Making Several (Hours Long) Phone Calls Made My Hyperacusis Much Worse. Why?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Karel, Jun 28, 2016.

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    1. Karel
      Stressed

      Karel Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      I've had, I'd say, moderate T and H since 2013. In those three years I more or less learned to manage them.

      About 1,5 weeks ago I made a series of very long phonecalls, maybe four or five hours each, one each day for maybe four days in a row. I never really had a problem with making phonecalls before (besides not being able to hear the other person if I'm still talking myself but I don't even really notice such minor things anymore), although normally I don't talk for longer than 1 - 1,5 hours tops, and not daily either.
      My T and H are in my right ear (were caused by acoustic trauma from that direction) so I always hold the phone only at my left ear, and keep the volume down to the lowest level too, and that worked fine.
      However, this time I noticed after those few days that my T and H were getting stronger, more painful. As soon as I realized what was happening I switched to putting the phone in speaker mode (again on the lowest setting and putting it a good distance away from me), but unfortunately it was already too late. My T and H kept increasing, and the last few days my T has been louder than ever, my H much more sensitive, and my ear actually hurts a lot of the time now, something I only had very occasionally before. Today at work I had to make a ten minute phonecall and my ear felt like it was on fire afterwards (even though I kept the horn next to my 'good' ear as always).

      I didn't expect this to happen (obviously) and I still don't understand why it did. How could a phone on low volume next to one ear cause damage to the other ear, even if it was for several hours? Someone told me it's because the ears are 'symmetrical organs', so what happens to one affects the other. But there's no way it could have actually damaged my bad ear further, right?! Then what's going on? Is it the brain being overloaded in some way?

      For me one of the most frustrating things about T and H is that there's still so much about it I don't understand. (And the doctors can't explain to me either for some reason..)

      Anyone else who experienced something like this? Any chance my H and T will drop back to their old levels given some time and rest? If it stays like this it will definitely be harder to manage.. had to take mild painkillers just to sleep the last few nights.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    2. Lorac

      Lorac Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden profound hearing loss in left ear.
      Hi @Karel ,
      I suffered sudden and profound hearing loss in my left ear three years ago. I immediately noticed a painful response to sound in that ear. I thought initially that some part of that ear must still be working because I was responding to sound. Sometime during that first week, I was on the phone with my mother. That is when I realized that sound introduced in my good ear causes noise and pain in my deaf ear! It was an aha moment for me and I started wearing an earplug in my hearing ear almost all of the time. Nowadays, I only use the plug in very loud places and I avoid certain places altogether (no bars with live music). I still don't like phone sound and I avoid long conversations. I also don't listen to anything through headphones.
      Have you had your hearing tested recently? That might be a good place to start.
       
    3. Sebastians

      Sebastians Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13/10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Guitars, loud girls and guns
      As far as my limited knowledge of H goes, i've seen several accounts of people experiencing worsening of their symptoms after prolonged exposure to low level sounds, like airco, hvac, headphones etc.
      So it has rather to do with the length of exposure as opposed to volume in some cases.
      I'm truly sorry your condition got worse, hang in there!
       
    4. Karel
      Stressed

      Karel Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Hm, I see. I didn't realise it worked that way. Wish someone had told me... but doctors here have always been useless with this condition, even the specialist told me little more than "don't worry, you'll get used to it"..
      Still wonder how that works, sound can't really travel from one ear through the head to the other, or can it? Low volume sound I mean here.
      Oh, and when my hearing was last checked three years ago it was excellent for someone my age. As far as I know I have no hearing loss.

      I see. That's... worrying. Lesson learned I guess, might be too late though... again, wish someone had told me this sooner. They should give a pamphlet to anyone diagnosed with T and/or H! And not just the obvious stuff like "avoid excessive noise", point out the pitfalls like this one..

      You wouldn't happen to know if the worsening in condition was temporary or permanent for those people? Well, it probably depends on the person anyway, looking around here it seems there's few rules that apply in 100% of the cases. Guess I'll wait and see... trying pink noise in the meantime, might as well.
       
    5. Sebastians

      Sebastians Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13/10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Guitars, loud girls and guns
      Yeah, it's a lot of trial and error unfortunately, and any mistake is one too many :-(
      I do keep my fingers crossed for you..
      It's kind of my mantra, and purely based on my own experiences, but i believe that a good diet and regular excercise could help in the recovery process. So lots of antioxidants and omega 3 to keep inflammation in the body low as well as nac and magnesium to strengthen your ears.
      Cardio or light to medium gym work for improved circulation and better mood/sleep.
      And wear filtered earplugs in any noise situation, including traffic and public transport for a while
      Just my two cents
       
    6. Karel
      Stressed

      Karel Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Thank you. Yeah.. I know it's important to stay healthy. And keep a positive attitude. I'm trying to do both those things. I'm down but not out!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. Zorro!
      Wtf

      Zorro! Member

      If I'm on the phone for longer than a few minutes my ear starts to hurt. I could never do it for hours at a time. How telemarketers are on the phone all day long is beyond me. That would be pure hell to my ears.
       
    8. Karel
      Stressed

      Karel Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Well as I said, it was fine for me before... but I guess I always stayed below some threshold that I went over now... dammit...
      As for telemarketers, they have healthy ears.. such people live in a different world than us, I sometimes feel. :/
       
    9. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Yes, this is what is should read:

      So you've f#$%ed your ears....Here's what your miserable life will now be like- most likely forever:
      1....doctors can't help you as it has been for this disorder since beginning of time
      2...you can't talk on the phone except on speaker for very short periods
      3...you will have a noise in your ears you will have to live with, that might get worse over time
      4...the noise might be accompanied by sensitivity to sounds maybe forever
      5. forget about concerts, clubs, and parties.
      6. you will spend your life in perpetual worry about your condition
      7. and so on and so forth...
       
    10. Karel
      Stressed

      Karel Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      heh, well, I was thinking more things like:

      1) Even sound that is at a level safe for normal people can make your condition worse!
      2) Some things can make your T temporarily increase but it's quite possible it'll recede back to its old level in time.
      3) If you have damaged one ear, you'll still have to be extra careful with the healthy one too.
      4) Stress can more your condition seem to worsen, try not to panic.
      5) With practice you'll be able to fall asleep again even with the loud sound in your head.
      6) Your ear won't always start hurting if you're in a dangerous situation, sometimes the damage doesn't show itself until hours or even days later. Be ever vigilent!

      At least, those are all things I really wish someone had told me when this mess began, instead of me having to find them out the hard way.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2

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