much worse.

      Thoughts?
       
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    2. GBB

      GBB Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction / Additional Acoustic Trauma in Close Proximity
      I've heard no headphones and 60% device volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time as rules. YMMV.
       
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    3. Matchbox

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      Find another way. Use HQ speakers. Give up earphones. Hard limit yourself to 40 dB or 50 dB. Use the minimum. Don't give into turning it up to embrace the music so to speak. Give yourself breaks between songs. I understand your urge to live and I was the same way but music made mine considerably worse. You can't imagine how bad it can be. Silence is deafening and so loud it can shake me. Not only tones. Chirps. Crickets. Love the sound of rain? You could lose that with beeps overtop.

      Sleep is a joke.

      My situation is a little different but the catalyst was the same as what you're trying to do. I couldn't work out without it.

      Seriously you do NOT want this getting worse... the fact you have it means you're on the knife's edge.
       
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    4. vttbx

      vttbx Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2001
      It depends on the severity of your hearing loss. My 20 years of tinnitus never stopped me from listening to music. But, what did stop me was the worsening of my hearing loss. The reason being is that I would always listen to music in a technical way. With my high-frequency hearing loss, music doesn't sound the same anymore. It becomes too depressing to subject myself to listening again. And I have the same deep love for music as you do. If I only had tinnitus and normal hearing, life would be perfect. If you listen at a low to moderate level, you should be fine.
       
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    5. Michael B
      No Mood

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      '11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      My tinnitus came from years of listening to music through earbuds while running. Been running all my life. I've had tinnitus (severe) for ten years now and it's been a game changer. I go to sleep with it, wake up to it, even have trouble watching TV at times because of it. Not looking for sympathy but to say you don't want your tinnitus to get worse. At any price. I no longer use headphones, never will, but do continue to listen to music everyday through speakers.
       
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    6. Steph1710
      Old hag

      Steph1710 Member Ambassador

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antibiotics - I think
      Since developing tinnitus back in April 2020, I haven't used headphones to listen to music.

      Instead I listen to it either through my car speakers (I wear musicians earplugs when driving) and also through a good quality Bose speaker when I'm at home or working outside.

      It was a huge adjustment to stop using headphones - I used to live in them, but nothing could stop me from listening to music, even after developing tinnitus.

      Headphones/earbuds are a gamble really. I personally wouldn't touch them again, unless we find a cure for tinnitus, then I'd be on them straight away haha.

      I wouldn't run the risk of further damage to your ears. Like I said, it's a huge adjustment to put down the headphones and start listening to music on just speakers instead, but you will become used to it.

      Hope that helps

      Steph :)
       
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    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I enjoy music as much perhaps more than you as I'm an Audiophile. Twenty four years ago I developed tinnitus listening to music through headphones at too high a volume without realizing it, and never used them since. I still enjoy listening to music but it's through speakers and have a modest and well setup HI-FI system. Please click on the link below. You can still enjoy music listening through speakers and not use headphones or earbuds even at low volume.

      You are fortunate your tinnitus is mild at the moment but this can change so fast you wouldn't believe, as there's no certainty what will happen with noise induced tinnitus and headphones/earbuds use, as you risk making it considerably worse and your whole life a misery. Think about what you're doing and ask yourself, is it worth playing Russian roulette with my mental and emotional wellbeing. If you have been through what I and many people have with noise induced tinnitus, then you'd stop using headphones/earbuds because they are dangerous.

      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/does-your-hi-fi-system-sing.43121/
       
    8. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      If you are willing to "serve the time" (possibly a lifetime of debilitating tinnitus), then by all means "do the crime"!
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      corza000

      corza000 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Thanks for the reply Michael. I know you are right.

      Would 80 dB at 45 minutes on noise cancelling headphones be a risk? With protection such as Nicotinamide Riboside and/or NAC? I can see it’s a risk that most wouldn’t take on this forum.
       
    10. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      No form of headphones/earbuds are safe including noise cancelling ones, even if you use the best hearing protection in the world with them. You are taking a risk and if your tinnitus gets worse then you will learn, by that time it'll be too late. Be smart and forget headphones and listen through speakers at not too high a volume.

      You have been warned!

      Take care
      Michael
       
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    11. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Nobody is able to decide that for you. For a healthy ear, 80 dB is okay for some time (it is pretty loud though) but for us, with compromised auditory system, this might not be the case. It's really up to you what level of risk are you willing to take.

      I would not risk it. I don't know whether you have always had mild tinnitus. Mine is mild-moderate now, but very reactive, but used to be much, much louder, much less stable, much more metallic. I'm always going to be very cautious and do everything I could to avoid severe tinnitus, because that's unbelieveably horrible. Hurts me that I need to give up listening to music on headphones and earbuds, but worsening is my biggest nightmare.

      NAC and supplements are not surefire ways to avoid worsening, I don't think it's enough protection. You decide. Problem is that you only will know in hindsight.
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      corza000

      corza000 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Thanks guys. I’m retiring the headphones. I’ll look into a speaker setup that is safe and only use when I’m working out. I think that I will naturally listen to music less but that is OK.

      It is going to be hard having a headphone gym session being what I look forward to most but I know I’ll be thankful looking back at making the decision based off the wisdom of you all.
       
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    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      corza000

      corza000 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Another question. I saw musician ear plugs raised in here. Is this a worthy added protection when listening to speakers instead of headphones? Can you still hear the music OK? What does it sound like? Thanks.
       
    14. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @corza000

      You have said that your tinnitus is mild? If this is correct there is no need to wear hearing protection when listening to music through speakers. In-fact, I do not advise it because you wont hear music at its best since, you've said your passionate about it. If you believe musician earplugs will enable you to to listen to loud music through speakers and you'll be safe from harm, then you are sadly mistaken. If the sound is loud enough it will pass through your head/skull and be transferred to your inner ear by bone conduction - no level of hearing protection can stop this and therefore, it's possible to cause irritation and spike the tinnitus. If you are fortunate the tinnitus will return to baseline. However, the spike maybe more severe and increase it to a new permanent level. This has happened to me and others in this forum.

      You have noise induced tinnitus and fortunately it is mild at the moment. If you want it to stay this way and it can, then listen to music at a sensible level and don't rely on sound level meters, as they can give a false level of security. Some people with noise induced tinnitus, believe providing sound levels are kept below 80 or 70db they are safe but this is not necessarily the case. They are forgetting sound is energy and reflective. It will bounce of walls, ceiling and the floor. These soundwaves will picked up by the human body. If you are in a small room or a car and listening to music, the sound is not so easily dispersed over a wide area and it's possible to cause irritation to the inner ear for the reasons I've mentioned above.

      Play your music at a sensible level and you'll have no problems. Since you are passionate about music, invest in a good audio system and set it up as described in my post (in the above link) and you'll appreciate how wonderful music can sound without the need to be blasting it at high levels.

      Another thing: Be careful of gym workouts especially aerobic exercises and lifting weights. Some aerobics particularly running on a treadmill or on hard ground can irritate the inner ear/cochlea. Some people (not all) with noise induced tinnitus, find impact underfoot travels up through the feet, legs into the body and up into the head and causes problems spiking the tinnitus. I repeat this happens to some people with noise induced tinnitus while others are not affected. The sound of weights dropping on the floor in a gym environment or at home can also cause irritation by bone conduction.

      Providing you don't use headphones, listen to music through speakers at a sensible level and don't subject your auditory system to persistent noises of the type I've described then you should be okay.

      Michael
       
    15. lightning
      Amused

      lightning Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Severe tinnitus since Dec 30 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise exposure
      Stop using the headphones. I think many people don't realize just how loud they are, since they may be competing with external sounds. There's also the risk that the volume is accidentally adjusted too high and you blast your ears with them. Enjoy your music via speakers. I'd also get an apple watch to monitor the sound pressure level (db), not just for when you're listening to music though. It'll notify you whenever the environment you're in is too loud.
       

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