Road Noise and a Flare in Tinnitus Level

Discussion in 'Support' started by JRS, Jul 28, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. JRS

      JRS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      I find myself at wits out as I contemplate selling a car as road noise has taken it's toll on me (the car has only 3,500 miles on it). After a bit on really bad highway roads with high noise levels (not sure what to do as all cars seem to effect me to one degree or another but my car seems more susceptible than many). I have test driven other cars and it seems there is road noise no matter which I drive, so I think it is just the level of road noise. I went out on Saturday with my car for a 1 hour ride, the last leg at the furthest point from my home the roar of the road noise was at it's highest. I notices on the way home the noise in my ears has increased significantly. It lasted at that level for a full 24 hours+, started to calm down on Monday, so Saturday afternoon and evening and all day Sunday were very bad. Anyone else have this, any suggestions are welcome.

      Thanks
      JRS
       
    2. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      Ear plugs?
       
    3. JRS

      JRS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Thanks, I am thinking about that but would like to make sure I can still hear what I need to hear.
       
    4. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      You don't have to go full 33 NR earplugs here. Typically road noise Inside the car ranges from 75 to 80 db so 15 NR would bring this to a safe and comfortable 60-65 db. It would still allow you to hear emergency vehicles sirens and car horns.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      My suggestion is to either get a quieter vehicle, get quieter tires (there can be a huge diff in tire noise from brand to brand, see Consumer Reports tire reviews) or just don't worry about it. As long as your not doing it 8 hours a day 5x a week, you should be fine. You cannot prevent spikes in T. Noise is just one component of why or why not your T might be higher. Anxiety, fear, increase in blood pressure, that burrito you ate at lunch and the 4 hours of sleep you got the night before all factor into the spike in the end. You cannot control everything. Control what you can and then be at peace with the rest.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    6. JRS

      JRS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      erik, I have considered a new vehicle, test drives show me that road noise levels are more than I like even in a lexus 350, the very top of my budget. I have thought about new tires as well. Thank you
       
    7. Rube
      Fine

      Rube Member Benefactor

      Location:
      U.S.A
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Just stick with ear plugs and save your money by not getting a different car. You can hear enough outside noises even with NR33 plugs.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    8. JRS

      JRS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Thanks Nucleo
       
    9. JRS

      JRS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Thanks Rube
       
    10. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      I agree with the ear plugs suggestion, you can get ones that don't isolate as much as industrial ones do.
       
    11. JRS

      JRS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      I have some for shooting but think they would be too quieting and too visible. These were custom made and fit into my ear, I will try them just to get a sense of how they might help.
       
    12. geg1992
      English

      geg1992 Member

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure + Antibiotics
      I wear ear plugs at 33db and it's fine, I can still hear what I need to and can still hear the sound of the V6. Road noise in my car on the motorway is around 90db as its a sports car.
       
    13. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      If you have H in addition to T, you won't want to wear ear plugs unless absolutely necessary however. I am not fan of long-term ear plug use unless during a noisy event for a period of time.
       
    14. JRS

      JRS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      What is H?????
       
    15. Karl28
      Wishful

      Karl28 Member

      Location:
      Melbourne
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001 bad since 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music via headphones
      The wheels have alot to do with the road noise so get some better ones.
      Also you can buy like sound proofing mats to line your car with which would help
       
    16. JRS

      JRS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Thanks. Never knew about the mats. Will try a body shop for insulation too.
       
    17. here2help

      here2help Member

      JRS –

      First, please don’t sell your car. It has 3500 miles on it. Look forward to the day when you can enjoy driving it. The car is not the problem. As you said, exposure to road noise in all cars appears to affect you to one extent or another. This is normal. Tinnitus spikes are normal. Your tinnitus is sometimes going to seem louder at certain times. That’s the deal. But you aren’t alone. The same is true for most folks.

      Second, don’t use ear plugs in your car. Using ear plugs in this way will exacerbate the challenges you are describing, which seem to have a great deal to do with anxiety about sound, and may result in your feeling you need to protect your ears around other types of normal sound that cause your tinnitus to spike.

      Instead of spending money on new tires, a new car, sound proofing mats, or insulation, put your energy and your time into exploring and adopting the best strategy to manage your response to tinnitus so that you no longer care what your tinnitus is doing. This will take time, but it is very doable.

      Like you, my tinnitus can spike for hours after driving on the highway. The volume of my tinnitus hasn’t changed since then, but I haven’t been affected by or concerned by what my tinnitus does in years. In other words, I don’t care if it spikes or spend time wondering what causes it to spike. It used to matter a lot to me, and I used to try find connections between what I was doing that made my tinnitus spike in order to understand it better. In this way, I thought I could make my tinnitus spike less often. Over time, I learned that trying to understand tinnitus is like trying to discuss existentialism with a bathtub.

      Every time you wear earplugs around normal sound, you are letting tinnitus call the shots. A new car? New tires? You may as well hand tinnitus the car keys.

      Think about a different goal. Rather than try to control tinnitus in this way, Imagine that you no longer care what tinnitus does, or how loud it is, or what causes it to spike. Imagine that it has no impact on you, or on your decisions.

      here2help
       
      • Like Like x 1
    18. JRS

      JRS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Much to think about. To be honest, the elevation after riding on bad roads (and it is hard to avoid them here in New England) is so much more than my usually T. And it lasted well over 24 hours, that was the longest yet. I don't expect a cure but I sure as heck would like to keep the spikes down. My T started when I got my first car (this one was a replacement due to wind noise issues that are a problem and have not been resolved), what I did not realize was the road noise, I was under the illusion it was mostly wind noise. The wind noise, while annoying is not making my tinnitus worse, it is the road noise. It is at the point where I don't want to drive the car. I know some cars are better than others, I just don't want to add the 12K it would cost to get into a Lexus that I know is not immune to Road Noise... hard decisions.
       
    19. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      It will cost you more than that, you will loose huge on the trade. I would wear some decent plugs, problem solved. Just my opinion.

      People can hand out all the advise in the world about what you should and shouldn't do, the fact is they don't know what you have, you don't know what they have, they could be entirely different conditions, we just don't know. The fact is, you are kinda on your own when it comes to this kind of thing.
       
    20. Rube
      Fine

      Rube Member Benefactor

      Location:
      U.S.A
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Research tires first if it really bothers you a lot. What kind of car do you have and What brand of tires are on the car now? Check out tirerack's website and research some quiet tires. I use ear plugs on long car trips, I hear everything I need to hear just fine.
       
    21. JRS

      JRS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      I have a Subaru Outback, new, noisier than my '13 which was not bad. Tires are terrible, Bridgestone Duelers. I have been researching tires, not sure that will be enough but will try plugs just to see. Thanks
       
    22. here2help

      here2help Member

      JRS,

      Here is what Consumer Reports, the Washington Post, and Autoweek say about road noise in your vehicle. The vehicle isn't the problem.

      "The 2015 redesign addressed a lot of those complaints. Handling is responsive and yet bumps are nicely suppressed. Road noise is down, too."

      Consumer Reports


      "There's one key difference that's apparent right away, though: It's quiet—far more so than what we'd become accustomed to in many experiences with the outgoing Outback. With a long list of improvements ranging from liquid-filled engine mounts, to a thicker floor and fender walls, to an acoustic windshield, the 2015 Outback soaks up road and tire noise like never before, and you really only hear the four-cylinder engine in the 2.5i models when you're accelerating particularly hard."

      Washington Post


      "The ride quality remained fairly constant in city and highway driving, and there was not much in the way of road and tire noise in either speed category ..."

      Autoweek

      Try a better tire. The tires you have are well-suited for your vehicle, but there are other tires that are equally well-suited and quieter. Ditch the earplugs. No one with tinnitus should wear hearing protection around normal sound, and that includes the five people in this thread who advised you to wear them. Over time, the steady use of earplugs will make us more, not less, aware of tinnitus. The auditory system has to work harder to hear sound when we wear hearing protection, and it doesn't distinguish between external sound and internally-generated noise. By blocking out a degree of external sound, the auditory system will fasten onto the very thing you are trying to become less aware of. Use earplugs judiciously, in settings where you have to speak very loud for someone standing next to you to hear you.

      I hope these suggestions are helpful. By the way, "H" stands for hyperacusis - a decreased tolerance of sound.

      here2help
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    23. JRS

      JRS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Thanks here2 help,

      I can tell you one thing, the wind noise on the OutBack is a known problem with 3 or 4 now different fixes introduced. I actually had a car replaced because of this. What I did not realize (and my tinnitus did not rare it ugly head until I got the '15 Out Back) was that now I am so sensitive to any road and wind noise but it is the road noise that I believe is what causes me the most discomfort. I drove a Lexus 35o as I mention, today I drove a Buick LaCross, did not take it on the really noisy roads but it was noisy. I know tires can help quite a bit and will be at the dealer on Wednesday, we have a good relationship, I have maintained a good rapport with them through the problems. I will see if they can get a hold of a decent tire (Michelin comes to mind from my research). Maybe they will work with me, and I I can sell my tires for $200 then so much the better.

      But the reviewers that call the Subaru quiet call a lot of cars quiet and I disagree with. It seems from reading the Subaru forum that this is an intermittent problem. The car I have now is quieter regarding wind noise than the first, but not road noise, it may be worse here or my ears may be getting worse. Hard to really know at this point.

      I sure am not going to add another $12K to a car that may help a bit and maybe not, that is foolish. I can get a good part of my money back on a trade, my dealer is working with me and will buy it from anyone I trade with and they have committed to a price as they can move it easily due to he high end options i have in it.

      So after I visit with them I will know more. My 2013 outback was a quieter vehicle but it had different and smaller tires with contributed the this.

      I appreciated you taking the time to do the research you did, helpful in many ways, I think I have already figured it is the Tinnitus that is causing much of my discontent.
       
    24. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Here's something I forgot to mention. My first couple of years with T, driving would always spike while driving every single time. Now a few years later, driving and road noises makes zero difference. It does not spike my or anything. Not sure what exactly changed this. My T level is still the same. I am still driving the same car. I suspect it is due to the fact that I am used to my own T, it rarely bothers me loud or soft. I don't really think about driving and road noise affecting my T, so I suppose it doesn't.
       
    25. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      I would hardly call car noise ''normal'' sound human ears are meant to handle.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    26. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      Hi @JRS

      I have the same thing as you. As it happens I went on a 10 hour round trip in a colleagues car on Wednesday / Thursday this week and my T is spiked now. I sold my old car because of the road noise, had it 5 years and I never got used to it on long journeys, always spiked me. My new car is a lot quieter, researched a load before I got it (Volvo S80, though I've had to endure plenty of stick for buying "an old mans car" from my friends). It is so much better for me, I just don't get spikes like I used to after long journeys.

      It's the road noise that gets me, and if there's a particularly noisy engine. I drive diesel so can't have anything too boomy.

      Google "quietest cars" and you will see some US sites that have tested the volume in a lot of different vehicles. Also plenty of advice from others.

      I am pretty much habituated, I can take a spike and I don't generally get anxiety with it, I feel that my reaction to T is almost as neutral as it can be. I don't particularly want to have my T any louder however so I take practical steps to avoid spikes, making changes like this is something I find helpful, taking control where I can.

      If you stick with your current vehicle there are sound proof kits you can buy, in the UK I can get one fitted for around £500, nearly half the price to fit myself. Now it may not be better than the current sound proofing but a good fitting company will advise you. The other big difference is getting laminated windows as the windows can let in a lot of the noise (move your head more central whilst driving and you should notice a difference in noise from the road).

      To add to the hearing protection, it is definitely a bad idea. That's how I originally gave myself Hyperacusis. Constantly wore plugs in the car and was working on demolition sites at the time so wearing them there too, over protected and developed a sensitivity to sound. I would always advise to use them only where you have to and not worry unnecessarily about sounds.

      Apologies for war and peace here, got a bit carried away....
       
    27. JRS

      JRS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Steve, no need to apologize. I have tried to research and Google and the desultory I get here are an joke. 2 body shops won't touch the car, I will see if I can find a soundproofing specialist. Ideally a better car sneaked a bit from noise would be great, so far, and I have driven many, I have not found one. Here in the states the cost of owning a European car can be prohibitive (I am retired now) so something I have to give a great deal of thought to. I know Audi's, Mercedes were be problematic in that regard. Buying one is not the issue, maintain in one is.

      Thanks again.
       
    28. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      It's amazing, places like the inside of a car I would have never even considered loud pre T. In fact I would have considered it quiet. I drive a loud sports car, hard suspension, large wheels. It's loud as hell, I just never noticed it before T. I had my stereo up over any road noise anytime I drove, damn I miss that. Stereo cranked, windows and sunroof open, no care in the world. Who knew so many things were noisy.
       
    29. JRS

      JRS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Telis, I was thinking just that the other day, my feeling is that any car is going to be noisy that has any bit of noise coming in. I have to figure a way to reduce it. No it does not make me anxious that I can tell but it sure as heck hurts my ears..
       
    30. JRS

      JRS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      A big thanks to all for your sharing on tips and taking the time to help make me understand a bit more about what is going on....
       

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