My Tinnitus Story — Loud Music Main Culprit

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Adam Brien, Feb 26, 2015.

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    1. Adam Brien

      Adam Brien Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi there,

      I have had tinnitus for a very long time. I'm 52 now and went to lots of insanely loud punk gigs and festivals, sleeping with my head in a main PA bass bin, etc from the age of 15. Yeah . Dumb.

      I've always liked my music quite loud (but NOT distorted) and don't believe I was listening too loud at home.

      Gigs are another thing completely. Usually your ears ring for a few hours, maybe a bit the next day, then gone.
      That's what my tinnitus sounds like now. High whine in both ears equally at about 5.5kHz. It's roughly a G, slightly sharp.

      This was normal and stayed the same from age 20 to about 45, when it started to get worse in that it would last longer after gigs and would sometimes just fade in for a few seconds. I found that nicotine definitely increases the volume noticeably. I also used to drink quite a lot (more of less every day). Now I don't drink at all (for the last 7.5 years) and it has got even worse (louder). When still drinking I could drown it out completely if I got drunk enough (not a suggestion BTW).

      Over the years is has gone from post-gig, occasional, faint, clear and quite loud now.

      But what is quite remarkable with me (and I hope some others may benefit) is that I have somehow learnt to ignore it most of the time. If I don't think about it and keep my mind focused on other things, subjectively, it is gone. As soon as someone mentions it and the whole time I've been writing this, it's been very obvious and loud. I don't know how you train or hypnotize yourself to do this. It's like a kind of constant meditation NOT thinking about "IT".

      I am a musician and play in two very loud bands and have finally got my ears tested (ok but considerable dip from 4k - 6k) and have got -15dB plugs that I now actually wear and it's amazing. I always struggled to understand people in loud noisy environments anyway, but with these in, yeah sure, everything is a bit quiet, but I can actually understand people over the hubbub. This would suggest that my ears were getting saturated and probably distorting, thus confusing the speech interpretation. Get yourself some if you don't have to wear aids yet.

      I told my audiologist that sometimes, at particularly loud gigs (as a player it can be insanely loud fold back and I have my own amp right next to my head) at some point, I would start to be unable to hear myself play and all the instruments were jumbled up, kinda strange distortion. She explained about the little bone in your ear, that when impacted with EXTREME sound levels it actually dislocates itself from you eardrum a bit to prevent physical damage. She said if I was EVER listening to music that loud, I would be causing serious damage. The dislocation prevent eardrum collapse for explosions and things, but to continuously subject your ears to what must be about 130dB is/was rather stupid.

      I deserve it. I wouldn't NOT go to those old punk gigs again. Like lines on your face that show you've smiled an awful lot, that ringing in my ears takes me back to Knebworth 1978. Boomtown Rats, Wilko Johnson, Peter Gabriel, Frank Zappa and the Tubes. That was good. But the loudest thing I have ever heard (cleanly) was seeing Pink Floyd at Empire Pool Wembley in 1976 Animals tour. I was only fourteen and even in the ring around the auditorium I thought it was too loud, then inside.... WOW. I think that was a good three day ringer for me, even in those early days.

      As for treatment. I have noticed that my tinnitus frequency acts like a tuning fork and it can be quite quiet in my head, then I hear a particular "ding", like a glass, or a single cymbal crash and WHANG ! it twangs my tuning fork and the T is suddenly much louder again.

      So I think the notched music program sounds like a good idea. Now I just have to get around to converting my 20GB of music into notched versions (with 5.5k removed - easy enough to do) and try it out for real. I suppose I could try one playlist at a time.

      Might as well shift it all to 432Hz too. Has anyone tried that? I think really beautiful music sounds better at 432Hz base "A". Don't think heavy rock cares really.

      God, what a rant. I don't normally talk about T coz it makes it reappear.

      I hope you all find something that works for you. Please contact me if you like.
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    2. Mike82

      Mike82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Welcome Adam... and join the club.

      Your symptoms sound very much like mine. I think our causes differ slightly - I attended tonnes of loud punk shows between the ages of 20 and 30 - but for me, I think it was listening to music through earphones that has done most of the damage. I also have a moderate dip in the speech range from 4k to 6k and I haven't been able to understand conversations in loud, public places for years.

      My tinnitus regrettably changed from a low-level background buzz to that high-pitched, incessant drill-like whine about two months ago. I've had it every day since and, though I hate to admit it, I can tell it's probably not going to go away.

      Let me know if you have any luck with the notched music. I've tried hearing aids and TRT so far, but not for long enough for either to have any discernible results.

      Good luck!
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    3. Jade

      Jade Member Benefactor

      Sunshine Coast, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Genetics, Beats by Dre, Work
      @Adam Brien,

      Loved your post, thank you. I myself am similar with my T being quite noisy and saturating however if I have slept well & not surrounded myself in very loud music or environment's I find my mind ignores it till somebody mentions it or I try to sleep and my ears are ringing off the richter.

      Have a great day and thanks again

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    4. Sailboardman

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.
      When I saw Floyd, Mission Bell Tour, I didn't notice to much ringing in my ears. But when I saw Rush several times, my ears rang for days! I guess that was the time to wake up and smell the danger? However, I didn't and kept going to concerts, clubs, etc.

      So, the years of clubbing, concerts, headphones, earbuds and MP3 players, blasting my insides out, didn't help the cause. In fact, I'm suprised I can hear at all!

      But I lived in the moment and enjoyed every minute, of listening to good music at ridiculously high volumes.

      I guess if I had known about this insanity in my head, I might have reconsidered the path I was going down.

      God bless,

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    5. Gosia

      Gosia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      Sounds like you've been masacring your ears the whole life. You're lucky you didn't get T so loud it ruined your life, but if I were you, I would be careful not to let that happen eventually...
    6. Honey_Bee

      Honey_Bee Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Wow. That must have been amazing! I took a quiz one time that said I should have been alive in the 60's/70's :cool: Hope all is well!

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