Noise-Induced Tinnitus from Very Long Taxi Ride with Window Half Open Next to Me

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Bette1969, Jan 23, 2021.

    1. Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      Hello,

      First I would like to say I am so grateful for the Success Stories section of Tinnitus Talk. I had joined a couple of Facebook groups but the Success Stories on here has made me far less terrified. Thank you.

      I have had tinnitus for 1 week, since January 2021.

      I have always protected my ears at concerts and covered my ears if I hear a siren.
      I didn't realise that sitting next to an open window of a taxi on a 2-hour journey partly on a motorway (driver had his window open partly too) and a 2-hour return journey, was a possible risk for hearing. I had the window open as I was being very careful regarding COVID-19.

      Anyway, that night when I went to bed I had to get up to investigate the high pitch electrical tone, I had no idea where it was coming from. Eventually I just went to bed and fell asleep.

      As the week went on I still heard a fainter tone and had pain in my left ear BUT it was only after 4/5 days that I realised it was the Taxi journey, as well as the wind and buffeting - it had been very cold pre-snow. And when I realised it was something I had done, I felt pretty wretched.

      Anyway, the high pitch tone has gone now and has been replaced by a soft high pitch static/hiss, I can't hear it much with tv on but I obviously can in a quiet room.

      This morning I woke up and it was much quieter than the other mornings but I am an actress and I had to be on my headphones a lot today for a job. I have ordered foam earplugs that I will wear under my headphones but many VO jobs I can do without headphones. After the job the hissing had unsurprisingly increased in volume.
      I have a very healthy anti-inflammatory diet including NAC and Curcumin/Ginger etc.
      I want to add Zinc and maybe Ginkgo Biloba from reading posts on here and reading research.

      I also would like to see someone in London to test my hearing and maybe give me some professional advice. Does anyone have any recommendations?

      I have contact back from these two.

      Harley Street Hearing
      Audiological Science

      If anyone has any positive thoughts on anything I have mentioned I would love to hear.

      Many thanks,
      Bette
       
      • Hug Hug x 4
    2. Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Hi there, Bette!

      The fact that your noise has changed already from a high pitch tone to a static hiss is almost universally regarded as very good news, especially since this has occurred only a week since onset. I would take a cautiously optimistic approach and try your best to adapt while also protecting your ears.

      Further on that, it is a good thing you are cognizant of protecting your ears with headphones on. Many here will outright say that you should forbid them, but of course given your work that may not be possible. I would suggest that you try to use speakers when possible, at least for the first few months or so.

      The supplements you are taking are largely well-regarded by members of this forum and are at the very least likely safe for you to continue. NAC as well is known to have protective effects on your hearing, so continuing that from hereon is likely a good idea. Zinc is also great, and I personally would have to advise magnesium glycinate for helping your mood and sleep if either of those are issues for you.

      I do not live in the United Kingdom, so I can't provide you much advice as it pertains to seeking medical health there, but there are many sufferers here located there that I'm sure can offer some recommendations in time.

      Best wishes, and may you recover soon!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    3. Hazel
      Dreaming

      Hazel Director Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      the Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      one-sided hearing loss (of unknown origin)
      Welcome to the forum, @Bette1969! Glad to hear you've found some solace in our Success Stories.

      For many, the tinnitus will either fade over time or at the very least cause much less of an emotional reaction. Give it time, and it's quite likely tinnitus will be much less of a problem for you in a few months. It can take longer for some, and there can be ups and downs, so try to be patient and kind with yourself.

      I can't help with the recommendations, but you should definitely get your hearing tested. And wear hearing protection in loud places (but try not to get too paranoid about exposure to sound).

      Opinions differ on safe use of headphones. I myself use them frequently without any issues; I just make sure the volume is low. But it might be different for you, so you'll need to work out what works best for you.

      By the way, it's normal to feel guilt when you realise you might have "caused" your tinnitus, but I don't see it that way. There's a lot of evidence that the brains of people with tinnitus are structured differently (tinnitus is a problem of the brain, not the ears). After all, not everyone with hearing loss develops tinnitus. So if you're predisposed, any number of things could trigger it; that doesn't make it your fault.

      On a totally different note, what kind of voice over work do you do? We sometimes need voice-overs for videos etc.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @Bette1969.

      It is possible your tinnitus was caused by sitting close to an open window in the taxi for 2 hours. If this is the case then it's likely the tinnitus will reduce and probably go away in time. You have mentioned always protecting your ears at concerts which is the right thing to do. However, if you frequently attended these venues and went to clubs where loud music was played, hearing protection may not have always protected your auditory system. If external sound is loud enough, it will pass through the head/skull and transfer to the inner ear by bone conduction and cause tinnitus, albeit at low level so your brain hardly notices it. If you are a frequent user of headphones or earbuds, these can cause tinnitus too at a level your brain can easily ignore it. It might only be detectable in very quiet surroundings, at night is one example.

      Please click on the links below and read my posts: New to Tinnitus What to Do. Tinnitus, A Personal View. My advice to people that have noise induced tinnitus, is not to use headphones or earbuds even at low volume. This type of tinnitus is different from tinnitus that is caused by an underlying medical problem within the auditory system. Some people with noise induced tinnitus, are able to use headphones without any problems but I advise against it, as there's a risk of making the tinnitus worse even when these devices are used at low volume. Try to avoid quiet rooms and surroundings especially at night by using low level sound enrichment. More about this is explained in my posts.

      Tinnitus usually improves with time and if yours is noise induced, this is quite likely. Keep away from headphones, earbuds and overly loud sounds, to give yourself the best chance of a full recovery.

      All the best
      Michael

      New to Tinnitus, What to Do? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      Tinnitus, A Personal View | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      Hello Michael,

      A lot of optimism in your reply to my post and helpful advice. I am grateful to you.
      One thing that is an issue for me is that I have to use over ear headphones for work, as an actress/VO, for radio plays and sometimes connecting up with producers for VO work. Obviously this is not music and therefore won't be loud but I will reduce the volume in my headphones and also wear foam ear plugs.

      I wish I could give my ears a complete break from headphones while I heal, but there are days when I have to use them. I will no longer use headphones for music or calls. Will make all calls on speaker as much as possible.

      And yes I will use nature sounds in a quiet room.

      I made it sound like I have been to many concerts. I have probably been to a dozen in my life and I am 52 this year.

      So, not too many and not for quite a few years now.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me while I am in the first week of this first experience of tinnitus.

      Best,
      Bette
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      Hello Hazel,

      What a lovely and detailed reply.
      It is so positive and really lifts my mood.
      I have ordered all kinds of hearing protection and will be very diligent in protecting my ears and never taking any loud taxi rides again.

      Ha, my VO work covers most things, video games, adverts, narration etc,

      Thank you again for creating this site, and specifically the Success Stories category.

      Best,
      Bette
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      Hello Drachen,

      Thank you so much.
      A lovely and positive post, just what I wanted to hear.
      Yes, I take Magnesium to help me sleep and will continue to do so.
      And, yes, wherever possible I will self record without using my headphones.

      Thank you again,

      Very best,
      Bette
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @Bette1969.

      I do not like to give bad or sobering news when advising people about noise induced tinnitus. I have had this condition for many years, correspond and counsel people with it. I understand your work situation but feel it would be remiss of me not to tell you as I see it. Please note my advice is not absolute so please feel free do as you wish.

      The most common cause of tinnitus is headphone, earbud and headset use, followed by other types of exposure to loud noise. If you are a frequent user of headphones, earbuds, headset even at low volume, these were the likely cause of the tinnitus. The noise exposure caused by the open window in the taxi probably triggered an existing problem that was laying dormant and brought it to the fore.

      My advice is to keep away from headphones even at low volume but do understand your work situation.

      Please accept my apologies for being so sobering.
      Take care and wish you all the best.

      Michael
       
    9. aot
      Bookworm

      aot Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016. Worsened 11/2019.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound induced, worsened due to noise expouse + flu.
      Hey Bette. I hope you start feeling better soon. Tinnitus can be tough, but we're all here for you! From what I've read, the odds seem to be in your favor. And if it starts to get you down again, try reading up on FX-322, a very promising new treatment currently in testing.

      If you don't mind me asking (and I understand if you decline), what exact projects have you worked on? Any big games? I may or may not be looking for an excuse to geek out, lol.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      What I realise, after some experimentation last night, is that the hissing is only in my left ear, the ear that was next to the open window, I believe I can adjust my input to my over ear headphones to a low level in the right ear only when necessary to hear my fellow actors today. Still not ideal in your view I know but will give my hissy ear a complete break and I would not have thought of this for my full day recording today if not for your advice.

      Thank you, Michael.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      Thank you very much for this super hopeful reply. :)
      I will look up that treatment out of interest too.

      I will keep my game titles to myself just now ha.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    12. aot
      Bookworm

      aot Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016. Worsened 11/2019.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound induced, worsened due to noise expouse + flu.
      Of course!

      Also, if you're having trouble with sleep, Melatonin works wonders.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      Thankfully sleeping well with Magnesium :)
       
      • Like Like x 1
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      Just had my hearing checked by an audiologist.

      She said I have better hearing than her and she is twenty years younger than me.
      In fact I scored fractionally higher in my left ear (with the tinnitus) than I did in my right ear.

      She said to give it a week and see how my tinnitus gets on and try to not focus on it.
      Get on with life, don't let it be my focus, hopefully it will get better.

      She says there is no earwax and no damage to my hearing from the Taxi journey with the window open.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      Hello,

      Please only reply with any positive thoughts.Only because more hard hitting stuff will not be good for me at the moment.

      I have had low level hissing for just over a week after a long cab journey with the window open. So, it is my left ear which was next to the open window.

      I have been so good avoiding noise. Reading all of the advice on here. And it was seeming to get less.

      Yesterday in a caught off guard moment I was asked to scream for a radio play. I was panicking try to get recording levels right, with the pressure of multiple people down the line listening in.

      I had ear defenders round my neck but didn’t put them on. I screamed. In a small enclosed space. My left ear was sore and an hour later I had a big panic attack. And had to call someone to talk to me.
      This morning. I have an eeeeeeeee. Not had that sound since the first night of the taxi ride. It fills me with fear.

      I have to fulfil a job next week for three days. Is the job that is is reason for the 4 hour cab ride, I will do it but then I will just stop everything.

      I had an audiogram last week with above average hearing. I’m 51.
      She said to give it time.

      I can’t ever remember feeling this scared or alone and full of regret and despair in my life. All self inflicted. I am aware that my spiralling anxiety is not helping me but it’s hard to not have that, isn’t it.
      There is only so much you can’t inflict on dear friends who have their own lives and worries.
      So devastated that my work (much of which is in the Audio recording world) is now harmful to me. It’s how I make my living. I love the work, the words.

      So sorry to throw this bag of self pity at you. I’ve been helped and inspired by reading so many stories on here.

      Any positive thoughts very welcome,
      B
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    16. Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      I know you've already heard from me a little bit on the matter, but I'll offer some additional and hopefully comforting thoughts.

      Firstly, while it's possible this scream might have aggravated your condition, it doesn't mean that it will be a chronic aggravation either. People tend to have spikes from loud noises like this all the time and they generally subside. Nobody can tell you for how long it may last, but the many of them do not last longer than a few days or a couple weeks.

      Your new or returning sound as you put it can often just be a side effect of the rapidly increased bout of anxiety you are experiencing. The excess of cortisol flowing through your system is throwing you into a panic, which heightens your senses and perceptions and thus is making you more aware of the noise.

      Further on this note, it is very common if not altogether expected that your condition will change in the first few weeks. It's possible that this new noise would have come anyway regardless if you had taken part in yesterday's event or not.

      Please don't be too hard on yourself. What you were doing yesterday was simply living your life. The only thing you need to keep in mind going forward is you must be more proactive (at least for a few months) in terms of protecting your ears. You might want to look into musician's earplugs if you need to conversate with others and perform roles on the fly. While it might be uncomfortable, you may want to let the others with whom you are working that you have this problem (or you could be vague and say "ear sensitivity") and have them respect that.

      I know very intimately that it's easier said than done, but try not to ruminate too much on this anticipated trauma. Feeding your anxiety will only feed the panic which amplifies this blasted thing.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Hug Hug x 1
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bette1969
      Alone

      Bette1969 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Traveling a long way in Taxi with window open next to me.
      God, you’re good.
      Ever considered being a therapist?
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    18. Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Haha, I can't say I have! I just don't like to see people suffering, and when I feel as if I can offer words of advice or support to help mitigate their situation, I will. No payment necessary! :angelic:

      I honestly do wish I could compel myself to take my own advice.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    19. hopingtoheal

      hopingtoheal Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic medication (neomycin)
      Hi Bette1969, just wanted to check in and say hi :) I hope your situation, and your feelings about it, are getting better.

      I love Drachen's post, and feel that his approach is the right one. Focusing on the good possibility of a positive outcome, trying to believe that the most optimistic assessment of the situation will manifest itself has been really helpful for me over the last few days. (An ENT suggested that the tinnitus and ear pressure I'm experiencing might be symptomatic of some mild Eustachian tube dysfuction and pressure buildup. So I'm trying to believe that he's correct.) Believing that things will go well has lowered my stress a lot, which has lowered the intensity of my tinnitus experience. The ringing is always there, but it doesn't seem as loud, and I find myself noticing it less than I had. I've been able to sleep much better, I don't feel so convinced that my world is ending, don't feel so depressed. I've also stopped myself from incessantly reading threads on the forum, reading about tinnitus, etc. has helped me a lot haha.

      So I'm hopeful that believing your situation will improve—which it sounds like it will!—will help you right now. Sending a hug and support and best wishes for a quick and full recovery!
       
Loading...

Share This Page