Need a Break from Earplugs — Can't Use Earmuffs at Work: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Discussion in 'Support' started by aot, Sep 24, 2020.

    1. Tweedleman

      Tweedleman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I second this. My sensitivity issues started to really subside when I made a concerted effort to stop actively fighting sound. It becomes an awfully exasperating mental state to be in, having a constant auditory guard up. Now, unless it's something that I know is a dangerous SPL, I just let it hit me. With that being said I am far out from the "acute phase."

      I've also been experimenting with headphones, at reasonable volume obviously. Exploring the possibility that middle ear muscle reactivity could be tamed with pleasurable sound (ie. music) that massages the frequencies so to speak. Essentially I'm trying to desensitize myself, and it actually seems to be working, or at least isn't making anything worse.

      I say shotgun a beer and tell the phonophobia to f*ck off :beeranimation: I don't know of any other way to overcome it.
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    2. xyz

      xyz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2006 mild T 2019 T worsening H onset
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown / probably noise induced
      But that tinnitus was temporary. I don't think you can get permanent damage from wearing hearing protection.
    3. FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I don't disagree. Tinnitus is temporary when the underlying cause can be fixed.
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    4. linearb

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      My sensitivity subsided a lot when I both stopped using ear protection in most cases, and also moved to a much quieter, low stress, natural environment. I think both things are a factor.

      If you're constantly stressed and anxious over a long period, it destroys your whole body and mind and definitely doesn't do your ears any favor. For me tinnitus is/was like a vice that just cranks up the intensity of life's miseries.

      @aot I think you'll hit a point where you're both feeling a lot better and protecting less in day to day situations but it's not exactly causality. Meaning, if you just stop protecting, that's not necessarily going to move the needle in the right direction - there's a rubik's cube here for you to untangle, unfortunately.

      I generally think exposure therapy is dangerous bullshit but what do I know I'm just a random idiot and not a super fancy professional exposure therapist.
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    5. Beep Boop Bop

      Beep Boop Bop Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Shock
      How long did you protect your ears for in total? I've been protecting religiously for about 6 months and am wondering if I should stop. Is 6 months considered healed enough? I have severe phonophobia, but also I really don't want to rely on earplugs for the rest of my life, so I feel like I need to call it quits before it escalates.
    6. Jack S.

      Jack S. Member

      San Diego
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss and damage
      Regarding ear canal sensitivity, have you considered an OTC skin numbing cream?

      It would be most unfortunate if I couldn't wear my earplugs, I need them anytime I leave my home.
    7. momus

      momus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I think this is going to be different from individual to individual, and different at different times. My tinnitus will go up and down seemingly at will, and I've seen a lot of others say the same thing. I have to be flexible, and deal w/ how it presents at that particular time and place. Little things can affect mine, just taking the box fan that I use for masking the tinnitus from the table to the floor totally changes how I hear it, and totally changes how it masks or doesn't mask my tinnitus.
    8. Nemoriri

      Nemoriri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I would recommend trying to wean off hearing protection, it’s not likely to help but more keeping you stuck where you are.

      I’ve also had both hyperacusis and phonofobia and used to wear earplugs a lot during that period, which ended up giving me ear infections and the aftermath of that has been that my skin feels more sensitive and irritable.

      So I was more or less forced to stop wearing earplugs because of the infection, and lo and behold, my hyperacusis got better and it’s no issue today.

      Not saying one has to go cold turkey on it, but I do think it should be kept as a goal to not use them unless when actually necessary. Constantly shielding yourself from normal sounds will not make things better.
    9. Jupiterman

      Jupiterman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden loud noise
      In stopping wearing earplugs you said your hyperacusis improved. However, did your tinnitus, in this same time period, get worse or better?

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