Noise-Induced Tinnitus from Using Earbuds / AirPods Pro at Loud Volumes?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by New-To-T, Oct 9, 2021.

    1. New-To-T

      New-To-T Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Sep 3 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noice Induce(Airpods Pro) ?
      Hello all, I apologize in advance for any mistakes/typos as English is not my first language. I have been lurking around since first week of September 2021; the same time period I started experiencing tinnitus in right ear. It was very low ringing noise but was able to ignore it and managed to get sleep that night. Later after a week I got an appointment with ENT, checked my ears and did a lot of blood work. My hearing was normal with a small dip at 12 kHz which I suspect this is causing my tinnitus. He also found I have a very low Vitamin D and asked me to take Vitamin D supplements.

      After 5 weeks, I can still hear the ringing in both ears. I have been playing mobile games with Bluetooth earbuds since November 2019 at high volume, never had any ear issues until I switched to AirPods Pro a few months ago; I still remember the day, it was September 3. After playing a mobile game for 1-2 hours with AirPods Pro at max volume, I had fullness in my ears, took a hot shower and felt instant relaxation. Later the same day I played the game with AirPods Pro again and around 2-3 am I started hearing the ringing sound in my right ear and it's been ringing constantly at same loudness ever since.

      I am looking for positive stories of anyone who has similar noise-induced tinnitus so it can give me some hope.

      Thanks for reading my post.
       
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @New-To-T.

      You need to stop using all types of headphones including headsets, AirPods, and earbuds. Don't even use them at low volume. If you follow this advice the tinnitus will improve but it takes time. Start using low level sound enrichment especially at night. More about this is explained in the posts below which you will find by going to my started threads.

      Take your time and read the posts. If you're able to print them I advise that you do, as you will absorb and retrain the information better rather than reading on a screen as it will quickly be forgotten. The posts are a form of counselling and will help to reinforce positive thinking the more you refer to them.

      All the best,
      Michael

      New to Tinnitus, What to Do?
      Tinnitus, A Personal View
      Will My Tinnitus Get Worse?
      The Habituation Process
      How to Habituate to Tinnitus
      Tinnitus and the Negative Mindset
      Acquiring a Positive Mindset
      Hyperacusis, As I See It.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      New-To-T

      New-To-T Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Sep 3 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noice Induce(Airpods Pro) ?
      Thanks Michael, your post are indeed very helpful.

      During my hearing test, the doctor mentioned about cochlear hair cells and that those be damaged due to prolonged loud noise.

      My right ear started ringing and then two days later my left ear started ringing but at very low volume compared to my right one.

      Does it mean my left ear's hair cells also have some damage? Is there a procedure that can find out whether my hair cells have any damage? Why did my left ear start ringing two days after the right ear?

      Sorry for asking too many questions.

      Thank you.
       
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @New-To-T.

      Your ENT doctor is correct. Some of the hair cells attached to your left and right cochlea have been damaged or affected is a much nicer word I think, by loud noise exposure and is the reason you are experiencing tinnitus. Please do not be overly alarmed.

      This happens to the majority of people that have noise induced tinnitus including me. Over 20,000 hair cells are attached to each cochlea and I have explained this in detail in my article: Tinnitus, A Personal View. Please print it and take your time to read as it's very long. Once you finish I believe you will have more understanding of noise induced tinnitus. Any concerns or fears you might have which is perfectly normal, in the early stages of this condition will be reduced.

      Please do not concern yourself with hair cells and the cochlea because it's not really important to you, believe me. It was of significance to your ENT doctor and whether your hearing test suggested you might need hearing aid(s). If your doctor hasn't mentioned you have impaired hearing to the point where hearing aid(s) are deemed necessary, please don't worry about it.

      The important thing to do is read the posts that I have listed. I say again, please print and refer to them often as this will reinforce positive thinking. The tinnitus will improve but takes time. Most important is that you don't use any type of headphones even at low volume. Use low level sound enrichment, more about this is mentioned in the posts.

      Take care and try not to worry, you'll be fine.

      Michael
       
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    5. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Can you explain why you can listen to sounds with a hearing aid but not headphones?
       
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      My comments not to use any type of headphones including earbuds and headsets are for people that have noise induced tinnitus. I have covered the difference between listening to audio through headphones, hearing aids and white noise generators many times. If a person with noise induced tinnitus chooses to listen to audio through headphones that is their choice, I have never said they can't. If their tinnitus increases because of this they will have to live with it. Type headphones into the search box at the top of this page and read the posts.

      Some people question the use of white noise generators and hearing aids and believe they are the same as headphones or earbuds but this is not the case. White noise generators and hearing aids don’t usually irritate the auditory system due to the volume being kept low and its frequency range remaining constant unlike music. In addition to this, the sound is delivered through a small plastic tube that wraps over the back of the ear and enters the entrance to the ear canal. At the end of the tube there is a tiny aperture (hole) where sound emits.

      Headphones and earbuds use a large speaker (diaphragm) in comparison to emit sound into the ear and can generate strong sound waves even at low volume in an ear canal that's just 26mm long. The sound has only one place to go and that is directly towards the eardrum. Some hearing aids allow the streaming of music into the ear. Due to the tiny hole in the tube the music may not irritate the tinnitus. However, some people with tinnitus find the streaming of music through hearing aids irritates it. When used purely as hearing aids or playing white noise into the ear they are not usually affected.

      Michael
       
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    7. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Thanks Michael. I know you explained it but it’s been awhile and I receive my hearing aids on Wednesday.
       
    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You are welcome @Wrfortiscue. Best of luck with the hearing aids.
       
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    9. Tau
      In pain

      Tau Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2019-Concert, 2021-headphones/acoustic trauma at 110dB,16kHz
      I am curious - because I am a physicist, and I do not want to be rude at all, this is not personal in any way - what do you mean when you say 'strong' sound waves at low volume? Because loudness or 'strength' (volume) is basically power per unit area. So if you play the same sound through headphones or hearing aids at the same volume, you should have the same effect, provided the volume is indeed the same at the eardrum and the frequency response of both devices is the same. However, it's easy to listen to too loud a volume through headphones, and they're often very good at recreating high frequencies which are more irritating. Another probable factor is the occlusion when you're wearing headphones or have earphones in.

      I myself have found that if I wear closed headphones, they irritate my ears much more than open ones. And you have to be *very* careful with the volume. I would say, for the majority of tinnitus sufferers, it's best to avoid headphones, but not because they're inherently worse than speakers, but because it's way too easy to listen to high volumes without realising it.

      I hope I made sense!
       
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    10. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Hey @Michael Leigh, just a heads up but the hearing aids I think are spiking my right ear. Maybe I should introduce them for a small amount of time at first?
       
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      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I normally advise people to slowly introduce white noise generators to help prevent irritating the tinnitus and hyperacusis if it is present. This is explained in my posts on TRT that can be found on my started threads. Although hearing aids are not quite the same as WNGs, they operate similarly by increasing sounds from the environment into the ear and auditory system and therefore, the amplified sound may require time to get used to. It is best to discuss this with your audiologist as this is their area of expertise.

      On your profile it mentions cause of tinnitus is by trauma and I will assume this means noise induced tinnitus? I read your first post to this forum, where you mention having tinnitus for 15 to 20 years and successfully habituated. In April of this year it began to increase? It is important to know what has caused the increase in your tinnitus as something is usually responsible after a long habituation period. I have explained is in my thread: Will My Tinnitus Get Worse?

      If the increase in your tinnitus is caused by hearing loss, then hearing aids are the correct devices to use to treat it. By increasing ambient sounds from the environment, over time the tinnitus will reduce as the brain no longer needs to increase its background activity to compensate for the loss in hearing. However, if the increase in your tinnitus since April, is caused by an underlying medical condition, medication, stress or further exposure to loud noise, including the wearing of any type headphones or headset, then hearing aids might not be the correct treatment for you.

      All the best
      Michael

      Will My Tinnitus Get Worse? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
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    12. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      My worsening is either from the COVID-19 vaccine (happened 2 weeks after) or cumulative noise damage. I have hearing loss in the right ear 50-70 dB from 2-8 kHz range, and none in the left. High frequency pitch in left ear and louder ringing in right that has hyperacusis. Former trauma is in right ear.
       
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    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Were you using headphones, earbuds or headset regularly? Do you work in a noisy environment or engage in noisy sports, shooting a gun for instance? As I've said something is usually responsible for the increase in tinnitus after a long habituation period.
       
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    14. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Yeah it was either the vaccine (2 weeks after I had new ringing on the shot side) or cumulative damage. I used headphones low volume but my ears were already damaged due to fireworks and drums.

      So I’m 50/50 on it being noise or the vaccine, to make things easier I just say it’s noise damage.
       
    15. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      The hearing aids will help your hearing loss and hopefully with time improve the tinnitus. It is not a good idea to use headphones even at low volume since you have noise induced tinnitus. My advice is not to use them again but the choice is yours.

      Michael
       
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    16. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      I don’t use headphones however I was listening to videos that generated to my hearing aids via Bluetooth, not sure if that’s good or not lol.

      Also is it even possible to habituate to tinnitus that goes up and down so much?
       
    17. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I wrote to you in a previous post on this thread, that some people have contacted me saying streaming audio to their hearing aids irritates their tinnitus. When used purely as hearing aids the tinnitus is not affected.
      My tinnitus has large fluctuations in intensity and I have habituated to it. It can be completely silent, mild, moderate or severe.

      Michael
       
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    18. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      That’s great that you have habituated. Mine does the same; mild, moderate, then last night it was severe. High frequency zaps in left ear and regular whining in right.

      Glad to know there is some hope with what you said.

      Thanks again.
       
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    19. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Go to my started threads and read: The Habituation Process and How to Habituate to Tinnitus.
       
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    20. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      I have but will again. Thanks.
       
    21. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      It is better to print them and refer them often to help reinforce positive thinking. If you are able to, then print other posts on my started threads and refer to them often, as they are a form of counselling.

      All the best,
      Michael
       
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    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      New-To-T

      New-To-T Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Sep 3 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noice Induce(Airpods Pro) ?
      Update:

      It's been almost over 80 days and I thought of giving an update on my progress. Initial days were really hard to manage and I was constantly focusing on the ringing. Started a 16:8 Diet and Exercise and lost 15 pounds. I was using Sound Maskers at night before, now I can able to sleep without it. So far the sound stayed at the same level in both ears.

      Thank you.
       
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