Spike After Loud Dog Barking (Sick of This!)

Discussion in 'Support' started by NimQ, Jan 15, 2017.

    1. NimQ
      Alienated

      NimQ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2011, got worse 09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hey guys,

      Not such a good day for me, I guess I really need support from people who understand what this is like.:(

      I visited a friend's house today to play boardgames and was expecting a quiet evening. Instead, when we entered the apartment a very large dog started barking (on full volume!) right next to me. It wouldn't stop at all and I was so surprised by the whole situation that instead of putting hands over my ears I just tried to get my shoes & jacket off. Then finally the dog quieted down, so I thought it was over and lowered myself to greet it - then it barked right to my ear. I feel so stupid having done that, but I've never met a dog loud in such way. Whole evening this dog would start barking unexpectedly, sometimes being next to me and in a small apartment its superloud bark really hurt my ears. I could literally feel my tinnitus aggravated. I checked and dogs usually bark at 90-100 decibels and loudest recorded dog has been above 110 - a sudden sound like this is actually dangerous, never thought of it.

      Now I am home and my tinnitus is really out of hands - especially my worse ear (left one) is screaming and I feel like I can't keep getting punishments like this when I am already actively trying to be safe. My friends originally suggested a pub for the meeting, but pubs can be surprisingly loud and I wanted to be safe so went to their home instead - just to have an unbelieveably loud dog barking right to my ear.

      So even when I'm trying to be safe, shit happens. I feel like I can't live a life at all - last time in December I went to movies with 30 db reduction earplugs, yet my tinnitus got worse and only this week I felt like it was getting a bit better again. And what happens? Something as freaking stupid as a dog barking!

      Before a concert (with good earplugs) in September I had mild tinnitus (from 2011) that didn't really react to anything and stayed the same. I remember how hard it was to deal with it, just because of losing silence. I struggled with lots and lots of depression/anxiety over it for a year or so, before accepting it. And it was NOTHING compared to this reactive tinnitus I now have in both ears. There are multiple noises and they are so easily triggered to be even worse. I notice my life is becoming very restricted - either I go to (normal!) noisy situations and pay the price crying alone at home afterwards (like now) or then I just sit home in silence, in which again a saucepan might drop and make my head blast with tinnitus.

      It's like there is no winning here and this dog bark incident just represents the whole anxiety over this. Please fellow (reactive or otherwise) tinnitus sufferers, do help me. How do you go on with your life? How do you adapt to a piercing noise that keeps changing? How do you cope with spikes? How do you avoid these type of trigger situations, since they come with no warning? How much do you restrict your life? Any other comments appreciated as well, ofcourse...
       
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    2. Tweaker
      Transparent

      Tweaker Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      I had the same thing not too long ago round a friends house. Dogs barking indoors sounds so loud/painful to sensitive ears. My anxiety went throught the roof and so did my ears. It set me back for a while. I haven't found a way to cope with these events either. They set me back. Fire alarms at work also have a similar impact. It's the knwoledge that it will make the T worse that causes anxiety. Not sure what we can do but try to recover as soon as we can by trying to reduce anxiety after such events and somehow relax.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      NimQ
      Alienated

      NimQ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2011, got worse 09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I'm sorry you have similar thing happening to you, this truly is awful. The knowledge that certain sounds are a risk factor is indeed a major source of the anxiety. Then again, the knowledge is very much correct - it can get worse and there is no guarantee it will get quieter again. The spikes alone are pure torture (the sound is horrific!) and then to add that you cannot know for certain it is a temporary spike. This all just seems so unfair - no amount of trying to be safe will make up for the fact that modern world is incredibly loud. One doesn't even realize it before having a condition like this and after taking damage from it... it starts to control one's life. I'm not sure what to do either, I feel helpless.
       
    4. BettyHasHope

      BettyHasHope Member

      Location:
      Los Angeles
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ruptured eardrum
      @NimQ I know how you feel honestly I restrict myself from everything I am so paranoid. 5 months in and everywhere I go I have cotton swabs or ear plugs. I didn't go out for christmas or new years. I don't like going to places because I'm scarred anything will make it worse. Only place I feel safe is work because work isn't so loud and it's indoors. Some ppl think im overreacting but they just don't understand. I'm the one with the noise not them. I protect myself from everything. I just can't risk myself. It sucks honestly and I wish I was in heaven cured. I just can't commit suicide. I'm not sure if my t has spiked honestly and I'm not sure to what since I try to protect myself everywhere. You should carry earplugs with you
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      NimQ
      Alienated

      NimQ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2011, got worse 09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Betty, it is indeed really hard for people without this condition to understand. I guess it's since the noises we found alarming are just normal to them. Many even go clubbing and concerts without earplugs, so how could they understand us getting dire consequences from a barking dog.:/

      Earplugs are a bit of a dilemma for me. When I use them, I feel like the occlusion effect is a problem, since it makes my own voice inside my head so loud that I cannot use plugs in social situations. For example if we'd be in 80 dB noisy environment and had to speak at 85 dB, the occlusion effect adds even 20 dB pressure to our ear canal. Plus we are told that T (and especially H) only gets worse if you start to limit sounds too much. So for me it feels like earplugs won't be helping in everyday life, since usually one needs to be able to speak or then the noise comes so suddenly there is no chance to prepare.
       
    6. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      Be strong and carry on :)

      I was trying to connect the bluetooth to my car and it connected and the noise was not coming out..i could hear nothing..i kept increasing the volume and still nothing..I probably had the volume on max and my car doesnt have an indicator for max volume.....I pressed the radio button and full blast..full volume for 2 seconds..it felt like a sonic boom and probably gave me more ..louder tinnitus.

      I went to a get together tonight and there were 2 kids (age 4) and they were screaming full blast and running around....the parents don't give a shit and dont care if the kids act like animals....My ear just felt horrible and the tinnitus was beyond horrible.

      I already have pretty destructive T in both ears and nothing can mask it and it covers a great amount of my hearing. You just gotta live your life and don't let T or anything bog you down.

      Down the line, i may have to get hearing aids, cuz the tinnitus is too loud and i know my hearing is pretty bad...
       
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    7. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Large caliber rifles&machine guns, +30 years of loud clubs
      why not using some earmuffs ?
      No occlusion effect
       
    8. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      I feel you. Had a similar thing happen to me back when my tinnitus and hyperacusis was at it's absolute worst back in 2013.

      Was at my sisters place and they had a couple of dogs, one was chill but the other would go spastic if you weren't petting it and somehow it decided to pick on me that night. Literally would sit up next to me and bark like crazy, I think the dog could also sense my anxiety at the time which might have played a factor. Anyway, it was a horrible experience and hurt my ears like crazy since my hyperacusis was all sorts of bad at the time. Got a spike too and freaked out a bit, was trying to play it cool around my extended family so I didn't use my plugs and felt like an idiot.

      Anyway eventually went back to normal, but I was still pretty peeved. All I can say now is that things got better for me in every way eventually. My hyperacusis is gone now (started easing up in 2015 then complete remission some time in 2016) and now my hearing sensitivity is back to normal. I don't really experience spikes from exposure to short bouts of loud noise like dogs barking, plates or pans being dropped, that sort of thing. I think in my case, just being careful with my hearing and letting time do it's think helped me the most.

      Anyway this is getting a bit long winded but my tinnitus and hyperacusis symptoms have been a roller coaster since 2012 but it's much better these days. There were months where I thought my tinnitus and hyperacusis would never settle, and every little incident would send me into a semi-hysteria: dogs barking, dropping plates, loud cars on the road, crowd noise in pubs, people yelling at me, etc. But now I handle most situations just fine, and pop in plugs wherever I think is too loud like a bar, movies, etc.

      Invest in some custom fit musicians plugs (I have a pair of ACS custom fits that are pretty good when it comes to occlusion - standard foam ones are horrible imo), protect your ears when you need to (don't over do it, I know it can be tempting), use supplements that protect your hearing (NAC, niacin, melatonin, magnesium, other various antioxidants) and if you ever suspect you've done real damage to your hearing, get onto some oral corticosteroids ASAP - definitely helped me out of a couple of jams over the years.
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      NimQ
      Alienated

      NimQ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2011, got worse 09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I truly appreciate all the comments you have been posting here. Since there is nothing substantial I could do to help my T get better (it has a life of its own) right now, being able to focus on peer support means a lot.

      @fishbone - those type of situations you described are the worst. And at least I can't help myself from punishing myself afterwards and thinking "why was I so stupid to do this and that" - even when it is an accident or caused by something I had no control over. I see you have had T for a very long time, since 1990? I commend your positive attitude and indeed - as simple it is, being strong and carrying on is the only option. Since for me the fear is that the condition keeps getting worse and worse over these incidents, what is your take on that? Has your T gotten gradually worse, stayed the same or gotten any better? Have these everyday incidents (like screaming children) caused only temporary spikes or do they kind of build up T over the years?
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      NimQ
      Alienated

      NimQ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2011, got worse 09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      @Bobby B and others as well - are you using earmuffs and if you are, could you recommend a model? I am thinking of investing into Bose QuietComfort 35 noice-cancelling headphones, just to put them easily on in loud traffic etc. Since the design is that of normal headphones, one wouldn't feel too self-conscious about them either. I am also thinking they could help to add up protection from the 30-40 dB when bone-conduction comes to play. In other words I'm thinking, that perhaps I could eventually go to movies again and have 30 dB earplugs and then on top of that those noise-cancelling headphones. That way the protection would exceed anything passive hearing protectors can offer.

      @yonkapin - that sounds like exactly the dog barking incident I had. As you said that you avoided plugs "to play it cool" - I find myself doing the same thing from time to time. And of course regret it afterwards. Sometimes it just feels so embarassing to make a big number of it - I think the same reaction prevented me from for example going back outside and say that I'll come in when the dog has calmed down and request it to be kept in a room or something. Which is exactly what I should have done! I mean imagine someone with - let's say - injured knee and a dog bouncing right at it. It would not be considered rude to ask the dog to be taken away to a separate room, as not to risk that person's knee for further damage. I don't know why tinnitus is different, why it feels like I am the problem and overreacting. For me part of this is because I have had people react badly when I try to stress how important it is for me not to be exposed to loud noises. They can make quite hurtful jokes out of it ("okay granny" - when not being able to show off one's new car stereos) or then the situation becomes just awkward. Have you found a way to set your boundaries and to react to these sudden situations in a way that will protect you (instead of trying to pretend nothing's wrong)?

      It is also good to hear that you are now handling things quite fine - I hope to get there some day as well. Since you say that sudden, but short loud noise exposures do not cause spikes anymore, would you say your T has quieted down in overall? When you were still experiencing spikes from incidents like that dog barking one, did any of them permanently increase your T? Oh and thank you for the advices as well.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    11. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      I think my tinnitus is at its worst and insanely destructive. In all honesty, it's not my tinnitus that gets me...it's more the lack of hearing and communications. I avoid a lot of social functions, because my hearing just sucks. the fear we put into T can make it worst, more than an environment factor.

      I am a person that just accepts things, the way they are. I have tinnitus (super loud) in both ears, there is no cure for this. Just gotta live with it and that's what i do. I also have skin/scalp psoriasis and that is very hard to deal with. I have fine long/straight hair but i have patches under my scalp. Its hard to deal with it and if i don't get something going with that, i'll just have to shave my head. It would kill me to do that, but that's life...i accept things the way they are.


      Recently i went to a pub that eventually became a night club a few hours later. My tinnitus did not get all that bad afterwards. I was with friends and they were conversation and could not wear ear plugs to hear them.

      Yes, tinnitus is horrible and it is one of the main reasons why dating is so hard to do, but that's life..we live once..try to enjoy it somehow :)
       
    12. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Large caliber rifles&machine guns, +30 years of loud clubs
      @NimQ
      Not sure what you mean by self conscious in this context . If a mere dog barking can cause some permanent effect then protecting your ears may be the best thing and the best way is to wear Noise reducing ear muffs not some kind of ear phones .

      Those bose headsets aren't going to cancel the noise from a dog bark they work well for constant hums noise like cars or planes . They only offer a few Db of reduction not worth the price

      Look at the Peltor X series those are very cheap too mine cost only 25 dollars.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    13. bill 112
      Fine

      bill 112 Member

      Location:
      Republic Of Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      I can relate to ALOT of the things the OP mentions,I'll give an example.

      In September 2015 I entered my car into Japfest,a Japanese car enthusiasts dream car show.I knew it could get loud there so as usual I kept my earplugs in my pocket and a pair of earmuffs in the boot of my car.When we arrived I put my earplugs in but quickly realised three things,
      1:Where we were wasn't loud,the track was loud but I knew to stay away from there.

      2:With earplugs in all I was doing was shouting unnecessarily,you didn't have to raise your voice to be heard but yet here I was shouting at people right beside me which was actually stressing my ears more then the noise levels at the event.

      3:I avoided conversations because I had to ask people to repeat themselves numerous times which just became extremely awkward after awhile.A friend told me that his sister just had a baby and I responded with"Jesus that's awful"
      See what I'm saying.

      So I took the earplugs out and was much better for it,the noise wasn't loud apart from when the cars on the track came flying past in the distance to which I simply just covered my ears and the day went great from there on out.

      Another example is when we went bowling one night,same situation as stated above.The place wasn't loud at all and wearing earplugs was just causing a horrible unnecessary occlusion effect and social problems.Everyone could hear eachother clearly and I struggled to hear a word being said to me not to mention all my friends laughing because I was shouting everything really loudly for all to hear.So I took the earplugs out and things were OK for the best part of the night,that was until someone dropped a bowling ball loudly onto the floor beside me for no apparent reason which in turn lead to a minor setback.How do we predict these things?And also even if we do predict them there's no quarantee it will happen so by wearing earplugs and shouting your just putting unnecessary strain on your ears for something that may or may not happen.My T and H were extremely mild at the time but talking for an extended period of time with earplugs in always had a negative effect on my ears where as walking down the street surrounded by busy traffic done nothing to me.

      It was the same story when visiting relatives with noisy kids,I would arrive wearing earplugs,make sure the kids were calm,take them out only for the kids to start screaming the second I had them out same with dogs and everything else unpredictable.Then I would kick myself for taking them out only to remember the reason I took them out is the same reasons listed above,wearing earplugs in a quiet house in perpetration for a noise that may never come and thus just put unnecessary strain on my ears with the sound of my own voice.

      Even my fathers funeral was a nightmare,I had to walk his coffin into the church and I knew they were going to sound the church bells so I wore my earplugs.Only this raised a new problem,we all had to communicate with eachother as to not screw up our footing and send my dad bouncing across the church grounds only I couldn't hear what they were saying and was causing us to go out of synch.So I took out my earplugs,blocked my left ear(side where bells where)and pointed my right ear at what they were saying.Then we get to the afters,I have my plugs in but again the same problem arises,everyone is coming up to me to show their condolences and I just look like a right ignorant twat as I can't make out what they're saying so I just nod and smile.I realise it's not loud here so I take them out and things are fine only for someone to let off a rocket right beside me an hour later.Who lets off a rocket in a beer garden during a funeral?Honestly you can't predict things like this,luckily my GF spotted this before I did and covered my ears so I dodged a bullet on that one.



      The whole thing is just one enormous mind melt.
       
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    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      NimQ
      Alienated

      NimQ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2011, got worse 09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      My original post is about those surprising situations one is not expecting with earmuffs or earplugs already inserted. Wouldn't we develope a severe hyperacusis if we walked around with earmuffs on all the time? I do carefully consider which situations would be safe and try to avoid very loud places all together, but not all can be predicted. When it comes to being self-conscious: it is really silly, I know! One should always focus on keeping safe. However, I have social anxiety and tendency to anxiety attacks, so when these situations happen all of a sudden, I freeze and my mind starts to loop things like "I can't make a scene! Act normal! Everyone's staring at me!" on a full alarm mode. So I'd rather resort to something low-key that even this anxious side of me can accept, since in those situations I cannot just calm down and rationalize yet.

      Thank you for the tip about Peltor X series, I think I will get a pair of those - it's good to have options. When it comes to those Bose QC35 earphones, I'm thinking of having them around my neck in everyday life - I have to travel a lot in public transportation, so figured they might be good there and something I'd use with low treshold (ofc I always keep my earplugs with me as well). And as I said earlier, I would like to have active protection to pair up with passive one. Or am I wrong: because of bone-conduction passive hearing protection can only protect max. 35-40 dB - so if I have 39 dB earplugs, it's no use to put passive earmuffs on top of that? If I were to go to movies ever again in my life, wouldn't the best possible protection be passive + active? Like those 39 dB earplugs and then noice-cancelling headphones on top. Besides, it is not only a few decibels that those Bose ones erase, it's quite nice decrease actually: boseqc35.jpg

      *img source
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      NimQ
      Alienated

      NimQ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2011, got worse 09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      YES! This is exactly what I am talking about. And it happens all too often, doesn't it - at least feels like it. You told in such detail what it is like, exactly! These are the thoughts that go in my mind as well and it's a constant "should I or should I not" with earplugs - I know I'd prolly end up wearing earplugs all the time, if there was no occlusion effect. Which would be no good of course, since I would be isolated and hyperacusis would step in - but loudness is just so scary right now. I hate how much one needs to constantly evaluate the risk and have no control over it. Really helps me to know that this sort of daily struggle isn't just in my head. And I have to mention that it is great that your GF understands your condition in the way that she reacts and helps you, kudos to her.

      I actually had one of those situations happen today - business as usual, eh. I am uni student and we were having a break, so someone decided to play music from a screen with sound system. So lucky I noticed it and just put hands over my ears, waiting. And imagine this - the sound settings were OF COURSE on almost max and the speakers started blasting music for a moment before he figured out how to turn it down. I was okay, because I noticed it and prepared - but if I had my back turned, I'd prolly be suffering from worse spike now. People are so very careless about this stuff, unfortunately. I don't know why, since "noise is the number 2 cause of ill health after air pollution" and about 15 % of people suffer from hearing loss (source). Every sensible adult knows not to point anyone's eye with a laserpen, yet loud noises? Nothing.
       
    16. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Large caliber rifles&machine guns, +30 years of loud clubs
      You don't develop hyperacusis if you are in silent places or wearing ear protection - yes the auditory system may be more sensitive to sound while you wear ear protection but this effect isn't permanent at all. Once you remove it after a few minutes the brain re-adjust.

      We have forum members who routinely sleep with plugs in and no one developed a permanent , lasting hyperacusis as a result .
      In fact , since the invention of ear protection 287 years ago no one ever developed permanent hyperacusis . You certainly won't find any scientific study which reports any such effect.

      This is in contrast to your Permanent T increase.

      I hope you can understand the difference !

      Why be afraid by a temporary phenomenon and so risk a permanent worsening ?
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      NimQ
      Alienated

      NimQ Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2011, got worse 09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I decided to post good news here and much sooner than I dared to hope! I am carefully optimistic, but today when I woke up in the morning, the spike in my left ear seemed to be much calmer. Yesterday evening/night it was still there, making its loud & dull beep and today right when I woke up, I felt it had gone back to how it was before Sunday's incident. It may still fluctuate for sure, but for me this means it may very well go back to baseline.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    18. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      No worries. It's hard for others to empathize because it's difficult for them to understand our symptoms.

      It was a struggle for me in the beginning trying to explain to my friends why I couldn't do certain activities anymore, and I had to put up with my fair share of "stop being a pussy bro", "c'mon man" type responses.

      I was patient though and realized that it would take a while for them to understand the stress I was going through at the time. I don't know how I got it through to my friends, but I think explaining it multiple times and even making fun of myself for it sometimes in a lighthearted way helped to get point across to them. After a couple of months they really flipped a switch and started to empathize with my situation. Now they actively look out for me whenever we might be going somewhere loud or think I might get stuck in a situation that might make in comfortable.

      Short exposures to loud noises don't seem to trigger spikes anymore, they did definitely used to back in 13-15ish - also used to experience worsening of my hyperacusis at the time. My left ear would hurt like crazy and the pain would spread through the left side of my face, down into my shoulder. But that's all gone now. I get periods of time where my tinnitus is more loud for a few days, or there are shifts in tone and timbre but habituation means that I mostly ignore all these changes. So I would say my perceived baseline has probably reduced, I can sit in silence with my tinnitus for long periods of time without breaking a sweat, whereas I would get super anxious a couple of years back. The brain is weird like that.

      As far as I can remember, none of the short exposures to loud noise triggered any permanent increases in my tinnitus volume or added new tones. The only time I really experienced a significant increase in volume was when I also got hyperacusis. I accidentally blew too hard into my nose performing the valsalva maneuver and caused all sorts of havoc in my left ear, that was back in 2013.

      Hope that helps!
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    19. BettyHasHope

      BettyHasHope Member

      Location:
      Los Angeles
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ruptured eardrum
      @NimQ true but I rather try avoiding anything that will harm me.
       
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