Social Gatherings and Fear of Sudden Loud Noises

Discussion in 'Support' started by Julien87, Oct 12, 2020.

    1. Julien87
      Not amused

      Julien87 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (concert)
      Good day fellow noiseheads.

      I wondered how do you guys deal with the situations where loud noises may occur, when you are with family and/or friends?

      I've been thinking about that yesterday. Because I was at my cousin's for the the birthday of her son on Saturday, with other people from the family and friends. I spent the whole afternoon stressed and on the lookout because of one detail: there were balloons hung on a wall (exactly what I feared before coming) and a few kids. Dangerous combo.

      The kids obviously wanted to unhook the balloons to play with them. Which concerned me quite a lot because we were in an enclosed space (the living room) and I did not want any balloon to pop near my ears. It seemed like I was the only adult who cared that those goddamn balloons stay on that wall so I regularly stood up and prevented the kids from unhooking them when they obviously wanted to do it (some people may have found my behaviour weird but anyway, I did not want to risk it).

      So, needless to say I did not really enjoy this moment that could have been a lovely moment spent with family and friends. I was constantly fearing that one kid unhooks a balloon and makes it pop. And it made me so uncomfortable that I left a bit early.

      And this kind of situation is likely to happen again in the future, with balloons or other sources of noise. I have had tinnitus for many years but I still struggle with these situations. Actually, I think they generate more stress now than in the first years after the onset.

      How do you deal with those situations? Do you simply avoid them? Do you wear earplugs so that a sense of security enables you to relax/enjoy the moment? Or are you constantly on the lookout like me?

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts,
      Take care.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @Julien87

      I understand your concerns and trepidation being around loud sounds at social and family events. However, you have had tinnitus for quite some time and therefore experienced. To be honest sound levels unless extremely loud shouldn't cause any problems or make someone like you feel alarmed, unless as I suspect your oversensitivity to sound (hyperacusis) hasn't been treated, since the onset of your noise induced tinnitus back in 2006?

      As I have mentioned in many of posts in particular: Hyperacusis, As I see it. Unless oversensitivity to sound (hyperacusis) is treated a person will always find sound or certain sounds problematic. This can affect a person's mental and emotional wellbeing quite profoundly and reinforce negative thinking of the type I've mentioned many times in my posts and articles on Noise induced tinnitus and hyperacusis. If possible try and seek treatment for this which may require counselling. If this isn't possible try self help as explained in many of my posts. When in an environment where noise levels feel uncomfortable, I suggest using noise reducing earplugs but try not to become too dependent on them.

      My hyperacusis was treated over 20 years ago and cured using white noise generators as part of TRT. I have no problems with sound levels even up to 100 decibels and slightly over. Admittedly I only endured this for 30mins as mentioned in my post, hyperacusis as I see it.

      Please try my suggestions and hope you start to feel better in the future.

      Take care
      Michael

      PS: How are you getting on with the Waterpik, has it helped?
       
      • Like Like x 1
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Julien87
      Not amused

      Julien87 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (concert)
      Hi @Michael Leigh
      I hope you are well, thank you for your reply.
      My oversensivity is quite light, and not really problematic. Some noises cause discomfort to me, but do not cause pain (that is why I prefer to write oversensitivity and not hyperacusis, in my case). Generally it is not an issue, and I think I can withstand brief loud noises quite well.

      I agree with you, I am just not sure how loud a noise needs to be to cause further damage to me and to worsen my tinnitus. This really terrifies. I am now fine with brief children screams, car honking or dog barking. But balloons, I don't know, it seems to be another level of noise.

      So I think I may just keep earplugs in whenever I need to stay in an area where a balloon may pop.
      I thought about that several times, because this fear affects my life quite a lot. I try to work on it myself but I don't do a lot of progress. I should probably try seeing a therapist/counsellor, yes. Seems inevitable now.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    4. Steph1710
      Old hag

      Steph1710 Member

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antibiotics - I think
      @Julien87

      A similar thing happened to me the other day. I was round a friend's and she was playing music through a huge sound system, stupidly loud!

      I kept earplugs in the whole time.

      I wish I didn't feel too embarrassed to say that my ears are delicate and could she please turn the volume down... Next time I will say something.

      Fortunately, I haven't experienced any spike.

      But I know where you're coming from. It's hard to relax in certain situations. Just keep earplugs in and stay away from ridiculous volumes. With earplugs, you should be fine. Kids and balloons would certainly make me nervous!

      I try not to avoid any social situation, as I would like to continue to live despite having tinnitus. But yes, I definitely get nervous in some situations, but that's normal for us guys. We're trying to protect ourselves after all. And for good reason!

      I think you should explain to your family about the balloon situation. If they love you, they'll understand. There's plenty more decorations to use, other than balloons.

      Steph x
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Julien87
      Not amused

      Julien87 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (concert)
      I understand. In those cases I don't hesitate to ask if they can lower it a bit ^^ Generally they understand, and not everybody, with or without tinnitus, likes loud environments anyway. It can be annoying when you are having conversations. And in the situations where people don't know about your condition and you don't want to mention it to them, I have a tip: you could simply say you have a headache and the music makes it worse :)
      I think that's the best thing to do. Not avoiding them, not seeing them as threats.
      I think my cousin, her husband and the other close family I had there on Saturday understood why I did this. They know about my condition. Well, despite this I think they had no idea the balloons could scare me. I guess it's very hard to put oneself in the shoes of someone like us…
       

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