Should I Quit My Part-Time Job?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Konrad Gorski, May 12, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Konrad Gorski
      Worried

      Konrad Gorski Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2014
      Hello,

      I am a university student who works at a fast food restaurant to make ends meet, every time I come home my tinnitus spikes for a several hours and then returns back to normal. I questioned my audiologist about this and he said that it is fine because the volume present in my workplace is not loud enough to damage my ears. I would like to hear the opinions of others who actually have this condition. Any information would be greatly appreciated.


      Sincerely,

      Konrad Gorski
       
    2. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      Have you actually measured your workplace sound levels? What are they?
       
    3. Konrad Gorski
      Worried

      Konrad Gorski Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2014
      Using a smartphone only, it reads from 60-70 decibels
       
    4. Geo

      Geo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      Never listen to the docs.. They told me i was fine to do my job even tho i would complain about pain and sensitivity i worked as a meter reader, barking dogs everyday.. They said its fine but i was just damaging my ear to everything i was exposing it to even tho i somewhat knew it ..was my job but it was my moneymaker and good paying at that but my T and H got so bad i took a leave of absence and left and regreted not quiting earlier.. What im trying to say is doctors really dont know your tollerance only u do . So if ur ears hurt listen to them dont ignore them like i did.. Especially if theyre spiking on you everyday its a bad sign. Your ears are telling you their hurting and you might have reactive t like i do noises will crank up ur t not saying you do but might..
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    5. Karl28
      Wishful

      Karl28 Member

      Location:
      Melbourne
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001 bad since 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music via headphones
      Just wear earplugs the whole time!
       
    6. JohnnyMx
      Sunshine

      JohnnyMx Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Apr/2013
      It is so common to tinnitus to spike in the afternoons, when you are tired or stressed from the work day. Mine does.

      Use earplugs for sometime (Live Music are so discrete and comfy), and if your T keeps doing spikes after work, check your level of stress and how tired you are.

      Regards.
       
    7. Konrad Gorski
      Worried

      Konrad Gorski Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2014
      Good Afternoon Everyone,

      Thank you everyone for sharing their opinions, this is quite a dilemma that I have. I am currently studying a few languages so having a flexible job which allows me to travel a few times during the year is the reason why I am so hesitant to quit this job.
       
    8. Richard Wallace
      Thinking

      Richard Wallace Member

      Location:
      Minnesota
      Hi Konrad, I think you should stay working there and try to stay as busy as possible. Keep a pair of plugs on hand and use them if the noise gets too loud for you. Just my thoughts...... God Bless...... Rich
       
    9. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      The noise level you describe - 60-70dB - is nowhere near loud enough to cause auditory damage. I agree with your audiologist.
       
    10. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Perhaps you can test out if the reason for the spikes is the job. On the off days or on vacation break, go to some quiet places, such as a park, library, or just stay in your room. If you still spike on these days, then perhaps it is not related to the job. 60-70 dBs shouldn't not damage your ears. Here is a site with guide line on dBs of various noises and the exposure duration recommended:

      http://www.dangerousdecibels.org/education/information-center/decibel-exposure-time-guidelines/

      You are the best judge what noise level you can take. Perhaps you have some H issue. Wearing ear plugs on the job should be a good idea if your boss allows them. You can also use that to test out whether it is the job noise that is the problem, or the vigor of the job causing stress is the real issue, or none of the above. Sometimes a new T is unpredictable and trying to figure the cause and effect can be frustrating. We end up tip-toeing around Mr T and let it drive the bus. To gain our freedom from T, we need to live our life regardless of T, even though it may take some time and patience to do so.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. Vincent R
      Inspired

      Vincent R Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I suggest you get yourself a couple of tailor made earplugs for musicians. They're very discrete and they'll allow you to hear what people say. If your ears can take the sound level (smartphones are no secure tool to measure it with, though) it's wasted money. If your ears can't take the sound level, buying those earplugs will be the smartest thing you will ever do in your life, and I've then taken into acccount that you may one day win a nobel prize. Winning a nobel prize is really no big deal compared with saving yourself from an extra dose of IT :nailbiting:
       
    12. MariaH
      Dreaming

      MariaH Member

      Location:
      Barcelona
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Hi there Konrad, my opinion is: there is a reason that your tinnitus spikes for several hours when you come home from work. Maybe the average decibels fluctuates around 60-70 decibels, but there might be peaks in the level of noise (clanging, objects falling on the floor?! etc.)
      More so than listening to guidelines, listen to your body. You could see this as a warning.
      I would definitely recommend having a good pair of custom-made earplugs made. Then you can stop worrying and keep your job!
      Good luck! :)
      Maria
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    13. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      60-70db will not damage your hearing. Even if there are peaks or noise above that you will be fine. Good advice above from the Dr and Billie. And do not wear earplugs the whole time. If you do even have a slight bit of hyperacusis, wearing ear plugs all the time will make it worse. Just keep some with you as a precaution.
       
    14. LillianLexicon97
      Spooky

      LillianLexicon97 Member

      Location:
      U.S.A.
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise: Headphones
      Okay, so I work in fast food and I wear acoustic filters to work. During the lunch/dinner rush I can guarantee it's probably 85-90 decibels in the kitchen. I think that could be why you're having spikes. how busy was it when you measured the decibels? Also it's a pretty draining job. If you're really tired that could be causing it.
       
    15. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Your audiologist is full of crap. I never had a "Big bang", just a lot of repeated noise that gave me reapeated spikes like you describe, then, here I am 40 years later battling this beast. When our ears are screaming, isn't that a warning sign?
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    16. LillianLexicon97
      Spooky

      LillianLexicon97 Member

      Location:
      U.S.A.
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise: Headphones
      I'm just curious if you quit your job or not? I hope everything's fine.
       
    17. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      OSHA would agree with you. On the other hand, the EPA says that OSHA guidelines will cause hearing damage in 93% of people, and sets 70db as the 24-hour maximum.

      Everyone is different, and anyone who suggests that noise levels which are safe for one person are automatically safe for everyone has a poor understanding of biology. Beyond that, there's the obvious point that chronic stress is demonstrably neurotoxic (and arguably carcinogenic), so if someone finds sound levels extremely stressful, even if they don't directly lead to hearing damage, they may still contribute to long-term deleterious effects on health.

      I work in an office that's about 50 db. I am much happier when I work remotely from outdoor areas where the ambient level is 15-20db. I, personally, would be unwilling to work in a 70db environment unless I had no other options.
       
    18. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Wow...you must have really bad H working in such a quiet environment according to a lot of people here. Based on their opinion you can't even wear ear plugs in a 70db plus fast food environment, I guess according to them 50bd plus with ear protection all day isn't enough noise exposure to avoid H. You are screwed mate! This is such a load of bull shit, it's absolutely unreal.

      My mom has been retired for years and almost never sees above 40-50db. Prior to this she worked in a quiet office for her entire career. Strange, she doesn't have T or H and also has extremely good hearing. I guess I should be worried about her, maybe I should take her around some construction sites or something before she gets that dreaded H!! What a f--king serious joke.
       
    19. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I don't have H... I still ride motorcycles and do other things which I obviously wouldn't if I had H. I just don't like noisy environments, and I despise the sort of incessant, inescapable low-frequency buzz that you get in a lot of urban zones.

      My mom worked in a quiet office and lived in a quiet place her whole life; she doesn't have T or H, and her hearing seems fine, but I know from messing around with tone generators that she can't hear an 8000hz tone even if it's being blasted loud enough to annoy everyone else in the room. So, there are genetic and age-related factors.

      I suppose it is like smoking, or any other behavior. Not smoking decreases your lung cancer risk by a significant amount, but plenty of non-smokers still die of lung cancer.
       
    20. Mark L
      Torn

      Mark L Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/06/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure and I swear Citalopram made it worse
      Dear Konrad,

      I am an acoustic engineer. The issues with noise exposure levels are cumulative over say an 8 hr working day. You really should not be exposed to more than 80dBA but that is as an 8 hour continual level. 85dBA is a continual level is the level for hearing protection.

      Sudden bangs and crashes that last an instant need to be of very high exposure in the region of 100dBA or more. It is almost impossible for dropped pans etc to produce such levels unless they are coupled with explosives. A level of 70dBA is fine and will not cause damage, remember that on the whole people's voices are actually around 50-60dBA.

      Hope that helps put your mind at ease.
       
    21. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      I don't get the overprotecting your ears causes H. Does ''overprotecting'' your skin from the sun causes cancer? Does ''overprotecting'' your eyes with sunglasses cause visual problems? As linearb mentionned the 85 db for 8 hours limit is grossly wrong and outdated. If you are exposed to this kind of noise frequently your ears will get messed up.

      Do people get H from sitting at home and reading in quiet? No.

      T and H comes from some sort of damage to the auditory system. I'm not sure making it a concious effort to expose an injured inner ear to ''normal'' sounds can do any good for you.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    22. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      There's pretty good research showing that chronic use of earplugs causes signal gain in the auditory system. Over a long period of time I'd be surprised if that didn't lead to neuroplastic changes of some kind, but that does not appear to be understood by the present body of data.

      Hilariously, there's also some amount of evidence that chronic use of certain kinds of widely available sunblock does increase your cancer risks, as well, but that's pretty orthogonal to this conversation :D
       
    23. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      But would this phenomenon be any different than the overwhelming sensation jumping into a hot bath or in a 70F lake? The feeling of heat/coldness contrast is quite bothersome at first then not so much after a few seconds.
       
    24. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Off the top of my head, the effect lasted longer than that -- we're also talking about very different kinds of nerves, and very different homeostatic responses.

      On top of that, a significant number of audiological professionals that I've communicated with, have told me that their experience working with a large sampling of hyperacoustic patients, has been that "excessive" ear protection feeds an anxious obsession, and that these patients do not improve until they become willing to attempt to tolerate day-to-day sounds. I do not have the wealth of experience that these professionals have, so, I lack the domain knowledge to have a strong contrary opinion.

      That said, the reason I use quotes around "excessive", is because I believe (and I know you agree) that many routine daily noises, especially in urban environments, are actually pretty damaging over a period of time. I often wear earplugs when I'm doing something like riding the subway around here... and I don't think that's "excessive", because that thing can easily exceed 90db, with a lot of the worst noise in the very high-energy, high frequency bands.

      On some level I'm just giving myself more excuses to move out of the city, though. It doesn't seem to agree with me.
       
    25. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      I have to agree here that the mindset of ''oh god loud sounds everywhere to get me, have to put ear plugs in'' is probably more at fault than blocking external sounds.
       
    26. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Totally possible; I guess I remain to be convinced that earplugs are completely benign. There are a number of accounts of people developing tinnitus and blaming this on long-term use of earplugs, especially doing so all night while sleeping. We clearly didn't evolve to deal with the sort of urban noise that we're stuck with now... but we also didn't evolve to deal with an artificial 32dB blanket over the vast majority of the audible spectrum, and I can well believe that doing that on a constant basis for a period of time might cause some strange neurological changes.
       

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