Should I Go to the Mountains? Worried About the Altitude Worsening Tinnitus / Hyperacusis

Discussion in 'Support' started by iAzra, Dec 29, 2019.

    1. iAzra
      Hurting

      iAzra Member

      Location:
      Croatia
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma, Stress, Nose hit
      Thinking about a week in the mountains. I am worried about the altitude which is around 5 800 feet above sea level (1 600 meters).

      A few years back I was driving through some Switzerland alps and noticed my tinnitus get louder and higher in a pitch on a higher altitude. I panicked but it went back to baseline as we descended.

      So, this makes me worry should I stay a week on a higher altitude if this happens again. I guess I could go through the loudness and pitch but my worry is of course about what if it will not settle down when I am back home? Huh. I have hyperacusis too...

      So sad about these limitations tinnitus brings...
       
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    2. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      Plenty of people have reported short term changes in either direction from altitude, but I've never heard of long term problems.

      I go from 0' to 3400' on a regular basis. Makes my ears pop, that's about it. Generally this is when I'm on skis or a motorcycle, so either wearing headphones or earplugs. On the bike I might stop every 1000' or so to pop plugs out and in to equalize.
       
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    3. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      According to the people at the ESIT, avoidance behavior is just standing in the way of your recovery. Go to the mountains, maybe even go clubbing. This chart may help you understand.

      fear-avoidance-model-png.png
       
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    4. Mark A
      Wishful

      Mark A Member

      Location:
      California, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/05/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Last year I ran in a Spartan race in Utah at around 8,500 ft. I did notice my tinnitus a little more, especially when I ran down hills with each thump. When I returned, my tinnitus returned to baseline. When you fly, the cabin pressure can be equivalent to as high as 8,000 ft if that matters. I have traveled quite a bit with my severe tinnitus, and have been fine except my last trip where I may have added more noise exposure from hiking past a waterfall. If you decide to go, enjoy your trip.
       
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    5. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      These two things are clearly similar, and you are clearly giving OP helpful advice and not derailing the thread with completely unrelated bs because you have some weird axes to grind
       
    6. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      How bizarre that you don't have an axe to grind against these guidelines but you keep trying to police me over attacking them and they should be attacked by all of us. They are harmful. What if @iAzra went to a specialist that was following these guidelines and was told not to avoid living their life as they always had and caused even more damage?
       
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    7. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      The only risk I can see is if you have recurrent ETD problems making it impossible to equalise your ears. I have problems with my tubes blocking up because of allergies but I still went on 6 flights, 2 helicopter flights, went to the peak of both Haleakala (10,000 ft) and Mauna Kea (13,803 ft), and went up and down the Saddle Road on the Big Island of Hawaii about a dozen times - all during my honeymoon.

      I experienced problems on the descent into LA on the penultimate flight, and I experienced problems on the Saddle Road. These problems only occurred because my Eustachian tubes had become bunged up and I couldn’t equalise the pressure, meaning I got pain in my eardrums from the fact that they were being sucked in from the pressure imbalance. Over a few days they equalised again and I was fine.

      As far as tinnitus goes, I wouldn’t worry about it. The altitudes you’re talking about are not particularly high. If you are prone to ETD take a nasal decongestant prior to going and trying breathing in some mentholated steam. Whenever you descend, contract your Eustachian tube muscles (if you know how to) to equalise the pressure, or simply swallow.
       
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    8. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      What if pigs learned how to fly?

      Has as much to do with this thread as derails about loud clubs in a thread about quiet mountains.
       
    9. Mister Muso
      Busy

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      The problem with that graph is it ignores the very real physical aspects of tinnitus and hyperacusis, and makes it all about perception.

      Nobody wants their baseline tinnitus to become objectively louder. But if you have to suffer a short-term spike now and again for the sake of doing something you enjoy, then that's a risk we all have to weigh up, for the sake of not going down the social anxiety/depression path.

      And where hyperacusis is involved, that's a whole other world of pain, which we have to try and control and limit our exposure to likely triggers.

      I've not spent enough time in the mountains with my tinnitus to comment on its effect on either symptom, but my philosophy is this: Spikes are a fact of our condition - we have to find the right level and learn what is safe for us whilst we live our lives. I would say that I have flown a few times with my tinnitus and not had any lasting problems. So if pushed I would say don't worry and have a great time!
       
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    10. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      I dont really think there is a problem on going to the mountains. For me it has always been ok.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      iAzra
      Hurting

      iAzra Member

      Location:
      Croatia
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma, Stress, Nose hit
      Thank you all. I think that living with tinnitus is a constant balance between just doing it and thinking what if.

      I will be looking for some lower altitude alpine house, not higher than 1000m. I guess this could be OK.

      Also, exploring these issues I have come to realize that airplane cabins are pressured to feel like 6000-8000ft so now I think I will be postponing my plane trips even more. Used to fly and travel, now due to tinnitus and hyperacusis haven't been on the plane since 2011.

      Well, happy twenty-twenty to you all, let's hope it'll bring some (safe) fun and courage (to enjoy it) to all of us!
       
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    12. Violetdusk

      Violetdusk Member

      Location:
      Wales, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2005 Very loud rock concert. 2018 Worsened considerably.
      @iAzra Yes go to mountains, you live in a beautiful country (I was there last year) but since my T and H got a lot worse I am unable to fly anymore. :( I wore ear defenders on my last flight and it was fine, but I took a boat trip from Dubrovnik to another town thinking it would be fairly quiet, but my god, it was so loud.. I wore earplugs but the volume on boat was 87db....I should have packed my ear defenders....my T got a bit worse after that. I'd take earplugs with you to mountain though because you'll be closer to potential aircraft that may appear etc. Enjoy.
       
    13. MRItechssuck
      Disappointed

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Mild 2000-2018 sev 10/17/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      Everyone in this forum should have earplugs on them wherever they go... mountains, movies, grocery store, etc.

      I was on a 14 hour flight, and my tinnitus probably spiked, but it is so loud baseline now it’s hard to tell... but traveling is part of my job... so it’s just something to deal with.

      Once again, if anyone chooses to do a valsalva... do so by slowly building up pressure... you don’t want a sudden blow. Valsalva is for descent. When climbing and pressure decreasing, the ear is pretty good letting the air out behind the ear drum, as pointed out... coming down (increasing pressure) is when people usually have troubles.


      Also, for anything to do with barometric pressure changes, carry around some OTC “Afrin.” Afrin can help open stubborn Eustachian tubes (the Air Force uses it for issues with high altitude/decompression training, and I’m sure they have plenty of experience with it.). You need to take enough Afrin and lean your head back so it reaches the end of the Eustachian tubes... it tastes yucky.

      Good luck... and have fun!
       

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