Tinnitus After Loud Music (Max Volume for Seconds)

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Havel, Nov 28, 2020.

    1. Havel

      Havel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise

      I wrote much of this in another thread, but I thought I should probably make a thread about it here, and add a few details. I have been reading this forum for months, and have learned a lot from it, even if sometimes it also made me depressed to read some of the stories here.

      My tinnitus started early summer this year, in May. I accidentally played music on max volume. I only played for seconds before turning it off, because it was uncomfortably loud, possibly the loudest music I've ever heard... despite the speakers being small. (To be more specific, it was a track played on the site Bandcamp, which has no volume control.) I also suspect the audio track contained a lot of high frequency content. I didn't think more of it, until a couple of hours later, when suddenly I heard a tone in my left ear. Almost immediately I also noticed that certain things didn't sound right, such as running water. After a couple of minutes, the tone changed into a different sound, more difficult to describe, but somewhat similar to sizzling. I also started hearing other sounds, such as the sound of air escaping, and crickets (the crickets eventually and mysteriously disappeared). During the next couple of days, I kept hoping the sounds would go away, but they didn't. When I went outside, I noticed I had developed some sensitivity to sound, i.e. hyperacusis (which thankfully went away after a while, although not completely). A very mentally difficult period began that lasted for several months.

      I visited an audiologist weeks later, who found I had lost hearing on the highest measured frequencies in the left ear. But I didn't receive any kind of help, other than information and an admission that "they don't really know how tinnitus works". The GP I had visited earlier was unprofessional, joked around and didn't take my situation seriously, when I was very anxious. I had to insist on a referral.

      After about a month I also started to occasionally hear a sound in the other ear, strangely. It's a hissing, air blowing sound that comes and goes. In the left ear, the tinnitus is instead constant, and the sounds are numerous and more difficult to describe, more sounds had appeared since it first began. They fluctuate in volume and type of sound. I can't mask it, but I often have audio (low to moderate volume always) on in the background to better be able to not focus on it. Oddly, at times I instead feel better when I put on ear defenders and only hear the tinnitus.

      One of the most difficult sides to this has been how much it fluctuates. From one minute to the next, the sound can go from barely perceptible (but still there) to audible over everything except the shower. Some days I hear it less, and other days I hear it more. I've wondered how I can habituate fully, considering how much it varies. After some time, I've become more used to it, and gotten better at focusing on other things, and better at coping with it. I have a few coping techniques, that I hope will suffice, but I would of course much prefer it went away completely, or at least diminished until I only heard it in a very quiet room. Certainly I feel much better mentally than in the beginning. But there have been times when I thought about how it had become almost a non-problem for me, and then it starts to bother me more again, and the sounds increase in volume, as if my brain for some reason wants to say "you're not escaping it that easily". I had such a period recently. The fluctuations are apparently random, no known pattern to it or cause, although I suspect stress or tension and noise exposure from the environment (e.g. traffic, busy public places) are factors. I'm no neuroscientist but I suppose practically anything that affects the nervous system can in theory affect tinnitus.

      I am still surprised that tinnitus can be caused this easily, especially when some people are exposed to loud sounds for decades without getting tinnitus. And other people around you that don't experience the same thing don't understand what it can be like, and they forget that you even have it, because it's not visible to them.
      • Hug Hug x 3
    2. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Welcome to the forum. You are quite right to say that the nervous system can in theory affect tinnitus as most of us know that high stress and anxiety tend to make tinnitus worse, or at least perceptually worse. This may have to do with when we are in that high stress level or having anxiety attacks, we may be under the influence of the limbic nervous system where the amygdala takes over the processing of the stimulus of the ringing sound. In this state we function in fight and flight mode which tends to amplify the 'threat', the ringing and all our senses zoom in on this threat. It is therefore for us to de-stress the body as much as possible via various means, so that the normal parasympathetic nervous system will return. The prefrontal cortex then will replace the amygdala in processing this stimulus of T and things will be easier to manage, as the cortex has the natural function to extinguish or reduce fearful reaction. Then T will not appear as threatening. This plus the fact that we tend to get used with the ringing over time and we then will likely see less and less extreme reaction to T enabling us to start the road on habituation. Wish you will be on the way to recovery. Take care. God bless.
    3. Adaś

      Adaś Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphones, Stress, Rock concerts
      I am very sorry to see you joining the infamous club of tinnitus triggered by few seconds of loud blast from headphones. This is how I triggered my tinnitus back in 2013.

      It really makes me sad and angry to see your post and others':


      It really makes me upset that modern consumer devices are SO dangerous and no warnings are even provided. Not to mention that I really fail to comprehend why they are able to output 105-110 dB at all, I would expect that all headphones connected to regular headphone output should be capped to 85-90 dB.

      It is only recently Apple has added to iPhone/iOS devices loudness capping. Still regular computers do not have such a thing, so you can ruin your ears accidentally putting volume at max. This is horrible.
    4. Jrblovsky

      Jrblovsky Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Christmas 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gunfire (Maybe) & Menieres
      Welcome to hell.

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