Tinnitus After One Loud Blast from Earbuds. Chances It Will Go Away?

Discussion in 'Support' started by steve-m, May 18, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. steve-m

      steve-m Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced from earbuds
      Hello! My name is Steve and I'm 30. I've been suffering from tinnitus for 6 weeks now. I put in earbuds to listen to music on my iPad and carelessly forgot to turn down the volume, which had been set to maximum. I got stunned by a 2-3 second blast of extremely loud music and now, 6 weeks later, I still suffer from a hissing, high-pitched sound in my ears.

      I just cannot believe that this one-off exposure could have damaged my ears to such an extent. In the past I have experienced temporary ringing after concerts, clubs, etc but it had always faded away by the next morning.

      Thankfully it is mild in the sense that I am only really aware of it in relatively silent environments. But I am worried that this tinnitus will be permanent and fear that it will get worse with time.

      I am so angry at myself. Usually I am very careful with volume levels and the thought of a moment of careless stupidity resulting in a possible lifetime of tinnitus makes me sick to my stomach.

      Has anyone ever heard of a one-off blast from earbuds resulting in long-lasting tinnitus? I would never have thought it possible before now. What do you think the chances are that it will go away, considering it has been noise-induced and so far no improvement after 6 weeks? Thanks in advance for your support!
       
    2. truesilence

      truesilence Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      Difficult to say. I see (and hear!!!) people everyday listening to music on max volume and they probably do that on a regular basis. Give the ears a total rest from music and you should be fine:). If you're really concerned, go and see an ENT and get a hearing test.
       
    3. Richard zurowski

      Richard zurowski Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      27/12/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection.
      @steve-m . Well at least you have mild tinnitus. And it didn't increase in volume.
       
    4. steve-m

      steve-m Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced from earbuds
      @truesilence Thanks for your comment! :) It definitely seems like a case of bizarre bad luck! I have made an appointment with an ENT but will have to wait until July. Hopefully the tinnitus will be gone by then!
       
    5. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      It is strange as none of the earbuds probably reach 120dB, I'd say even 110dB is a stretch. While that's very loud, in theory it shouldn't cause immediate damage in a few seconds.
       
    6. seal

      seal Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      maybe that simply was the final straw as you had been experiencing temporary Tinnitus after concerts, clubs etc before. I also thought that temporary T after loud events was "normal" before i had chronic Tinnitus when actually it is not normal at all. there are people who never experienced T in their lives even after loud events. I thoight everyone had it! You probably have sensitive ears and that last blast was too much. Of course I still hope it goes away for you...
       
    7. steve-m

      steve-m Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced from earbuds
      @Richard zurowski It is true that it could be a lot worse and I do tell myself I should be more grateful it's mild. I guess I'm just worried it may get worse as it's not fading.

      @LeQuack I also would have thought earbuds couldn't possibly reach such dangerous levels. They were 'in-ear' earbuds so I guess the sound is magnified compared to standard earbuds. I suppose that kind of volume just centimeters from the inner ear cannot be a good thing :(

      Thanks @seal Interesting theory! It's certainly possible. I hadn't been to a concert or very loud event in months though so I would have thought my ears would have healed since then. But maybe not! I also thought temporary tinnitus after loud events was completely normal so it's really interesting to find out that it's not!

      Thanks for all your comments guys! :)
       
    8. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      Excitotoxity. The auditory nerve fibers that allow us to process sounds are very vulnerable to damage. This can happen in a very slow manner until you notice ringing. Look into hidden hearing loss.

      I'm not speaking about the hair like cells of the inner ear that allows us to "pick up" frequencies. I'm talking about what connects our inner ears to our brain and what allows us to enjoy music or experiencing chemically nuerotransmitting properties (emotions).
       
    9. steve-m

      steve-m Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced from earbuds
      Do you think this kind of damage is likely to gradually heal or just get worse with time?
       
    10. ryant

      ryant Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert for 1 hour
      It's hard to say Steve if it will get better or go away, in most cases it does. You may reached a point where another episode of loud music like you had could result in tinnitus that doesn't go away. I'd suggest buying some earplugs and carrying them with you and wearing them whenever you are in a noisy environment. I got a pair on amazon called eargasm (yes funny name) and keep them on my keychain. Oh, and my story is went to a concert 6 months ago without ear plugs, stood close to the stage for probably 30-40 minutes. I've had tinnitus since. It has improved some, but it's still there.
       
    11. steve-m

      steve-m Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced from earbuds
      Thanks @ryant for the advice, I'll definitely make sure to carry earplugs with me from now on! Sorry to hear about your tinnitus and hope it goes away too!
       
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    12. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      It's hard to tell how much damage has been done. There really is no way. There's a flaw in the audiology industry. I'm telling you, you can be easily diagnosed incorrectly by getting a hearing test done and being told that you have inner hair cell damage. Our ability to "hear" frequencies that the hair cells pick up depend on how many in-going nerve fibers we have on each. The more nerve fibers, the clearer and more loudly you'll be able to pick up those frequencies while other noises are going on.

      I could be completely wrong but I had a good amount of various hearing tests done ranging from the normal tonal frequency test to an Oto-Acoustic test to an Audiotry Bran Response test. All showed no clear signs of damage to my hearing yet my hearing has literally completely changed over the course of 6-7 months.

      I'd advise looking into the work of Charles M. Liberman. I'll link you to two/three studies that explain the loss of cochlear nerve fibers through acoustic trauma while no signs of damage to hair cells have been shown and cochlear nerve degeneration.

      1) http://acoustics.org/pressroom/httpdocs/159th/liberman.htm

      2)http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0125160

      3)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812055/
       
    13. OnceUponaTime
      Facebooking

      OnceUponaTime Member Benefactor

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Allergies or Acoustic Trauma, Stress
      @steve-m Yes, there is always a chance that it will go away. Try to stay away from anything loud and rest your ears. I hope you feel better soon.
       
    14. steve-m

      steve-m Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced from earbuds
      Belated thanks @Nick Pyzik for your informative response, much appreciated! And thanks @OnceUponaTime for the good wishes! :)

      Nick, I had a look at those articles, which are certainly interesting but sadly don't inspire much hope. My T has still not faded and the harsh possibility of it being a permanent condition is hitting me hard.

      The frightening thought that further deterioration of the inner ear/auditory nerve is currently happening and may continue for months is stressing me out. Is it really likely that ongoing damage occurs during such a long period following an acoustic trauma? I don't notice any hearing loss right now but maybe in several months time I will? Has anyone experienced this kind of gradual deterioration months after an acoustic trauma? Thanks in advance!
       
    15. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      I actually have since last Fall. Slowly but surely my hearing changed almost each week to what it's at now. I tried to fix the issue myself by consuming Astaxanthin, a supplement that contains NT-3, to try and re-establish the disconnected auditory nerve fibers but I did not notice any difference in my ability to hear. The Astaxanthin was able to boost my energy levels though and I still take it now although it doesn't do anything since I'm experiencing what they call "Anhedonia"......
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    16. steve-m

      steve-m Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced from earbuds
      I'm sorry to hear that; I can only imagine how difficult it must be. Although I suppose I must have some hearing loss I'm not aware of it and would have thought that most damage has already been done at this stage, 10 weeks after the acoustic shock. I had hoped that my T would go away eventually and now it seems I'll be lucky if I don't get hearing loss within the next few months! How long since the onset of your T did it take before you noticed the hearing loss? I hope the deterioration in your hearing stops soon. Maybe then the nerves will start to heal somewhat? Is this not possible?
       
    17. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      I would say I noticed a significant difference after about a week or two. It felt like something was off and I couldn't put my finger on it. At the time, I looked into what could be the cause of my issue and (before I understood the mechanisms of our hearing) I believed that I had damaged the sensory cells of my hearing. The information I was reading online made so much sense. I looked into sensorineural hearing loss and into how we as humans pick up sound. But everything I thought I knew then changed when I got a hearing test done last October to see if I had some sort of frequency damage. Now the kicker is this......I had actually gone to the same audiologist last summer because of a hearing issue I was having then. Grant it, I had already developed a slight ringing sensation at the time, but I still was able to get enjoyment out of things. It ended up being that I just had a huge amount of earwax in my left ear canal that was causing the strange hearing issue at the time. Everything was back to normal right after getting it sucked out. But most importantly........Even with the huge change in my hearing from my two hearing incidents while up at school, the results of the test from last summer and last October WERE EXACTLY THE SAME. Fast forward a few months as my hearing changed even more as I had made an appointment with the University of Michigan to get a few different hearing tests done there. Well what do you know, even with the even bigger changes that were starting to happen to my hearing, the audiogram test was EXACTLY the same as the last two I had gotten done. I have received nothing from any of the practitioners I've seen except small talk and a receipt to be prescribed antidepressants..........There's a lot more to talk about, but in the end, this made me learn much more about how our hearing processing really works and that the hair cells are not what allow us to hear clearly and process sound much louder in our head.
       
    18. steve-m

      steve-m Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced from earbuds
      It certainly seems from a lot of people's experiences that these hearing tests aren't all that effective. From what I understood the tests are unable to detect very high frequency loss. In your case, it would seem that there is more than just a loss of high frequencies so it's bizarre that nothing was detected. Just how bad exactly would you describe your hearing? Do you sometimes have difficulty understanding speech? And how loud is your T? Can you hear it outdoors?

      The whole thing is just so complicated and frustrating; it makes me wonder why I should waste my money consulting an ENT just to get some ineffective hearing test and no clear answers or solutions.

      I guess all we can really do is take precautions to avoid loud noise and hope that eventually with time the auditory nerves will somewhat recover. I have heard that many people's T goes away after months or even years so there is hope for potential healing.
       

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