Tinnitus After Using a Vacuum Cleaner with a Special Hose Attachment

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by KBombRN, Oct 12, 2021.

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    1. KBombRN

      KBombRN Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      September 12
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Hi. I’ve been searching this forum for awhile. Although hesitant to share my story, I wanted to see what others thoughts were. To start off, I’m a 36 female in excellent health with no prior history of “excessive” noise exposure. Just the usual occasional club/bar in my college years, however not a frequent concert goer or anything like that. No chronic ear bud use. I’m a very quiet person and spend a lot of time in the quiet. I’ve always had great hearing and have never had problems with my ears.

      It all started with a product I purchased on Amazon. It was a hose attachment that connected to your vacuum to suck out lint from your dryer vent. When I used it, it created a very loud high pitched noise. I used the product for maybe a minute or two. The high frequency sound was not continuous and was going in and out. Immediately after my ear felt “funny”. Almost so subtle I didn’t know if I was imagining it or not. I did not think I experienced any hearing loss. The next few days I had no ringing but my ear felt slightly different but only noticeable while in the car. I developed tinnitus four days after using it. The sound wasn’t your typical tinnitus tones. Believe it or not it sounded like a vacuum, or like a tea kettle. Reactive to sounds like refrigerator, A/C blower vents, car on the road. I could hear it in my head, not really from my ears. There were several times I thought it was almost gone, then it changed. And when I would stand up and move, I couldn’t hear it.

      Fast forward 4 weeks later, the sound has changed a lot. I really only hear it when the fan is on, or something is running like a refrigerator. When I sit still my head has this sensation of static... like excessive white noise but quiet. Not really a noise, but maybe a bit of a slight “hiss”.

      Doctors tell me it will go away with time. As everyone here, I had a lot of anxiety about it. I found some positivity in this forum and thought I’d share my story. It has been a month, and I feel like things are mostly normal unless I hear something running like a fan or car engine, or shower. If I really really focus like in a quiet closet, I can hear the faintest bit of a ring that resembles the noise I hear alongside certain sounds.

      Thank you all for the welcome. Feel free to share your thoughts. Doctors tell me it takes time to go away... can’t help but worry since I don’t know how tinnitus “dissipates” or “heals”. I do feel it’s fading bit my ears have done some weird things during this whole process and not sure what to think of any of it sometimes.

      Side note: My audiogram was normal but when I did the test, I couldn’t really hear the high frequency sounds as a tone, but more of an “interruption” in what I would describe as the background static noise.
       
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    2. DimLeb

      DimLeb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      14/03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic Cochleopathy Or Maybe Loud Music
      @KBombRN, hi there. Your story sounds like a lot like mine. Although I had a history of noise exposure being a musician, playing live, doing music production etc (with earplugs almost always though), I developed tinnitus at a period of mostly staying at home and almost 1.5 years later than any loud gig. My hearing tests are within the normal range (just a few 10 dB losses even at higher frequencies).

      Most ENTs told me the same usual things (not much they can do anyway), but one otologist who tested my balance as well, diagnosed some form of mild congenital cochleopathy from brain pressure, that had nothing to do with sound (and so noise wouldn't make it worse). Maybe that can help you!

      I don't think that hose attachment was really the only reason of your condition. Unless the sound of it was as loud as a gunshot or a thunder, it's highly unlikely that alone did it. Could be an unfortunate coincidence. Just be aware there is hidden hearing loss, meaning some dips between the audiogram frequencies or nerve synapse losses.

      The sounds you are describing sound a lot like mine. I had a bit of reactivity (one frequency appearing on white noise sounds like cicadas or running water) too, but it died down after 1-2 few weeks. Also, the tones I developed those first weeks subsided and they were replaced by a weird noisy sensation and few faint ringing tones. I find the whole thing more silent in the morning and it kinda builds up towards the night and also it kinda gets "suppressed" (not only masked) by sounds.

      Unfortunately, from my experience, there is not much you can do, than just letting time pass, protecting your ears even from moderately loud sounds, having some sound enrichment (I use nature sounds or music), being careful about diet (not much sugar or salt), trying out some vitamin supplements etc.
       
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    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @KBombRN.

      I agree with your doctors that the tinnitus will go away in time so try not to worry. To give yourself the best chance of a full recovery please do the following. Although you haven't used earbuds excessively my advice is not to use them or headphones including a headset even at low volume until the tinnitus goes completely away. If you do return to using earbuds keep the volume as low as possible and for not too long a duration. If I were you, I wouldn't use them at all but the choice is yours.

      Try to avoid being in quiet rooms and surroundings particularly at night by using low level sound enrichment. During the day something relaxing like classical is ideal. At night play nature sounds using a sound machine by the bedside in preference to music and keep the volume low. The idea is not to induce sleep but to supply your brain and auditory system with sound enrichment. It is important to keep the sounds below the tinnitus so they aren't drawing attention.

      Please click on the links below and read my articles: New to Tinnitus, What to Do and Tinnitus, A Personal View.

      Take care and all the best,
      Michael

      New to Tinnitus, What to Do? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      Tinnitus, A Personal View | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      KBombRN

      KBombRN Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      September 12
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      So I just talked with an audiologist who specializes in tinnitus. I feel relieved to know that all the noises/sensations that I’ve been having are not uncommon and that she is confident it will resolve with time.

      She said that higher pitched noises have more energy, or move faster, therefore causing the tinnitus. I guess the waiting game begins. Could take a couple months, could take as long as 6 months, and for some people even longer.
       
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    5. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      You sound like you’re recovering already.
       
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    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      It is good to get the reassurance of a medical professional and someone that specialises in tinnitus to allay an fears or concerns you may have. Tinnitus can play havoc with one's mental and emotional wellbeing in the early stages but this will pass. Use low level sound enrichment as I have advised particularly at night and remember to keep the volume low. Please do not dismiss this, it takes time to get used to it so be patient.

      One more thing: I agree with @DimLeb's comments that it's unlikely the hose attachment for the vacuum was solely responsible for the onset of the tinnitus although it can happen. When tinnitus is noise induced such as yours, there is usually some history of exposure to loud noise. Typically, it's listening to audio through any type of headphones, as a lot of people aren't aware they have been listening at too high a volume. If you weren't a regular user of these devices, then it's unlikely they are responsible and therefore, the noise exposure could have been caused by something else. Listening to loud music through speakers, attending clubs, concerts or other places of entertainment. If you work in a noisy environment this is something to keep in mind too.

      Michael
       
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    7. Exit

      Exit Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Welcome to us :p

      An amazing story, unfortunately it’s difficult to say how you will develop. As you already know the ear tends to do what the ear wants...

      Be patient, the first half year or so is often what will give you a signal about what’s going to happen.

      From the small trauma you should have a fair chance. Progress will often not be linear so patience is key.

      Meanwhile avoid loud bangs and screams as much as possible. Also no headphones.

      Personally I would avoid the dentist and loud ENT tests... And flying too if you can... And avoid fire alarms :D

      Perhaps if you walk on roads have over the ear headphones with you or on you just as protection. Things can happen.

      If your damage was more serious I would have given you more extreme protection advice.

      You must decide yourself related to your lifestyle.
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      KBombRN

      KBombRN Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      September 12
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Posting from the USA. I remember when this all started I was desperate to find any sort of information. Everyone telling me to "stay away from forums". However, I feel like I have found a lot of positivity on this forum here and I want to help anyone out there possibly going through what I am right now by sharing my experience.

      First off, I will say this is incredibly difficult, right? And no one really gets you unless they have gone through it themselves. So 7 weeks in I am seeing improvement, but I also have a hard time interpreting things. I am a registered nurse, so the only way I can make sense of all this is by comparing it other injuries that occur in the body. Most importantly, it takes time. I am becoming very impatient and I think this is why I am struggling mentally. I have to give myself a pep talk almost every morning. "This will get better" "This is temporary" . Also something I have to take into consideration... the ears are constantly being used. It's not like you can put them in a cast to immobilize it so it can heal faster!

      So I'll start with where I am currently at in terms of the tinnitus. It is still reactive, but a less volume and of a different tone than when it first started. The heavy sensation I'd get in my head has now turned into what I would call a static like noise. It has lessened as days go by, but still there and most prominent when I am sitting or laying down. Makes it difficult to watch TV. It's almost the worst part in my opinion. You know, it feels/sounds like "nerves" that are hyperactive and are trying to calm down. Sometimes I can hear the static becoming responsive to noise. Very weird. When I am in a quiet room, it can be quiet-ish but if I sit still and focus in, I can hear the tinnitus in my head, but very distant. Then I get this weird sensation in my head. I did have my ear feel itchy the other day, but it went away. I have had some very slight sensitivity to noise the past few weeks. Some noises seem louder, but not painful. I do get some transient tinnitus from time to time.

      I know that there is a huge mental effect on people with tinnitus. It has definitely impacted me in that way. My anxiety is better, but still comes and goes. Here's what I'm doing for my mental health and ear health. Trying to stay busy and distracted. Being aware that I am limited on the things I can do, but trying to not let it ruin my life. Seeing a therapist to help with some coping strategies and maybe changing the way I think about the whole situation. I'm a nurse, so I do believe in the power of food. I'm trying to eat a very healthy diet. I'm partially vegetarian anyway, so now just trying to limit the amount of processed foods I eat and continuing to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Did a google search on foods that are best for hearing health and eating more of those. I take a multivitamin, but no other supplements.

      As far as the tinnitus, trying to allow my ears "rest". Avoiding overly loud places, like loud restaurants or activities where it may be loud. Protecting my ears only when necessary. I have also been using sound enrichment, as this was suggested by my audiologist who specializes in tinnitus and some others on this forum. I guess I can compare this to like "ear therapy" or "ear rehabilitation" . Just like with physical therapy... you slowly start getting the body to move again. Maybe with sound enrichment it's a similar concept. Getting the ears slowly use to sound again? Just my own theory. I try to not spend a great deal of time "researching" or overanalyzing/comparing. One thing from my experience as a nurse is that every person is different in how they heal. Everyone comes from different backgrounds. You never know what kind of stress their ears have been through over their years of life, or their general health for that fact. Well running out of time here, but I hope to keep everyone updated on how my tinnitus progresses.
       
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    9. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      You’re doing everything right and playing it smart. Since you’re so early in this I don’t think you need sound enrichment but I could be wrong. Also don’t beat yourself if it doesn’t go 100% away as most tend to linger, even a small bit. By that point you won’t care and you’ll be living life normally. I wish you continued recovery :cool:
       
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    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      KBombRN

      KBombRN Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      September 12
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Hi everyone! Two months in to my acoustic shock.

      It started with tinnitus. And the kind of tinnitus that would ride on top of certain sounds like the car engine, ac vents and such.

      The noise has changed and faded. Noises that seemed distorted from the tinnitus are starting to sound more normal.

      On top of the tinnitus I get weird sensations too. Some have improved, but just recently experienced a new one. In the absence of sound I get a strong vibration/hum feel to my ear that was primarily affected. The vibration almost makes me feel like I can’t hear that good. It goes away when I get up and move or hear noise.

      Also, with certain sudden noises I get what feels like my ear drum “thumps” . Not a continuous thing and the noises aren’t loud. Example, the drop of my makeup brush in the bathroom makes it do it. Just a quick thump. The vibration is the most uncomfortable, the thumping is too but I can deal with it more since it’s a quick reaction.

      My tinnitus is complicated to explain, but I do have the “static” noise that is worse when I sit down or am still. Recently I noticed that to static is starting to “respond to noise”. It also seems higher pitched if that even makes sense. Initially when this happened my right ear felt a tad bit clogged. Thought that was gone but I do still feel like I want to lightly pop it with my jaw movement.

      All this is just so weird and when you try to explain it to someone not going through it, they just can’t comprehend. It’s so frustrating.

      Just curious if anyone has experienced this with a noise trauma. This has been a rough experience for me. Looking more for people who have actually experienced this and not really for people to guess what’s going on.

      This has been a great forum so far, thank you all.
       
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    11. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      All these are normal symptoms after noise trauma and they may persist. The symptoms change and I would not be able to tell you the reason, I just do not know... but sometimes tinnitus spikes for no reason, or sounds more static, or goes to the background, or rides on top of sound, or competes with sound / speech, or is more reactive... etc etc

      Quality of sleep is important, and a healthy diet, as you mentioned.
      If you place an item gently on a counter, or a surface, like a case or a comb, particularly on a tiled bathroom that "reverberates" and you get a thump... that's a lot of reactivity, I think.

      Usually healthy ears can cope with more volume, higher decibels and amplify tiny sounds. Damaged ears do both functions worse: they may fail to amplify very low sounds, the may overamplify impact sounds (even setting a comb on a table), they overamplify and distort sounds at medium and loud volume.
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      KBombRN

      KBombRN Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      September 12
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      It does sound like a sensitivity thing to me. My ears are healing and extra sensitive...

      Just my own theory.

      Sometimes it does it, sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t have pain with loud noises or anything like that. It’s just crazy a loud noise can cause so much chaos in the ear and brain. My doctors say it will heal but takes time. Which is reassuring but also incredibly hard. Trying to keep busy and stay positive. It’s hard not to overanalyze every little symptom or change, and I’m trying to just let time take its course.
       
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    13. 4realg

      4realg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Your story kinda sounds like mine. I’ve had mine for a few years. Some days are better than others. Almost like it has disappeared for a few days. Mine is some what reactive like yours. Driving is the worst! The head noise is like what you said.. nerves or the feeling of nerves. My ears pop and crackle. I just hate it! I actually don’t even know what caused mine. Was it stress? Was it my jaw? Was it that I did a flip in the pool and got water in the ears? Like, I have no idea. I was just sitting in bed watching tv and I got this hissing noise out of no where. It’s been here since, unfortunately. I’ve tried supplements, had blood work, hearing test.. and nothing really has worked or showed anything wrong. Im just living with it really. Trying to stay busy is a good plan.. I don’t know if anyone else’s does this but I can have 0 tinnitus for a couple of days and then go to sleep with it still 0 then to wake up with it hissing loud. I wondering if it’s something with the sleep
      Cycle. Im trying to get more sleep.. I hope that your tinnitus gets better..it takes some time to get used to. It’s been horrible to say the least. This is my first post in this forum … I had to post something because I can relate to you because your case sounds so similar to mine. You’re not alone!! Hang in there!
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      KBombRN

      KBombRN Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      September 12
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      3 month update on my noise trauma.

      Repeated audiogram, tympanometry, and an outer ear cell test. All normal. I about cried tears of joy when I took my audiogram and I could actually hear the beeps of the high frequencies this time. This shows my hearing and the tinnitus has improved. Things are starting to sound more normal. I use the traffic as a gauge. The tinnitus has faded and is a faint noise in the back of my head. But it is still amplified with certain noises like traffic, car noise, blowing air from ac vents. The sensations are improving as well. My ears are still sensitive but feel better. I seem to be getting transient tinnitus quite frequently. And my ears get buzzy with certain noises as well, such as those coming from the TV, or when I’m driving. I can’t really explain it but it just feels like they are trying to adjust. I rarely have to use sound at night as long as the ceiling fan is on low.

      I will continue to post my progress. I hope everyone is doing well. This has been incredibly difficult to deal with. But I am going to continue to stay positive that my hearing will return to normal.
       
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    15. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Awesome, making progress! Just have a little reactivity left. Wish you the best.
       
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      KBombRN

      KBombRN Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      September 12
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Thank you! I hope for continued progress. It fluctuates a lot. Audiologist that specializes in tinnitus patients thinks the fluctuations are the ears trying to heal. Makes sense and it definitely feels that way, but this healing process has been brutal. I really hope sharing my story and all the weird sensations and noises I've heard can somehow reach someone who is suffering from a situation similar to mine.
       
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