Possible Noise-Induced Tinnitus — Can Music Below 60 dB Cause Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Tom137, Feb 23, 2021.

    1. Tom137

      Tom137 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      Hello,

      I'm a 27-year-old healthy male. As many of us, I'm currently working remotely from home (I work in research). I have some very noisy neighbours, and for the past few months while working I've often been listening to some relaxing sea wave sounds, which I usually play at about 40-50 dB (something I've checked a posteriori). I'm also a huge music fan (mostly classical music), and in the evenings I usually relaxed listening to some two-three solid hours of Beethoven, Brahms, etc. Again, never, to my judgement, loud enough to be dangerous, at most 60 dB (checked with a phone app on two different phones). I've followed this routine of sea waves while working + music at night especially since Christmas, that is, for about a month and a half.

      Everything was OK (or seemed to be OK) until about two weeks ago, when I started to hear a quiet ringing in one of my ears, which I didn't give much importance to - I could only hear it in occasional, very quiet moments. However, the intensity of the ringing, now on both ears, has dramatically increased since Monday 15th February, and for about week now I can hear a constant very high-pitch ringing (about 8000-10000 Hz) on both ears, along with a very high-pitch intermittent cicada-like sound. Thinking in retrospect, before the ringing started some days I could hear a quiet hiss after switching off my music before going to sleep, but then I just assumed it was a subjective sensation from the sudden change from music to absolute silence.

      I went to my GP last Thursday and she told me I had some mucus in my left ear, and prescribed me some corticoids. The intensity of the ringing has only kept increasing though, and the thought that it may be permanent noise-induced tinnitus is absolutely devastating, particularly given its intensity and its difficult-to-mask high frequency. I have an appointment with an ENT tomorrow, but I fear that I'm not going to get much from it.

      What do you think about my case? Do you think that a couple of months of some daily 12 hours of sea waves + music below/around 60 dB can cause permanent tinnitus, or will it subside in the following weeks/months? Is there much hope in my case? I know that it's impossible to know for certain how my condition is going to evolve, but I would appreciate your opinions, especially if you've gone through a situation similar to mine.

      Thanks.
       
    2. convolution

      convolution Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden - Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      26/11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      White Noise from Headphones (likely)
      Hello Tom137, have you got an history of exposure to loud noise? Concerts? Clubs? Also, did you play the music with speakers or headphones/earbuds? Unfortunately nobody will be able to give you the answer you are looking for. I personally refuse to believe that those sound intensities could provoke an irreversible damage but hey, I also believed that falling asleep with headphones and white noise was safe... and then I got tinnitus. Maybe you could ask to your ENT for a round of Prednisone, that seem to be the protocol in case of noise induced tinnitus.

      Try to not dwell too much on the sound; your tinnitus is very fresh, the chances that it will disappear/fade in the next weeks or months are statistically quite high.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Tom137

      Tom137 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      Hello convolution,

      Thank you for your quick and encouraging reply. I usually listen to music with headphones. I haven't got a history of exposure to loud noises, certainly not more than anyone with a "normal" life. I've always worked and studied in quiet environments (universities, basically), I've never lived in places with loud traffic, and I haven't clubbed much (not at all in the past year for obvious reasons), nor gone to any loud concerts (just classical music ones).

      I am aware that no one can give me an answer with certainty, but I would really appreciate opinions of people who've gone through a similar situation, as I'm having a very difficult time at the moment.

      Thanks again.
       
    4. convolution

      convolution Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden - Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      26/11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      White Noise from Headphones (likely)
      I think we have a quite similar history - same age, gender, no history of loud noise exposure, no loud neighborhoods, tinnitus came after prolonged use of headphones, very high frequency. In my case the volume of the tinnitus has been quite constant since the onset though, with very few oscillations.

      My uneducated opinion is that those intensities are not enough to produce a long-lasting damage; I want to believe that your (and my) ears are only "shocked" and that they will eventually recover. Unfortunately my personal story is not very uplifting, my tinnitus is there, more or less unchanged, after almost 12 weeks :/ Of course this does not mean much. I might just be one among the unlucky ones ;)
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Tom137

      Tom137 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      Thanks again for your kind reply. I do hope that my ears (and yours!) are also temporarily "shocked". In that regard I've been using earplugs all day long for a few days (fortunately the current situation makes that possible), which, although that makes the tinnitus much more noticeable, gives me hope that my ears may heal quicker (if at all) by making them "suffer" as little as possible.

      Also, I can see you're a Riemann fan - big GR fan here, though more from the physics point of view! (I'm a cosmologist myself)

      Take care :)
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Tom137

      Tom137 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      Update: I've just been to the ENT, and, as it seems to be the case for many other people here, everything is OK: my hearing is good (better than average, I've been told), I don't have any obvious damage, etc. Yet the tinnitus is obviously there. I've been prescribed a round of Prednisone and of Serc - will see how that goes.

      Any thoughts about my situation? Given that my tinnitus appeared about two weeks ago (a very mild one), only to increase dramatically about a week ago, having been constant ever since, do you think there's a chance that Prednisone and Serc will work? I've just had what's arguably been the worst week of my life, so any comments, especially hopeful ones, would be appreciated.

      Thank you.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Tom137

      Tom137 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      Hello everyone,

      First of all, apologies if this is not the right place for this post. I'm a 27-year-old male and I've been suffering from tinnitus for about two weeks now, most likely produced for listening to loud(ish) music on my headphones for longer than I should have, especially over the last month or so.

      I had an appointment with an ENT yesterday, who prescribed a round of Prednisone, which I've been taking since yesterday. This morning I've experienced, for the first time, a significant reduction in the loudness of my high-pitch, electric-like tinnitus (placebo? Prednisone doing its job?), but now (evening) I seem to be back to what I fear will be my (very annoying) baseline level.

      I've been having the worst days of my life, and I'm desperately wondering whether there are any treatments that might prevent my "fresh" tinnitus from chronifying, however weak the evidence that they work might be. I haven't found much around here, other than the a couple of posts about the "Heidelberg model", which doesn't seem to be a thing any more (if it ever was). I would most sincerely appreciate any useful input from you folks.

      Thanks :)
       
    8. ajc

      ajc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
      You're already on Prednisone, which is the first line treatment to prevent tinnitus from becoming chronic.

      There's not much else to try. Maybe Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy? And definitely take NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine).
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Tom137

      Tom137 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      Thank you, ajc, for your suggestions. I'm still on Prednisone, already tapering off, and also taking Serc - may start taking NAC too.

      Here's an update. Since the first day after I started taking Prednisone, exactly one week ago, the ringing on my right ear disappeared, and has become a gentle white-noise-like hiss. Fingers crossed it stays like that. The ringing on my left ear also disappeared, only to come back three days later, but as a quieter teapot kind of noise. I do hope that it may somehow get more like a hiss with time :D.

      What is really annoying (and, well, depressing) me at the moment is that on my left ear I also have an electric-shock kind of noise, very syncopated, like every 1 second, which gives the impression that it propagates throughout my head, and which is impossible to mask with a moderate sound (except with running water). It seems to be reactive to noises, especially vibration-like low-frequency ones. Last weekend I went on an hour and a half car ride on a highway and, despite using earplugs and noise cancelling headphones while in the car (I wasn't driving), this electric-shock tinnitus really spiked (whereas the other, teapot-like didn't). It also seems to react to how active I am (maybe to my heartbeat?). I've seen a few posts about this kind of tinnitus around here - are there any success stories though?

      This electric-like tinnitus started a few days after my (most probably) noise-induced single-tone tinnitus, when, thinking that was due to wax, applied a wax-removing saline spray on my ear. I became very dizzy immediately for about 10 mins (and, well, no wax came out), so didn't apply it on my right ear (which is free form this electric-like pain). Do you think the spray may be to blame? My ENT disagrees, but I would really appreciate your input, folks :) If so, do you have a hint of what might work?

      Thanks!
       
    10. Mick82

      Mick82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/ movie
      Hi. How is it now with taking the steroid?
       
    11. convolution

      convolution Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden - Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      26/11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      White Noise from Headphones (likely)
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