My Tinnitus Spiked After a 2-Hour Road Trip in an Electric Car

Discussion in 'Support' started by Samy, Mar 19, 2022.

    1. Samy

      Samy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hello! I’m new here and to tinnitus, unfortunately. I have had noise-induced tinnitus and mild hyperacusis for about 2 months now (no hearing loss).

      Yesterday, my husband and I decided to go on a little road trip to distract ourselves from our problems. Wrong move. My tinnitus spiked during the night... the high pitched tone became almost a siren. I was not expecting this at all, because we were on a electric car and it made 60 dB-68 dB maximum (but I heard the wind noises, even with the windows closed).

      Now I’m very afraid because we need to travel again to come back. Now it seems a bit calmer, but has still not came back to baseline. This is my second spike since the onset (the first was after taking Nootropil).

      Do you think I need to use earplugs on the journey back home? Any advice?
       
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    2. makeyourownluck

      makeyourownluck Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      If in doubt, use earplugs. I always wear them in the car.
       
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    3. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      Hi @Samy,
      Sorry to hear about your spike.
      When I first got tinnitus, similarly to you, I had mild (loudness) hyperacusis and for me, car rides and showers were the only things that always spiked my tinnitus. Having read this forum, it seems that it is the hyperacusis that makes the tinnitus spike. Many see improvements in their hyperacusis, so things can get a lot better.
      Any spikes I had from car rides would go back to baseline, but it could take 1-2 days. Granted, I only drove for 30 minutes at a time, so a 2 hour ride could probably cause a longer spike. I wouldn't worry about it being permanent, just give it more time.
      Yes. I'd recommend to use ear plugs at this time, and for some time in the future. Just don't protect against the sounds/environments that doesn't cause discomfort or spikes. If you maintain that balance, you'll likely improve.

      Wish you well,
      Stacken
       
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    4. nogg
      Angry

      nogg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1984
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Computer noise
      Yes. Use earplugs. Most noise while traveling at highway speeds in a car is from general road noise: wind, tires, general rumble. And, it gets quite loud. Find some earplugs that work well and are comfortable. There are some earplugs that come in smaller sizes to fit smaller ear canals. Finding earplugs that are comfortable and work well is typically a matter of trial and error. Use them when in the car whenever it seems a bit loud and certainly on trips.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Samy

      Samy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      @Stacken77, thank you for the advice! I decided to go on the roadtrip without earplugs because I already did some other car rides before (1 hour to go to someplace and 1 hour to come back in the same day) without the earplugs and didn’t have any problems :/

      The worst part in all of this is because I was feeling that my tinnitus was getting better before this incident. Now it’s been 2 days and didn’t return to baseline. My other spike due to Nootropil lasted 1 week. I hope this one goes away too...
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Samy

      Samy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      @nogg, thank you. Already bought some foam earplugs (30 dB). Hope they protect well, because I’m very anxious now about coming back home.
       
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    7. slc

      slc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      When I first developed tinnitus about 8 years ago, I had severe hyperacusis as well. The tinnitus was at a catastrophic level. I went from 155 to about 135 pounds because I could not eat or sleep. When things slowly started improving, I found that if an electric car drove by me something about the pitch or sound quality exacerbated the tinntus! I don't know if this involved all electric cars, but I would see if you get the same reaction in a gas car. It may not be the road noise. The culprit may be something to do with the sound produced by the electric car. (As I mentioned, even though I was not riding in the car and it just drove by me as I was walking, the sound set something off for me.)
       
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    8. Damocles
      English

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis
      This is disappointing to read.

      I had hoped electric cars would be the solution to tinnitus sufferers travelling in comfort, and without the need for hearing protection, in future.

      That said, this may be a rare exception, given that reactivity and susceptibility to spikes is at it's worst during the early days of onset, and @Samy is still a relatively new tinnitus sufferer (only two months in at the time of posting).

      Anyway, I find it highly unlikely it would have been anything other than the road noise which caused this spike, considering you were travelling in an EV (no offense @slc; I might change my mind if I see more accounts like yours).

      Slight oversimplification here, but best way to eliminate road noise is to travel in larger vehicles with lots of sound proofing (i.e. expensive interior with lots of padding/seating) utilising high profile, low-resistance tires.

      Or in short, one of these (before the adjustment).

      I'll be watching this forum intently over the next decade (or hopefully not, if a miracle decides to take place) to see if more people report spikes after rides in electric cars.

      I still suspect, however, that the Rolls-Royce Spectre, will possess the quietest cabin any human has ever ridden in, at the point of its release.

      Anyway, I hope your spike subsided eventually @Samy.

      If not, rest assured, things improve (or at least become easier) with time.
       
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    9. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      I agree it must have been the road noise. In my own experience, it seems the road noise greatly exceeds the engine noise, even in cars with an internal combustion engine.

      I've been deliberating whether or not to pretty much remove all interior of my Volvo 850 and soundproof the entire cabin. If I recall correctly, additional soundproofing could get the noise down by 10 dB, which would be a lot.
       
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    10. Damocles
      English

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis
      I think it's a great idea.

      Not sure I could do this myself though (in the reality where I owned a car). Would probably just pay for it to be done by specialists (like these guys: Ultimate Car Services - Silent Coat Car Sound Proofing).
       
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