Musician with Noise-Induced Tinnitus (5 Years Now, Recently Got Worse)

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Dhaych, Jan 21, 2020.

    1. Dhaych

      Dhaych Member

      Location:
      Cork, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced - musician
      Hi everyone, just joined Tinnitus Talk this morning... and so glad I'm not alone with this. I'm from Ireland, work by day, musician at weekends. I've been in bands since my early teens, guitar player... never wore ear protection (if I could go back in time I'd kick my ass). Developed the hissing/whine in my head around 5 years ago & started wearing ear protection straight away.

      Gigs have been manageable, with no significant increase with tinnitus. Only last Saturday, I developed a significant spike in my left ear, really loud... I can hear it above talking... then this morning I developed a spike in my right ear. How long can these spikes last or is it permanent??

      I visited my doctor yesterday and he has referred me to ENT, my first time. I should note I also have a fullness feeling in my head a lot of the time, along with neck pain (linked??). I cancelled a rehearsal tonight, but I have a gig this Friday & worried it's going to make things worse. But more worrisome is the possibility that I won't be able to play live music anymore.

      Is there any musicians here with similar scenario? How bad does tinnitus get? It's pretty unbearable at the moment.
       
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    2. Bartoli

      Bartoli Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009,worsened 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      There's no upper limit to tinnitus, but with every increase comes a period of getting used to it. What you describe as unbearable today may feel better in a year. You'll find musicians and ex-musicians on here. Only you can answer the question whether another increase would be manageable or not. Some people take that risk, do their best to minimise the possibility of it getting worse and keep on playing. Others quit entirely. Tinnitus comes in different forms and no two people are the same when it comes to tolerance.

      Spikes like yours can happen for no reason, or can be attributed to an event or lifestyle. They can be temporary or permanent. The only thing you can do is try to stay calm, and think about possible causes for the increase. Think about rehearsals, gigs, your current protection and whether this protection works well enough for you. The ENT is a good place to start for a hearing exam. You can ask for extended audiometry up to 16kHz.
      All the best!
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Dhaych

      Dhaych Member

      Location:
      Cork, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced - musician
      Thanks for that....as you say, I'm hoping it's temporary otherwise I just have to get used to this spike. I don't know what I'd do if I had to stop playing live.
       
    4. MRItechssuck
      Disappointed

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Mild 2000-2018 sev 10/17/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      If you continue playing you should throw your crap stage monitors and earplugs into the trash and get a professional in-ear system... IMO.
       
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    5. RishRamsey
      Doubtful

      RishRamsey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stupid DJ
      Before the spike, how loud would you say your tinnitus was? Did you also have other symptoms, like sensitivity to sounds etc.?
       
    6. Bartoli

      Bartoli Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009,worsened 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Bad things can still happen with IEM's depending on the mixing guy. Look up Al DiMeola or Paul Gilbert. They've found a way to continue playing with tinnitus. It involves ear plugs or muffs and plexiglass panels. There are other musicians with tinnitus that do use IEM's. But they are not superior.
       
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    7. MRItechssuck
      Disappointed

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Mild 2000-2018 sev 10/17/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      Mixing guy? Never leave it to someone else. Get QUALITY IEMs, not el cheapos. I had my own mixer with a brick wall limiter built in. I posted a video in one of the threads where the inventor of IEMs has improved and made his design safer. The body pack electronics should not be underestimated and NEVER simply take a FOH mix.

      Plexiglass panels is simply creating an isolation booth... not a bad thing... but also not realistic for anyone but Al or Paul Gilbert, or a drummer that sits there. Let’s talk in reality here... something mobile will most likely be required.

      Walking in the venue I had earplugs. I walked away from the stage I to a quiet area free of mishaps (falling cymbals, mic checks... guitarists wanking off... Put my molded IEMs in.. good to go.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Dhaych

      Dhaych Member

      Location:
      Cork, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced - musician
      Hard to say how loud, between 1 & 10 I would have given it a 4...now it's around 7. I wouldn't have been too sensitive to sounds besides being out in the pub maybe & my drummers snare drum!! I think for now, moulded ear plugs are the way to go for me. With IEMs I've heard mixed reviews...but have only heard good things about the moulded ear plugs with filters from people I know. I don't use monitors most of the time...most of the clubs/venus I play in are too cheap to have them haha
       
    9. Fifth Business

      Fifth Business Member Podcast Patron

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Deafening applause (ppl clap loudly after reading my posts)
      If you have underlying ergonomic/pain issues with your neck, trapezius, jaw ect it's not a bad idea to use this as an excuse to focus on correcting them imo. Worst case scenario you'll address at least one chronic issue, but could possibly also help your tinnitus.

      Might be of interest:
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-the-body-take-the-survey.38693/
       
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    10. Bobby Sinatra

      Bobby Sinatra Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ambien Windrawal Suspected
      Hey you're in Ireland. The home of Lenire. Check them out
       
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    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Dhaych

      Dhaych Member

      Location:
      Cork, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced - musician
      My left ear has spiked since Saturday, very loud... but it has developed this feedback whistling sound whenever someone speaks for every word... and I can really hear it when I whistle, like this high pitched feedback tone. Anybody else get this? hoping that this spike isn't permanent either :grumpy:
       
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    12. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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

      I am sorry to hear about the recent spike/increase in your tinnitus and hope it calms down for you. There is usually one reason that causes this type of tinnitus (noise induced tinnitus ) to get worse, that is exposure or continuous exposure to loud sounds. If you want to give yourself the best chance possible of it reducing and not getting worse. I advise you to stop playing music in your band. I know this might be difficult for you to accept but the simple and sobering truth is this: Loud sounds particularly loud music, and tinnitus do not go well together.

      If you continue then you risk the tinnitus getting worse and it will eventually stop you from playing as you will not be able cope with the distress. Even if you wear earplugs they wont be of my help. If sound is loud enough it will pass through your head and be transferred to your inner ear by bone conduction. This can spike the tinnitus or increase it to a new permanent level. Unfortunately, if this should happen then the tinnitus might not reduce even though you have stopped playing in your band.

      Hope you start of feel better soon.
      Michael

      PS: If you listen to music through headphone then I advise you not to even at low volume.
       
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    13. El BUZZ
      Buzzed

      El BUZZ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music consumption plus acoustic trauma.
      Hi @Dhaych!

      I am with @Michael Leigh here. You should consider quit playing quite seriously while everything settles down. I know that is bad news. Been there myself and had to rebuilt from zero my whole relationship with music. But trust me about tinnitus being able to take you to some seriously dark places if you give it a chance.
      You should also check out Lenire. A device intended to soothen our tinnitus and which is being dispatched in Dublin.

      Hope everything goes fine!
       
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    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Dhaych

      Dhaych Member

      Location:
      Cork, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced - musician
      I don't think I can stop playing music :bawling:. Playing music is everything to me, without it I imagine all I have to focus on is tinnitus... and it could make it even worse. My custom moulded ear plugs with -30 dB reduction filters are due back to me next week. I'm going to play a gig with them on the 8th Feb, before that we're recording our second E.P. on next week, I'll be using plugs then and the headphones will be way down with me in a separate room. After the gig, if the tinnitus gets worse, then I will have to consider having a break from the band. As much as it will kill me.
       
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    15. Mister Muso
      Scurvy

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I'm on a break from my bands since May when a band practice made my moderate tinnitus turn severe. It's gut-wrenching whenever I have to turn down another invitation, but I've decided to give it 12 months. I played a public piano at a railway station recently with no ill effects, wearing earplugs, which was enough to give me hope that one day I may be able to play live again.

      It's just a hobby for me, so I can only imagine how much worse it must be for a professional musician who makes their living out of it.
       
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    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Dhaych

      Dhaych Member

      Location:
      Cork, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced - musician
      Sorry to hear that... out of interest, were you wearing ear plugs at that practice? And if so... what type?
       
    17. Bill Arsenault

      Bill Arsenault Member

      Location:
      Boston.
      Tinnitus Since:
      Permanent and severe since 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Black Sabbath.

      There’s no upper limit to tinnitus!?!?!!!

      Man- I’m having trouble breathing just thinking about that.
       
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    18. Mister Muso
      Scurvy

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I had a noise cancelling headphones, plus foam plug in my bad ear, and no plug in my good ear.

      Yes I know...

      I later found out that n/c headphones most likely made the feedback blast worse, which resulted in immediate temporary deafness and a burning sensation, and permanent tonal tinnitus in my formerly good ear.

      See, that's why we need information from forums like this one, to tell us the limitations of n/c headphones, and when we need ear defenders instead. And to know that I could have gone to a hospital for emergency treatment.

      The other lesson is that anyone with any tinnitus should always be careful with the hearing they have left.

      Six months down the line, I don't know if that incident has had a major impact on my orchestra of symptoms and the damage already done previously; but it still serves as a cautionary tale.
       
    19. Tweedleman
      Depressed

      Tweedleman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Noise
      Ya I had no idea either before I stupidly went to 3 LOUD metal gigs in small venues, the last one taking a chunk of hearing and dialing up the T a few notches. There seriously isn't enough awareness.
       
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