Muffs and Earplugs Cause Soreness and Irritate My Ear Canals

Discussion in 'Support' started by PeteJ, May 3, 2019.

    1. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      I don't understand what is wrong with my ears. It seems like a unique and non-typical problem.

      I ordered Peltor X4A muffs a while ago and they are too tight for my ears. Left ear gets sore immediately and now the right ear is starting too.

      Then, I have anxiety as I wait for my sore ear(s) to heal. I have also used ear plugs but my right ear would have pain after wearing them for more than 5 - 10 minutes. Twice, the pain was so severe....

      The other issue with ear plugs is that they irritated my ear canals. Is that from using them too often or my ears are ultra sensitive now? Either way, it is very distressing and worrisome. How do I protect myself from loud noises with this condition? I probably over protected in the beginning but now it might be the opposite and it adds to the stress.

      I am wondering if anyone else here has experienced anything remotely similar and if so, what did you do about it? Even if you haven't, do you have any ideas?

      I have suggestions to buy different muffs, ear plugs in the hope they don't aggravate or irritate my ears.

      Others include noise cancelling headphones but maybe that's good for the car. However, I think many people use plugs underneath who do that?

      Silicone plugs have been suggested too. But, the protection is only fair? Should I try some and foam again? Alternate or? I don't even know if silicone will be any better. :(

      I have had a 3 (going on 4) day spike and I am scared if it's from loud noises around here. My sleep has been terrible the last few days, too, and I read that it is often a factor.

      That's yet another issue. When I insinuate to some people I may be a unique case, people get offended or insulted but I can't help it. :( It seems like EVERYONE ELSE here can wear ear plugs and/or muffs without harming or aggravating ear issues.

      I think I have to order something else and hope it works. How can I manage stress, anxiety and depression in this situation?!? :-(
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      Go see a psychiatrist and start therapy....

      People have been saying this to you for a long time, but you refuse to try or listen. We can’t help you unless you take steps to help yourself.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
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    3. Strife_84
      Energetic

      Strife_84 Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Mixing music for long hours and too loud I guess.
      "How can I manage stress, anxiety and depression in this situation?!?"

      Go visit a therapist or psychiatrist. Taking care of your mental health is very important.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      Thanks for the suggestions regarding plugs/muffs/hearing protection, guys! You are so much HELP!
       
    5. Strife_84
      Energetic

      Strife_84 Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Mixing music for long hours and too loud I guess.
      Go see a professional. It's impossible for people here to help you. They can prescribe pain killers etc. For your esr pain. Take your muffs and plugs with you and show them to doctor and ask if the can be the cause of pain.

      I don't understand why you don't help yourself? Week after week you write about same things, refuse to accept our help, and complain no one here listens to you.

      Go see a doctor and TALK about your issues. Ear pain,mental health issues, suicidal thoughts.

      You need help. But we cannot help you, you have to do it yourself.

      We can only tell you what do you, but you have to set wheels in motion.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
      • Winner Winner x 1
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      Please stop replying. I could bring the muffs and plugs and ask and the dr will probably say, 'yep, that could be doing it. Stop wearing it." There's no shortage here of potentially bad advice from doctors and audiologists. Doctors rarely have insight on ear issues let alone complicated ones.

      You can't relate to me yet repeat the same advice each time which I have made it clear is unwelcome. I already have a drs appointment for a psychiatrist referral. I have also seen counselors not too long ago. They didn't solve my ear plug/muff problem. I would like to try and protect myself from loud noise if I want without ears discomfort but I was hoping someone here might offer ideas other than 'see a therapist." I already had that advice.
       
    7. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      When do you see him/her?

      Does this person do CBT?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    8. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      As you wish I will no longer reply to your threads because I have said what you need to do multiple times. I hope you listen because it will help you.
       
    9. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      To be honest, you’ve ignored pretty much all the advice that anyone on here has ever given you so I’m not entirely sure what you want someone to say at this point?

      I get that you are suffering and I really do understand the pain and anguish that it causes, but you have got to want to help yourself. We are powerless to give you the kind of help you need right now over a forum, and that’s exactly what you need: real-life help.

      It’s important that you talk to someone face to face and try to get to the bottom of your problems. I’m hoping you have friends and family that can offer you support as well.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      So people don't believe that the muffs or plugs are causing discomfort?

      That would explain the last few replies. Whatever.
       
    11. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Not at all. I can’t wear muffs for long because they crush my head too much and cause me jaw problems. The same goes for earplugs. If you keep sticking things in your ears your ear canals will eventually become irritated and there’s a higher risk of infection and other problems such as compacted wax. Our ears are not designed to be covered over every hour of the day. Protection should be used in loud environments.

      I’m aware that some have severe hyperacusis and it’s understandable that earplugs become a necessity. However, even in those cases, it’s advisable that one should slowly reintroduce their ears to environmental sounds. Extended overuse can lead to other life-limiting problems that can make matters worse and not better.
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      Such as? That is what I am trying to do. Even with short term use, I get ear discomfort. It doesn't seem normal or usual even by 'tinnitus sufferers standards.'

      Many people say to use hearing protection in loud environments even in the car. But, it aggravates my ears depending on which I use. It is very frustrating.
       
    13. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      I initially overused protection out of fear and it messed me up big-time. It’s a mistake that I really regret to this day. It made me become obsessed with sound beyond all rationality and made me paranoid.

      I see the same traits in you right now. I can’t tell you what to do because it’s ultimately your life, but you need professional help and this is evident from your posts. A forum can’t help you at this point.

      I use earplugs/muffs if I’m using power tools, attending a party of some kind, going to the cinema, etc. Places or instances where my ears will be exposed to damaging volumes.
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      Maybe therapists grow on trees there but they don't here.
       
    15. GSC
      Wishful

      GSC Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma.
      X5A, Pete and try noise canceling. I don't know if you should go the foam route if that's what is hurting your ears, because it can stretch out the ear canal, which could be causing pain? Try silicone or molded.
       
    16. GSC
      Wishful

      GSC Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma.
      Also don't overprotect, and do not sit in silence. Start off slow and gradually introduce your ears to noises it can tolerate, then so on and so forth. Look into getting a sleep mouth guard, a new one. Or a splint. Better to fix jaw problems now instead of later.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    17. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      I would recommend an ear exam by a doctor to make sure this is not otitis externa as the source of at least some of this pain. Putting earplugs into that is quite hazardous and will make it worse.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    18. Jiri
      No Mood

      Jiri Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise + injury
      @PeteJ If you're going to read all that nonsense around here regarding (over/under)protection no wonder you get anxious af. Been there.
      Yes. I wore them for about a year and they are very tight. They would cut into my skin. Jaw Hurts When I Wear Earmuffs — Help?
      This is how I go about hearing protection these days. I got a pair of musician earplugs from the Dynamic Ear Company and I carry a pair of Peltor Bullseye I earmuffs folded in my bag in case an ambulance or smth else loud is approaching

      As for the ear canal irritation, you could try a soothing balm with Aloe Vera from Crescendo.
      I don't think you are 'underprotecting' your hearing. 3M JobHealth Highlights - Tinnitus and Hearing Protection: Fiction and Fact; is a pretty good document. See section: 'More is better?' Find the .pdf attached to this post.
      Yes, it can. Stop wearing those tight earmuffs. I used to massage the TMJ area with a joint care herb balm.
       

      Attached Files:

      Last edited: May 3, 2019
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    19. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      I ended up with a transient period of hyperacusis from underprotection when a semi truck blasted the horn in the parking lot. After I got more aggressive with the protection my H mostly resolved.

      I only have one pair of ear muffs, and they are a lightweight plastic pair. They dont cut into the skin or squeeze overly hard. I would try a low profile pair as while not the most protective, they are easier to live with.
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      Which one did you get?

      I have a headache and it's hard to digest everything here but the last few replies are what I was looking for and are very appreciated. I think I need to try new hearing protection or find out why they bother my ears so much. It sounds like the muffs are just really tight for some people.

      Jiri:
      How do you get the balm into your ears with sufficient care and caution?

      Btw, to the 'therapy pushers', in Canada, it is not covered unless it is part of employer's benefits. The referral will probably be a year long wait and the only 'public sector/free' therapy is provided by mostly students and I have gone twice before. At least, I was getting 5 or 6 hrs of sleep back then.
       
    21. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      1) Saying “therapy pushers” seems aggressive and suggesting that it is ineffective. It is actually the only effective treatment to cope with tinnitus because....... IT IS THE ONLY TREATMENT. The only treatment to have statistically shown to help people cope and deal with it that is.

      2) Seeing that you are suicidal I think it would be worth spending your own money to see a doctor or telling your GP your suicidal and I am sure they will get you in to see a psychiatrist sooner than later.

      3) Therapy isn’t a “went twice and now I’m cured” type of deal. Therapy is an ongoing process that takes months if not years to get the full benefit from.
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      1) Do you think it is effective for everyone? What do you say to others here who really tried it and say it didn't help them?

      Why don't you acknowledge my ear issues? Don't you think it might be a factor in my mental anguish I am feeling?

      2) Maybe.

      3) Everyone in therapy who says it helps are 'functioning'.' They can wear ear plugs when they want, and/or don't have severe ear pain or hyperacusis and most of them have mild t or maybe moderate tinnitus.

      I am not able to do all of that.
       
    23. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      CBT is the most effective treatment for tinnitus. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it does help a lot of people. Don’t assume you are the exception to the rule, assume you are within the rule.

      If you are having issue with your ear canal, you need to see an ENT because there might be irritation or something going on. Do you constantly clean your ears? That can do it.

      Did we establish a little while ago that your tinnitus is moderate at the most and not severe? You said you can hear it over a radio on low. That means that it is no way severe and more moderate.

      I would say 95% of people with moderate tinnitus can cope and deal with it and function in life.
       
    24. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      It's severe! I am in the 5% :(

      This spike and high piercing tinnitus makes me want to escape. I hate this. :(

      I will want to sleep soon and it's again hell trying to sleep. I wish it wasn't severe tinnitus so why are people suggesting it's not? :(

      My right ear had pain today. From noise? I dunno.

      People are suggesting muffs from Europe or plugs I am not familiar with or muffs from the USA and I am so frustrated because I can't concentrate when the tinnitus is like this. :( How is this not accepted as a disability?!?!? :(
       
    26. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      @PeteJ unfortunately I don’t have any answers for you.

      I still suggest you seeing a psychiatrist asap.
       
    27. Mister Muso
      No Mood

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I've had this problem too. Since getting a spike in tinnitus and hyperacusis 6 weeks ago I've been using musician's earplugs (ER20s) but they can be irritating after a while. I've read that swimmer's earplugs can be more comfortable, so I'm going to give them a try. Foam plugs are the most comfortable except I don't think they should be worn during the daytime for long periods, you can't talk to people with them in, and taking them out too quickly can be dangerous.

      Also I've tried cleaning my ER20s in a denture bath with Steradent (one of my other burdens to deal with) and that makes them softer and more pliable, and obviously more hygienic too. Just left them for an hour in warm water and that did the trick.
       
    28. Taw

      Taw Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      pain H since march 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (drum lessons)
      Hi @PeteJ, sorry for re-opening this old thread, but did you find any solution? I have the exact problem with earplugs/earmuffs, I cannot wear any of them for more than 1 hour. I bought some custom silicon ones but they also irritate my ears.
       
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