My Dream Is to Get a Motorcycle License — Can Driving a Motorcycle Make Tinnitus Worse?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Lynny, May 18, 2022.

    1. Lynny

      Lynny Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, possibly stress
      Hi everyone,

      I’d really like to ask someone with some motorcycle-experience some (possibly dumb) questions about motorcycles / tinnitus (or hearing loss in general).

      It’s been my dream for years to get my license, and I’ve been saving up since I was about 15 years old. Unfortunately at 19 I got hit with tinnitus, and since then I didn’t dare consider it.

      I am now 22 years old and finally feeling like things are starting to go okay in my life (relatively!). I’ve been noticing bikes everywhere I go and although I’ve tried to forget about it, I can’t stop thinking about it.

      I don’t know a lot about how risky it is exactly for hearing loss, or whether it’s a crazy idea that I should forget about definitively.

      Thank you kindly, I appreciate it a lot!
       
    2. Rockman

      Rockman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      MN
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise, allergy
      I think the biggest thing would be wind noise. Hopefully there's someone on here with more knowledge of riding.
       
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    3. Marshall

      Marshall Member

      Location:
      ND
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure/virus/noise trauma/cumulative noise damage
      Motorcycles are loud. Make sure you’re wearing earplugs and obviously a helmet.
       
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    4. 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
      I know there are some members here who still ride so hopefully they can weigh in. There is also some good threads here about head protection if you can search for them.
       
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    5. MCB
      Sunshine

      MCB Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      You want to wear a full helmet with a wind skirt. One of the best helmets out there and one of the best in reducing noise and wind is Shoei. They're expensive but worth it IMHO.
       
    6. arctic_penguin

      arctic_penguin Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      It can get worse, so I would say don't do it.

      Maybe find something else you are passionate about.
       
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    7. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member

      Location:
      Russia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I would personally avoid it.
       
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    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Before buying a motorcycle I suggest hiring one for a two or three weeks to see how you get on, because there's no way of knowing how your tinnitus will react. A motorcycle is loud and I agree with others on this thread, to wear good hearing protection and helmet.

      Tinnitus can also be affected by low frequency vibrations through the body, which could be a factor with a motorcycle.

      Best of luck,
      Michael
       
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    9. Nemoriri
      Sunshine

      Nemoriri Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      It would be rather impossible to say with certainty how your tinnitus would react since everyone’s so different. But I agree with Michael about renting one first to try it out a bit lightly, short rides to see how you react. And absolutely wear suitable earplugs and a good helmet! I’ve also noticed not all motorcycles are as loud, perhaps you can find one that isn’t as loud. A shame there aren’t electric motorcycles (that I know of at least), that would be a quiet ride. Good luck with your dream :)
       
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    10. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      I had four motorcycles over the years and travelled both for commuting and for tourism across many countries. As I got tinnitus I kept going for one year but I got worse and worse. Even with a full helmet and plugs, the engine vibrations and the wind can be problematic.

      But it really depends on your type of tinnitus. If it's stable and going on the bus or the tube/metro doesn't worsen it, then you might be ok. Here Michael's idea above is good: you could rent a motorcycle and try it for a few days to see what happens. That's what I'd do.

      Touring the Alps in Switzerland and the sea in Croatia, Sardinia and Sicily by motorcycle was among the best experiences of my past life. I really hope it works for you.
       
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