Poll: Do You Listen to Music with Headphones? Has It Made Your Tinnitus Worse?

Discussion in 'Support' started by PureNoise, Jun 11, 2019.

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Do you listen to music with headphones?

  1. Yes, it has not worsened my tinnitus

  2. Yes, it has worsened my tinnitus

  3. No, but I did for a while after my tinnitus onset, and I stopped because it worsened my tinnitus

  4. No, not after I got tinnitus

  5. I've never listened to music with headphones

Results are only viewable after voting.
    1. PureNoise

      PureNoise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I was wondering if since getting tinnitus you still listen to music with headphones?

      Don't just answer the poll. What kind of headphones do you use, how many hours a day do you listen and how do you make sure you keep the volume low enough?

      If headphones have made your tinnitus worse, tell us your story to serve as a warning for others.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
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    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      PureNoise

      PureNoise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I noticed some cheap sleeping earbuds with heavy bass spiked my tinnitus.

      Switched to basic Apple earbuds and no spike at all on low-medium volume.

      Music makes life so much better. Fuels my workouts and makes commutes better. I am going to listen to my audiologist and not be scared. Although I notice immediately if a pair of headphones spike my tinnitus, then they're not right for me and they go in the trash.
       
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    3. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I have Bose QC15 (Noise cancelling) for "everyday listening" and ATH-50 for drumming.
      I use the ATH-50 about 2-3 hours every weekend.
      I use the Bose sporadically... perhaps a couple of times a week for various durations (depends what I do - sometimes a conf call, sometimes a bit of music).
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Michael B
      Supportive

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Location:
      San Diego, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stupidity
      Earphones gave me tinnitus on my left side. I can't afford to take the chance that it won't do the same to my right side.
       
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    5. Drone Draper
      Jaded

      Drone Draper Member

      Location:
      U.K.
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      NIHL, ETD and work stress
      I only listen to music while I run. It's like a treat for me, lol. I tend to keep the volume low enough that I can hear my own breathing and steps on the ground. I used to blast it loudly. I tried running without music and it wasn't as fun. I also tried listening to masking while running, but I figured keeping the volume down while running would be as safe.

      The Bose-QC35II headphones were instrumental in giving me T - I used to drown out boring coworkers and the awful music at my gym. Once I had T, I felt uncomfortable using them, they seemed to make it slightly worse.

      Now I use the Bose Soundsport Free earbuds.
       
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    6. Agrajag364

      Agrajag364 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I used to listen to headphones for hours a day-music when walking to work and doing boring tasks when I was younger, then more podcasts when I was older. There was a precipitating event that set off my tinnitus that had nothing to do with headphones or sound. But I still think listening to them for so many years may well have done something to my ears. I use them about once a month now for a very short periods, but even then I think I’m going to stop it as I think it does tend to spike the tinnitus a bit.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. Farah
      Wisdomatic

      Farah Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise - Standing next to speaker at 2 day festival.
      I listen to my headphones on a very low volume, max level 3. I wear Sony over ear headphones (MDR-ZX310AP), they're really good and don't cause any spikes. However, I only wear them at home, never while I'm out as you tend to turn up the volume because of the exterior noise. I do miss listening to my music louder and can clearly remember my mobile's 'hearing damage' warning every time I turned up the volume. Those were the days lol tinnitus has really changed my life, for the worse. I miss not having to worry about noise and I often look back on the 2 day festival which brought on my tinnitus and really feel so angry with myself, so so angry. Why was I so stupid? Ruined a part of my life that I'll never get back. Anyway, happy safe listening guys!
       
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    8. Agrajag364

      Agrajag364 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Do you know why it was just the left? Did you use headphones more in that side one day?
       
    9. Starthrower
      Wtf

      Starthrower Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Surgery
      The proper use of headphones helped me get to this point in life with severe tinnitus. Music therapy every single day has helped my brain adapt.
       
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    10. Agrajag364

      Agrajag364 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Could you explain further, do you mean you've been using music through headphones as something analogous to white noise therapy?

      I still listen to podcasts all the time to help mask the tinnitus when doing housework etc (stick my phone upside down in my bra, there are holders that you can get to strap a phone/mp3 player to your arm).
       
    11. Mister Muso
      Depressed

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I thought I couldn't use headphones again, but I still have one good ear, so I've set my phone to mono and the balance to play in the good ear only. It feels a little lopsided. Obviously keeping the volume low.

      I was too upset at the thought of not being able to use headphones again. Sure there's a risk if I play it too loud that vibration could be transmitted through my skull to the bad ear, but I don't plan on playing them that loud - so far so good. I couldn't tolerate more than 10 minutes of headphone sound into my bad ear after the latest spike, even at low volume.
       
    12. Michael B
      Supportive

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Location:
      San Diego, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stupidity
      I really don't know why?
       
    13. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      My first time of too much noise exposure was at 15 years old when I fell asleep with headphones on. Never did that again. Had that sense of ear fullness that I hate, and it was not even super loud by my recollection.
       
    14. Mikejl46

      Mikejl46 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure,
      I listen to music every night with one earbud headphone in my good ear to help me sleep, played at low volume to distract the constant tone in my bad ear that I can't hear out of. The music has not made my tinnitus worse.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    15. Starthrower
      Wtf

      Starthrower Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Surgery
      Hi @Agrajag364. Yes, I have been using music therapy since 2002. I found music that would sooth my brain mostly country. It could be the instrumentals or the sounds of a duet. Mostly deeper tones. I have a specific plan I use.

      I create my list of songs. In each song I will concentrate on one aspect. An instrument or a voice or a background sound that one normally does not hear when listening. Like finger snapping or a drum sound (low).

      I listen for one hour a day. And once a week I just listen to the music without concentrating on the particular sound.

      The repetition of this stays with me and at night I can often recreate the music in my brain rather than hearing my tinnitus as much.

      Now...this part I hesitate on because people seem to jump on it.

      I use tightly rolled up cotton pads under the over the ear headphones. This prevents two things. You don't want stray cotton strands in your ear canal. And secondly, the cotton absorbs the sound into my ears. I cannot listen to music with the headphones without the cotton pads.

      I just found a new song that I posted in the country thread. The piano instrumental part is perfect for me.

      And it costs nothing.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    16. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      mdr-v6s, sennheiser hd555s, grado sr80s or Skullcandy earbuds.

      rarely use them for more than a couple hours a day, and not every day by a long shot, but that's just because i prefer speakers unless wife is asleep.

      ten years later, no additional problems.
       
    17. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Wow - of the 24 people who reported using headphones, 5 (or over 20%) got louder T...
      Why not use earplugs underneath your headphones?
       
    18. Starthrower
      Wtf

      Starthrower Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Surgery
      Ear plugs seem to deflect rather than absorb the in coming sound(s) like cotton balls. The music is the same but softer on the ear.
       
    19. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Have you tried 3M 1100 earplugs?
       
    20. Starthrower
      Wtf

      Starthrower Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Surgery
      Oh of course. Those are okay for outside stuff but not with the headphones. Plus earplugs are just different with music because the full effect isn't really the same for music therapy.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    21. Niel S.
      Badass

      Niel S. Member

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I used to listen a lot to music with headphones on. It's probably the reason why i have tinnitus. Now i don't listen to music as often anymore, only when i'm on pc with speakers instead of headphones.

      Music can be a good thing tho since it masks the sound of tinnitus, just be careful you don't do any damage with to load sounds.

      How to deal with tinnitus and what helps?
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      PureNoise

      PureNoise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Music therapy is what every expert Audiologist has told me helps re-wire the brain to habituate and block out tinnitus.

      This can be done with white noise generators, sound apps, or hearing aid tinnitus programs if you have hearing loss.
       
    23. GlennS

      GlennS Member Podcast Patron

      Tinnitus Since:
      1992
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Whether the headphones made the T worse is hard to say, really. So it's hard to answer the poll. For me, if I couldn't use headphones, I'd be unable to function as I rely on having a constant sound-source for masking in a way that would be perceived as weird or disruptive to people around me. Since I have hyperacusis I don't think I can really crank the volume enough to cause more damage because the discomfort of the hyperacusis acts as an early-warning signal. That being said, it could be that long enough sound exposure even at lower volumes has caused damage, but like I said, it's a necessary evil as I can not handle being in a quiet room with the T just blaring for any length of time. I have to have some external sound coming in either through speakers or headphones or engaging in conversation or whatever.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    24. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      so we have a close to even split of "I don't use headphones anymore," and "I use headphones and it's fine", which is >80% of the data, and only a tiny percentage of people (~10%) who *think* it made it worse.

      fascinating :-P
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    25. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      I have the Grado SR60 and also over the ear Bose headphones (they are not the noise cancelling ones). I dont use them that often but at low volume they dont give me any hearing problems.

      I do have problems with loud sounds at work or the odd noises of construction, traffic etc
       
    26. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      By the way, I was listening to Aerosmith today, to find out I can no longer hear Steve Tyler's voice like it really sounds, really high voice. I lost so much hearing!

      The Grado SR60 enhance the high frequency sounds, but still...
       
    27. rmnkby

      rmnkby Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Dec-12, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert
      There are some members here who passionately advocate "no headphones even with low volume - no exceptions" for people who got their tinnitus due to acoustic trauma. While I understand the point, and realize that there's a risk, I was wondering how much basis this has.

      I see members saying "there are a lot of people whose tinnitus got worse because of headphones", or "there are a lot of studies", etc. But don't see many specific examples. I would like to hear directly from a few of those said "people".

      So, to clarify, I understand the logic and reasoning behind why it "could" be worse, so this thread is not for reiterating those ideas. Just looking for concrete examples.

      Is there anybody whose tinnitus got worse because of occasional headphone use with low volume (30% or less)?
       
    28. Chester

      Chester Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      late 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      heavy earwax buildup
      I hate headphones. I always listen to music on my Hi-End home theater system at comfortable levels. But when I watch movies, I always crank up the volume to blasting levels. Believe me, I have been doing this for more than 25~30 years , and even after I got tinnitus I did not stop this habit except for the first 6~8 months. This is mostly due to non-reactive tinnitus I have and loud sound does not affect me at all. I never wear earplugs or any type of protection.
       
    29. MattS
      Studious

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      What is the proper way?
       
    30. Starthrower
      Wtf

      Starthrower Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Surgery
      For me the proper way is to use Bose noise cancelling headset. The type where the ear is covered by the pad on the headset. Not the earbuds.

      The only way for me to listen to music is to use tightly rolled up cotton pads which absorb the shock of noise rather than defect the noise.

      I have done this for over a decade without incidents such as stray cotton strands and such causing issues.

      Now, that is for the music therapy. I cannot listen to music on the iphone. There is something about that which annoys my brain. I use a CD player.

      Also, I cannot talk on the telephone for a length of time. I can use a landline. But not my cell phone.

      There is something strange that I wish those who develop music therapy would consider. The way music is now recorded digitally does not work for my tinnitus. The use of a CD or a tape (yeah no one knows what that is anymore)
      works for me.

      We had a spectacular sound system in our media room. I could not listen to the show or movies with it so we don't use that anymore. Plus our room is all hardwood and windows so nothing to absorb the sounds.

      Everyone finds what works for them. It was a lot of trial and error for me.

      Hope that makes sense @MattS.
       

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