Noise Cancelling Headphones Giving Me Some Relief

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by JohnFox, Mar 12, 2019.

    1. JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      For the record, my tinnitus is not noise induced. It was caused by SSNHL (Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss), so my situation may be different than yours if your tinnitus was caused by excess noise damage. I have 100% loss of hearing in my right ear with significant tinnitus.

      I have been experimenting with the use of noise cancelling headphones as a means to get some relief. Though my right ear is 100% deaf, the ambient sound waves entering my good ear has a major impact on the intensity of my tinnitus. At first I would simply put a foam earplug in my good ear to block the ambient sound waves. This did help, but I don't like the feeling of now both ears being "plugged" and I also could not hear people talk very well with the foam plugs in. I went out and purchased a high quality set of noise cancelling headphones to give them a try. There are a few good brands out there. I chose the Sony WH1000XM3.

      I have been using them for about a week now, and I like them. Again, ambient sound waves entering the good ear is the problem. What the headphones do is electronically mask the nasty sound waves and allow a lot of the good ones to still be heard (not sure how they do that), but the end result is while wearing my headphones with the noise cancelling activated, my tinnitus is reduced and remains at a lower steady level instead of jumping all over the place as ambient sound waves enter my good ear. It is definitely more tolerable. Another side effect that comes with doing this is that by having headphones on both ears, my brain is actually tricked into thinking that the remaining tinnitus noise that I am left with is coming in through the right side of the headphones (my deaf side) instead of originating inside of my head (where it actually is). Thus, from a mental state it is easier to live with.

      So, this is my little success story. It's not much, but anything I can do to find a place where I can get some kind of relief (even if it's just a little bit) is something positive I can look forward to. I am convinced that part of my cure going forward is to be able to look ahead positively. And this is just one little step in that direction, along with an assortment of other little steps.

      BTW, the headset I got has Bluetooth so you can use it to watch TV or listen to whatever as long as it has a Bluetooth connection. I am very careful to not listen to music or TV very loudly. Last thing I want to do is damage my good ear. I have found though, that the sound waves coming from the TV speakers naked into my good ear are more bothersome than the sound waves emitting from the headset if I am using them for listening to something like TV or iPad. I purchased them at a big box electronic store (Best Buy) and they have a two week window where you can just return them if you don't like them, which gives plenty of time to decide if they are any help. I will be keeping mine. The top of the line headsets are around $350.
       
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    2. Deb2019
      Insomnious

      Deb2019 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concussion -auto accident
      Hi John! Glad you have been able to find relief with the noise cancelling headphones. Are you able to wear them when you go to sleep? Having lived with this maddening tinnitus for almost three years I am at my wits end with not being able to fall asleep and when I do, not being able to get more than an hour or so at a time. Even with two white noise machines on either side of my bed, the ringing is so loud that it's impossible for me to get any quality sleep. I'm starting back to work on Monday in a high pressure job and NEED to sleep! LOL! I think I will try those headphones! Thanks for sharing!
       
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    3. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      @JohnFox @Deb2019 I always wear earplugs underneath my Bose 25 noise cancelling headphones. The function of the earplugs is to protect one from the noise cancelling headphones. In theory, NC headphones reduce the intensity of the sound waves reaching one's ear. However, a number of people on this forum believe that NC headphones gave them tinnitus (or increased the volume of their tinnitus). I feel good about my setup (earplugs underneath NC headphones).
       
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    4. Deb2019
      Insomnious

      Deb2019 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concussion -auto accident
      @JohnFox Thanks for the clarification! I am not one that tolerates having anything in or on my ears, but I feel that at least giving the NC headphones a try may be something I can get used to if it helps lessen the volume of the Tinnitus. Will try anything to have a solid 4 or 5 hours of sleep - LOL!
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Deb,...first of all you have my complete sympathy. This "new me" is not something I ever expected, and would not wish on anyone. It's down right scary. Talking to people just like you though really helps. We are not alone, and I think people with this particular ailment benefit from and really need regular support and understanding. This thing is something else. Anyway, I do not use the NC headphones at night. As it turns out with the type of Tinnitus that I have, when I go to bed in a quiet bedroom and lay down, relax, rest, as I'm preparing to sleep, my tinnitus calms down to the point where I can get a pretty normal sleep. Certain ambient noise is what causes my Tinnitus to spike. So, during the daytime this is what I am battling. Thank God I can at least get some rest at night. My Tinnitus is probably a little different than yours (I am guessing). Mine came out of nowhere all of a sudden, with a total loss of hearing in my right ear. SSHL if you want to google it. If yours is of the other type, it might be effected differently by environment. You might try the NC headphones at night just to see. Like I said in the previous post, you should be able to return them if they don't help much. You might also try some "white noise" device. The sounds of lapping ocean waves is very pleasant and often helps take your mind off the Tinnitus when trying to sleep. For not much money you can get high quality bluetooth speaker and then download a nature sounds (there's lots of them out there), to play through your smart phone to the BT speaker. A good Bose type speaker will sound just like the real thing. It might help. Experiment with a lot of things to find something that works for you. Sleep is important, and you want to avoid needing oral sleep aids if able. I wish you all the luck in the world. I feel your pain.
       
    6. Deb2019
      Insomnious

      Deb2019 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concussion -auto accident
      @JohnFox, wow! How nice that you are able to sleep! That is my main issue...I do have two white noise machines running on either side of my bed, as well as a fan. All pretty loud, but my T. is louder. Numerous doctors just want to prescribe sleep meds or meds for depression/anxiety! I have reluctantly taken a few tablets, but don't want to take ANY meds - I won't even take Tylenol. I agree that it really helps to talk with others like you, so that we at least know we are not alone and we are NOT CRAZY! It's truly hard for people that have never had T. to understand how it wreaks havoc in our lives. I am going to get those headphones this weekend. It certainly is worth a try! Thanks for sharing your experience!
       
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    7. Rohit Saluja
      Alienated

      Rohit Saluja Member

      Location:
      India
      Tinnitus Since:
      2 weeks
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced and sinus infection
      Don't use noise cancellation headphones, they are not safe, there are people on the forum who got tinnitus from noise cancellation headphones.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Noise cancelling headphones have been around for quite a while now, created mainly as a way to protect ones ears from noise damage. I am a private pilot and most pilots wear some type of
      a headset to be able to hear the radio better, etc,.. a couple of decades ago NC headphones for pilots came on the scene and
      are very popular with pilots for the same reason, to give even better ear protection against the constant noise of a loud piston engine aircraft. Thus far, I have never heard of pilots bringing harm to their ears “because” of NC headphones. What I suspect is happening with those on this forum who say “I used to use NC headphones and they caused me to have Tinnitus”, one,..they were using NC headphones to listen to music, and it was the volume of the music that brought on the Tinnitus, or two,...it just happened that they got Tinnitus for other reasons (of which there are many) and just so happened to be using NC headphones during that time. Not unlike someone who happened to get the flu, or happened to be taking some new medication, at the very time that they became aware of Tinnitus. Until I am convinced otherwise, I will not be persuaded that the use of NC headphones (just the NC part) will cause Tinnitus. My Tinnitus is severely agitated by surrounding ambient noise. NC headphones is by far the best remedy for that, and allows my T to settle down to a much more tolerable steady level. Buy they, that’s just me. Everyone should do what they think is the best thing to do.
       
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    9. Rohit Saluja
      Alienated

      Rohit Saluja Member

      Location:
      India
      Tinnitus Since:
      2 weeks
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced and sinus infection
    10. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      You cannot really fly with earplugs, unless it is absolutely necessary, maybe on a fighter plane. Pilots usually wear headsets.
       
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    11. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      What headset do you use for flying?
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Hi there, nice to hear from a fellow aviator although on the other hand I am sorry to hear from you in this forum because you would not be here if you didn't suffer from tinnitus. :( Anyhoo, I am a recreational pilot with a PPL, INT, and COMM, ratings. I fly my own 59 C-172 with 180hp upgrade.

      A few months has passed since I began this thread, and I have made some progress on how I handle my tinnitus as I am still in my first year of having to live with it. At this time I use a high quality David Clark headset while flying. They are not a NC set. I still have some mixed feelings about the NC headphones for flying. I did try a pair of Bose NC headphones a few weeks ago that my friend loaned me just to see how they felt while flying. They did work great as advertised, but before I cut loose with $1,000 to get a set, I need to find out more info on them. Specifically how much actual "protection" they offer, verses the non NC type. There is no doubt that they "feel" better, as they do cut down on the awareness of noise level significantly, but, are they actually protecting my ears from that noise, or thru electronic trickery are they simply giving the illusion of protection?

      Anyway, the set of DC's I am using right now work pretty well. The fact is while flying, it is one of the rare times that my tinnitus is hardly noticeable to me. Something about the drone of the engine thru the headset that virtually eliminates the storm inside my head. Wish I could fly all day.

      I still do worry a bit about the flying noises causing my T to get worse, however, in my case my T originally was not noise induced. It came from an event of very sudden hearing loss in the middle of the night in my right side. I did not have T before that. So school is out whether I am at risk for making it worse by being subjected to normal noises that would otherwise be nothing to really worry about. But,...I do not want this to get any worse.
       
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    13. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      The sound wave that hits your ear drum is actually reduced (in volume/amplitude/power) vs original sound wave, so in that respect it is not an illusion.
       
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    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Thanks for the feedback. I'm considering spending the big bucks for NC aviation headphones because the good ones work awesome. Just want to make sure my one good ear is being protected just as much as when I where the regular non-NC headset that I use now, before I spend the money.
       
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    15. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
    16. Ken219
      Frustrated

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      Do not get into a false sense of security. If people say their tinnitus worsen because of NC headphones it is true!

      If it wasn’t for a whistleblower 3M would still be selling the military defective earplugs! From 2003 to 2015, that is 13 years!
       

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