Parade with Fire Trucks — Could the Loudness Cause Permanent Damage to Hearing?

Discussion in 'Support' started by whatdidyousay, Nov 13, 2019.

    1. whatdidyousay

      whatdidyousay Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud volumes
      Hi all. :)

      I've had tinnitus for probably about eighteen years from unprotected heavy rock concerts in my youth and extended music listening through headphones. Like a lot of folks with self-awareness of their tinnitus, I have tried to carry earplugs around over the last few years.

      Yesterday was the Veteran's Day city parade and we watched it for a bit under two hours. We were only about ten feet away. About half of the parade was veterans driving by in convertibles and waving. Then for about an hour the high school marching bands would walk through. Towards the finale there about a dozen muscle cars rev'd their engines, which was obviously loud and annoying. But the real kicker that I'm worried about is towards the end when about six firetrucks were right in front of us and all had their sirens on and blasted the horns every few seconds for about 5-6 minutes straight -- again, we were only about ten feet away from the line of fire trucks. Traffic was backed up and it took them at least five minutes to leave the spot directly a few feet in front of us.

      Eventually people started leaving as the sound was uncomfortable.

      My question:

      -I had in a cheap pair of Hearos orange foam earplugs the entire show with NRR of like 30dB. However, I don't think I wear them correctly as I just stick them in the ear and 'twist' them a bit instead of rolling them up.

      Does it sound like the parade, especially the 5-6 continuous minutes of a half dozen fire trucks with sirens on and horns beeping only roughly ten feet away would cause permanent damage? It looks like just one siren from around ten feet is roughly 130dB whereas I was around a half dozen trucks.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Daniel Lion
      Ape-like

      Daniel Lion Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      SE Asia
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma, hearing loss
      If you are worried you can go ASAP and get some oral steroids, prednisolone for example. A doctor will need to prescribe this. Emergency room or your GP, if you have one.

      You could also take magnesium, NAC, and Turmeric... many members find these supplements helpful.

      Have you experienced a spike? Or are you just feeling scared?
       
    3. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      Don't ever do that again.

      Are you having a spike?
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      whatdidyousay

      whatdidyousay Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud volumes
      Ringing does seem more pronounced than usual. I'm not sure if it's because I'm focused on it.

      Six days ago there was a random 3 minute tornado test while I was outside in an area with a nearby air raid siren and I didn't have earplugs on hand for it and because of the panic I didn't plug my ears with my fingers and just stood there in shock like everyone else. For the parade yesterday I had earplugs.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    5. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      It could. If you get a spike, you will know whether or not it is permanent, if it doesn't begin fading after 4-6 weeks or so.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      whatdidyousay

      whatdidyousay Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud volumes
      One thing I definitely don't like about big crowds is pretty much being stuck in these situations. We got what we thought was a 'good spot' by the street. But once the sound levels started creeping up in volume with the hot rods and then fire trucks, it was very uncomfortable to have to wait for others to start moving out first. Now I'm kind of worried I made a bad decision to even go despite wearing earplugs, correctl' or not. I don't have nearly the level of 'can't hear anyone from even a couple feet away' like in the days when I'd go to 2-3 hour or more concerts and stand right next to the stage and speakers when I was a teen, but it still feels like something is up.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      whatdidyousay

      whatdidyousay Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud volumes
      Ugh, I was just watching a YT video and one of the audiologists said wearing an improperly inserted foam earplug basically gives you an attenuation of zero. That's really depressing if true. I normally try to wear the ER-20 type earplugs that are easy to figure out where you just twist them inside your ears (or am I using them incorrectly as well?). But for a lot of concerts and the recent 5-6 minutes of fire truck sirens+horn exposure, I used foam earplugs 'incorrectly.' In other words I just twisted them into my ears as I would with the Etymotic ER-20s. I could never get foam earplugs in using the 'proper' way of rolling them into a cylinder and just gave up since I don't wear foams enough on a day to day basis. Perhaps I should've practiced more or gotten a specialist to walk me through the process in person since I'm a slow learner.

      Is that pretty much true that you're not getting any protection when you put foams in your ears the way a typical person does with them visibly sticking a good ways out of the ears? I thought I'd read a while back that the NRR rating accounts for 'typical use' meaning most people do not use them the way they're designed to be used.

      This is already kind of causing me some anxiety if all the times I've worn foams I'm getting little to no decibel reduction. :( I've been to plenty of concerts way over 100dB each where I was wearing foam earplugs the wrong way. And of course it's concerning for the recent parade where I was around 130+db of sound for several minutes and around an hour of around 100dB with marching bands and loud sports cars only about ten feet away.
       
    8. Don Tinny

      Don Tinny Member

      Location:
      Argentina
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017 (worsening)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert with ear plugs
      We should forget about loud events for life. Just read where it says "cause of tinnitus".
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. MRItechssuck

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002-2015, 10/17/2019-?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      Oh great... is one month the cutoff or indicator, because mine hasn’t improved at all.

      First “trauma,” “spike,” “bad luck” in 15 years of being careful... whatever the verbiage is. Now it’s 10x louder than it ever was... well that’s depressing.
       
    10. MRItechssuck

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002-2015, 10/17/2019-?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      If you used foam earplugs, you would know if they were working or not. There isn’t anything too magical... you are plugging the ear... if the truck siren sounded softer versus an air horn 2 feet away, I bet you’ll be fine.

      The old saying was....if you have to raise your voice to talk to someone next to you, you are possibly doing some damage to your ears. Anything at those levels I “usually” had earplugs.

      Good luck.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Temporary spikes often take over 3 months to fade, however, my understanding is that this fading is very gradual. I don't recall anyone describing not experiencing Any fading for two months and then experiencing fading back to baseline. I will make a poll about it.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      whatdidyousay

      whatdidyousay Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud volumes
      Hopefully it will 'fade.' I've had a lot of spikes in the past that mostly did fade to some degree, although this is probably the loudest noise exposure levels I've been exposed to since first developing tinnitus almost two decades ago. So far after a little over two weeks the ringing is about the same as it was since the parade. Quiet rooms have always been when I could very noticeably pick up on ringing before, but now I can hear it even with ambient noise in the room - it's taking more to mask it.
       
    13. Striveon

      Striveon Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Did your spike subside?
       

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