Sound Annoyance and Worse Tinnitus After Out in a Loud Venue (Measured at 97 dB) for One Hour

Discussion in 'Support' started by star-affinity, May 9, 2024.

    1. star-affinity

      star-affinity Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1993, increase in 2020, then new in 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure about the first. Too many beers? Music during sleep.
      I don't know where to start this because it feels unreal. And I blame myself 1000% for knowing better and not acting accordingly.

      I have been suffering from tinnitus for about three years (well, actually longer, but the intrusive tinnitus affecting me during the day is about three years). Also, back pain for long periods of time for two years (confirmed osteoarthritis in the lower back).

      These two things combined have made me rather miserable during these three years. Overall, I could usually use my ears normally, though some higher and some stronger frequencies can be a bit discomforting.

      The tinnitus is annoying many times throughout the day, but in some places, and depending on what I was doing, I could forget about it quite well.

      Twelve days ago, my back was feeling quite a lot better, and I guess that's what also made me happier than usual and less careful. I went out with two friends, but for some reason, I didn't think of bringing my custom-molded earplugs. I rarely go out, so it was some time ago that I thought of them. Maybe that's why. Plus, I didn't know we'd end up in such a loud place.

      I've been very careful with my ears, wearing earmuffs when vacuuming, using kitchen machines, etc. But for some reason, that thinking slipped this evening.

      We come into this venue with bars and tables, and two guys are playing covers with two amplified guitars. I measure the sound level on my watch and see that it's ”loud”. What is my reaction? I search for some napkin paper to make earplugs (sigh...). My ears felt okay, and I stayed about one hour in this (felt shorter) when I decided to say bye to my friends, thinking of my ears.

      But it was too late.

      When I came home, my head was noisy—I had more erratic high-pitch (cicada-like) tinnitus in the left ear and an elevated tone in my right ear. The drone in my head was also stronger.

      I had some trouble sleeping but managed somewhat.

      The next day, I felt horrible, but I was in denial, thinking I went on with the day, so I went swimming. No earplugs, the sounds didn't feel too intrusive, but my hearing was clearly different, which irritated me. Plastic bags and such had different (less crisp) characteristics. I guess due to some hearing loss... :(

      So, I've made the same mistake so many others have done once everyday sounds are okay, and you start to forget about sounds in general and start feeling better. :(

      I don't know what happens with the brain (mine, at least) in social settings such as our venue. It's as if the brain forgets about the consequences because it ”wants to stay” among people having a good time, clouding judgment of the situation and consequence thinking.

      I'm unbelievably sad because of this, and I've been blaming myself immensely since the onset. I keep returning to the evening and thinking how I could have done things differently. I can't sleep properly, primarily because of my remorse—the tinnitus sounds are horrible, but they are not new, even if they're a bit more intrusive.

      I'm using ear defenders or my earplugs when I go out. I even use them inside since I find some sounds annoying. But I think this is mainly because I perceive them differently, and that and the (likely) associated hearing it annoys me as much as the tinnitus. So I don't think that sounds sensitive, but maybe I'm in denial again...

      It's horrible not being able to hang out with my kids normally now when we have some days off.

      My question is, does anyone have any advice? Do you think the sound annoyance will disappear, and how long will it take? It's horrible enough having tinnitus and some hearing loss, but I'd like to get to the point where I can use my ears without discomfort at ”normal” sound levels.

      P.S. Good article on the venues taking more responsibility:

      Should nightclubs be doing more to protect your hearing?

      Even with all this knowledge, I still managed to compromise my ears. I think many uninformed people don't know about the possible consequences. I think it should be a legal requirement to warn people at the entrance of a venue where the volume is loud that there can be severe consequences. And offer earplugs!
      • Hug Hug x 5
    2. AverageJoe12

      AverageJoe12 Member Benefactor

      Washington DC, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A night club in Feb ‘23, drummer since 15 years old
      I'm here for you. I damaged my hearing in a nightclub, and my life hasn't been the same since. Give yourself a little grace. You have incredible awareness, and you're learning so much about your condition and yourself. I appreciate you sharing your experience with me. You are not alone. I feel very alone and afraid for the future, but I'm just going to sleep it off, and tomorrow is a new day. Keep your chin up.
      • Friendly Friendly x 3
    3. AUTHOR

      star-affinity Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1993, increase in 2020, then new in 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure about the first. Too many beers? Music during sleep.
      Such a kind message. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

      I'm really struggling right now. I've been dealing with intrusive tinnitus for three years and back pain for two years. The back pain is manageable now, but the tinnitus is still a constant struggle. I recently made a mistake that has made things even worse. I can't even sit with my son and watch TV because the sounds are too much for me to handle. I went to get him an ice cream, and all the noises in the store were overwhelming. I've been wearing earplugs at home and it seems like even the ambient sounds are too loud for me now. I was starting to feel better, and now this setback has been really tough to deal with.

      How do you cope with situations like this?

      Also, I've been playing drums since I was 15, but always with earplugs. I think it's still taken a toll on my hearing. I used to have great hearing, but now I've noticed a loss in high frequencies in my left ear. It's really disheartening.
      • Hug Hug x 2

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