Shooting a Gun (9mm) without Hearing Protection Gave Me Tinnitus, Hyperacusis, and Hearing Loss

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by sensualmosquito, Jul 11, 2020.

    1. sensualmosquito
      Tired

      sensualmosquito Member

      Location:
      New Mexico
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      6-8 khz HL, T and H from gunshots
      I’m pretty new here, but you all seem to be good folk to talk to about what happened to me a month ago. I’m a 21 y/o male.

      I’m here really because of a dumb decision I made that I’ll have to reconcile with probably the rest of my life: Last month I was with a bunch of people on my friend’s 100 acre property when he pulls out his 9mm pistol and everyone starts shooting without hearing protection. Me, thinking it’s totally fine cause everyone else is doing it, shot 7 rounds without protection. God I wish I could turn back time, because now a month later I have tinnitus, hyperacusis and 50 dB hearing loss in 6-8 kHz in my right ear. Steroids didn’t help at all when this happened either. My left ear is completely fine, but I’m devastated.

      I feel dumb for putting myself in that situation. The interesting part is how I was the only one in our group that suffered long-term damage to my ear too. The ENT told me I might get some of my hearing back but even if I didn’t I wouldn’t notice it too much. I don’t know though since I have moderate loss in such a narrow area and everything now sounds muffled and distorted. It’s crazy to me how such lasting damage could happen so quickly.

      Maybe I should look at it like I’m an experiment, and hope for something like FX-322 or something else to help me. In the mean time I guess I just have to deal with it.

      Any advice to cope with this? I’m trying not to think too much about it because there’s nothing I can do anymore but I’m having trouble.
       
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    2. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Welcome to the forum. Sorry that you are suffering. You have our empathy as most of us have been where you are. We understand the tough struggle when tinnitus (T) is new, the mad ringing, the stress, the ups and downs, the fear for the uncertain future, anxiety, panic, depression, sleeplessness etc. etc. What you are going through is quite normal for new sufferers. So don't worry and don’t despair. You are not alone. Things will improve and good life can be back.

      A few years back I went through 'hell' with my ultra high pitch dog whistle T. It seems much worse than a dentist drill. It cuts through everything. I could hear it above the jet noise inside during flights and even above the sound of the raging & roaring rapids in the salmon rivers I fish. Worst, as if my sufferings weren’t enough, T was soon followed by severe hyperacusis. H turned all normal sounds glassy and piercingly hurtful to the ears and all sounds seem too loud to bear. I had to wear ear plugs but the plugs blocked off all outside masking sounds, making the T scream so much more unbearable. There is no lesser choice among them and there is no escape. Worst still, being someone suffering with prior history of anxiety & panic disorder, T & H literally triggered and opened the flood gate of hell of relentless anxiety & panic attacks with their own set of horrible symptoms. These attacks combined with the suffering of T & H were so unlivable that I doubted if I could survive them for life. I was turned into a physical and mental wreck for months. It was a super tough time, but I manage to survive and overcome T & H with the help of forum support & learning some insights & strategies. Like many others, I wrote my success story and mention some important points and strategies. For brevity, if you are interested to read how I turn around my life, here is the link:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...w-i-recovered-from-tinnitus-hyperacusis.3148/

      If the ringing really bothers you then perhaps consider using masking sounds to help. There are sound machines and phone apps for tinnitus masking. If you have trouble sleeping, try melatonin.

      Take care. God bless.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sensualmosquito
      Tired

      sensualmosquito Member

      Location:
      New Mexico
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      6-8 khz HL, T and H from gunshots
      It all came to a head about 2 weeks ago, when I got home from a 14 hour shift at the hospital. I got home exhausted, and went to bed late at night. All I could hear was the ringing in my right ear- and everything coming from this ear sounded muffled and distorted. I remember in that moment coming to a true realization of the harm I had done to myself, and I couldn't take it anymore. I started crying all night long, wishing I could go back in time to when my hearing was normal, superb even... When I could wear headphones, and hear my music crisply and in its real form. And I just went and threw it away because I trusted my friends more than I trusted myself. I look back to the day it happened, and see all of the things I did wrong, how close I was to avoiding this because of one or two decisions I made... it's maddening. How close I was to going home... It hurts so much to thing about. I know things could be worse, and I have my left ear which is totally normal, but I have yet to make my peace with this. I think it will take a long time for me to, and it helps for me to think about other things and keep myself occupied. I appreciate your words and I'm sorry that you and so many others have gone through situations like this. I hope that one day there will be something out there, a treatment or something, that lessens the suffering. I for one are planning to get involved in the (hopefully) next clinical trial of FX-322. I messed up my ear on accident, so I might as well let it get experimented on for science.
       
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    4. Ryan Jones
      Curious

      Ryan Jones Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Maybe wood saw noise
      I had H too when my T first started. My T and H was also caused by noise trauma. In my opinion the H was the worst.

      After a few months the H went away and only my high pitched T remains which I can manage to ignore most of the time and have gotten back to mostly normal life.

      You’re only a month in. I think the chances are high that your H will go away and your T will start to fade. Try to stay positive.

      best of luck and God bless.
       
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    5. Ryan Jones
      Curious

      Ryan Jones Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Maybe wood saw noise
      Also it is especially important to protect your ears these first few months. Ears take a long time to heal. Wear ear protection, foam plugs, etc if your going to be around any loud noise.

      probably just go ahead and buy a bag of 3M foam plugs to keep with you.

      I keep them everywhere now, so I’m always prepared
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    6. Paul Wilson
      Nerdy

      Paul Wilson Member

      Location:
      Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      1989
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      One way I cope with my tinnitus is listening to white noise on Youtube. Usually the Ativan I take keeps it at a very bearable level, but sometimes it'll get louder and I'll listen to the sound of a rain storm or sounds of waves on the beach on Youtube. And don't worry about advertisements. While most Youtube vids have commercials throughout, many of the white noise videos only have commercials at the beginning and end, with 4-12 hours of uninterrupted sound. Just listen to different white noises and see what helps to mask the noise best.

      Also, if you're a gamer, it can help to play a game you're really into with a good set of headphones on. Most games seem to keep some kind of noise going almost constantly, and can help a great deal to get your mind off of your tinnitus. BUT only do this if your doctor okays it. My tinnitus isn't caused by damage due to loud noises like yours. Considering how new your hearing problems are, you may need to take precautions so that your ears can heal (if they can, and they very well may).

      Also see a psychiatrist if your emotions get the best of you, or if you just can't get any sleep due to the constant noise. A good psychiatrist can help a lot in these regards.

      Talking to friends and family, and posting on forums like this, about your problems can be helpful, too. It won't quiet the tinnitus, but getting problems off your chest often helps psychologically.

      And if you're a spiritual person, things like prayer and going to church can benefit you psychologically.

      Finally, I've read that following a certain diet can help with tinnitus. Try cutting back or quitting caffeine, nicotine, and sugar. Sometimes things that stimulate your nervous system can make the tinnitus worse.

      If I think of anything else I'll post again. Hope you find whatever helps you cope. I know it seems impossible now, but you can overcome.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sensualmosquito
      Tired

      sensualmosquito Member

      Location:
      New Mexico
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      6-8 khz HL, T and H from gunshots
      I just recently lost a portion of my hearing in my right ear and accompanying tinnitus and hyperacusis and I'm realizing that every time I come from work or try to talk with my friends afterward I start crying. I miss being able to hear normally, and I hate how easy it would have been for me to avoid all of this if I didn't listen to peer pressure. I have many headphones and now I can't use any of them. I keep looking at my audiogram. 50 dB hearing loss 8-6kHz... It keeps sinking in. I try to forget about it then my ear rings and hurt and distort sounds... I feel like I'm in hell. I need to sleep...
       
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    8. Ctw
      Tired

      Ctw Member

      Location:
      CT
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
    9. Tweedleman
      Depressed

      Tweedleman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Noise
      I've been going through the same hell. I went to an absurdly loud indoor metal concert without earplugs. Listened to my friend instead of myself, and now I'm paying for it for the rest of my life. Fully understand your pain brother.

      It seems impossible to do right now, but you have to forgive yourself. Most people don't realize how damaging these things can be because there is a critical lack of hearing damage awareness in society. Especially when it comes to guns; you've probably seen dozens of TV shows where characters fire guns with no ear protection and suffer no apparent repercussion. You didn't forsee this happening.

      Hearing can sometimes recover, so try to stay hopeful and protect the crap out of your ears. After the concert I was down 25 dB between 500 and 2000 Hz, but over the past 6 months those notches have improved to 10 dB. My hearing still isn't what it once was, but I'll take any improvement.

      You are going through a mourning process, as am I. Not a day has passed that I haven't dwelled. I've found that the best way to help expedite the process is to take the experience as a lesson and try to re-emerge as a different, tougher person. Your life has changed and the only way to not be consumed by it is to roll with the punches and move forward. Looking back is counterproductive. Try to make some changes that might enable you to spin a positive out of a horribly negative situation.

      I highly recommend taking NAC. It is a key ingredient in the Hough Pill and research has shown it can help attenuate noise damage. Also try astaxanthin, it's a powerful antioxidant that has helped some of us here and is great for your eyes.

      Even if your ears don't improve at all, and I do think they will to some degree, remember that we have FX-322, the Hough Pill, PIPE-515, OTO-413, and regenerative medicine as a whole to look forward to. You WILL get some if not all of your hearing back one day.

      Shoot me a message if you need to vent or talk. We're here for you!
       
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    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sensualmosquito
      Tired

      sensualmosquito Member

      Location:
      New Mexico
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      6-8 khz HL, T and H from gunshots
      I'm glad you mentioned NAC. Interesting thing was I bought NAC online 2 days before this happened for my asthma, and started taking it every day pretty much since this happened, minus the day after. I also took Magnesium, CoQ10, Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Prednisone (30 hours after injury) and did hyperbaric oxygen therapy for a few days (couldn't afford 10 days straight) and now I'm doing acupuncture. I'm doing everything I can to maximize recovery if possible, so hopefully I'll see some improvement. At the very least I want my tinnitus and hyperacusis to dissipate.

      I also know that regenerative therapy is advancing rapidly. I hope that works out soon, so many of us can feel the joy of restoration.

      Thanks for the support, really. It's been tough for me, coming home from work just to start crying. I don't want the pain the envelop my life.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sensualmosquito
      Tired

      sensualmosquito Member

      Location:
      New Mexico
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      6-8 khz HL, T and H from gunshots
      I will never leave the house without earplugs anymore. I also bought a big pair of earmuffs for my car. I'll protect my ears religiously from here on out.
       
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    12. WillBeNimble
      Buzzed

      WillBeNimble Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Ohio
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Damage from earphones
      Well, that might cause Hyperacusis. You do want to protect your hearing yes, but don't go overboard. Sound defenders, which block out sound louder than 85db in the car should work.
       
    13. Falchion

      Falchion Member

      Location:
      Utrecht, Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/05/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hammer drill
      Man, I totally feel that anger you feel at yourself. I just picked up a power drill for less than 10 minutes and voila, here's your screwed up ear. Mine doesn't sound as bad as yours, but I *totally* feel you. Hang in here bro, we are all here for you.
       
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    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sensualmosquito
      Tired

      sensualmosquito Member

      Location:
      New Mexico
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      6-8 khz HL, T and H from gunshots
      I get this feeling like my brain is unconsciously focusing on the normal sounding stimuli being received from my good ear rather than the garbled mess of my right ear. Right now I'm listening to a song (at low volume of course) and it sounds like the normal sounds are more "in the center" of sound sensation, if that makes sense. Anyone else have something like this? I have unilateral hearing loss, recruitment and tinnitus in my right ear but somehow my left side escaped without symptoms aside from occasional tinnitus lasting a few seconds.
       

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