Tinnitus Caused By White Noise App on iPhone 6? (One Ear Only)

Discussion in 'Support' started by Brian Walker, Feb 24, 2016.

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    1. Brian Walker
      Gloomy

      Brian Walker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      About two and a half years ago, I was being woken up often by the neighborhood dogs barking throughout the night. While I tried to run fans at their highest settings in order to block out the noise, I was not getting any relief.

      I decided to try a white noise app for my iPhone in order to block out the barking noises. This is the app that I have been using (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/white-noise-free-sleep-sounds/id292987597?mt=8) and I always used the "Crickets" sound — as it was always soothing. I put it on the floor next to my bed about three or four feet away.

      While I still got woken up from the dogs' barking at times, my sleep was much more restful and I felt as though I was falling asleep much more quickly. The highest I ever ran the white noise app was at 50% of the iPhone's volume. The MAJORITY of the time I ran it between 35% to 45%. This was for eight hours every single night for two and a half years.

      Since it was under 50% of the iPhone's speaker volume and it did not seem overly loud, I never thought much of it. I had always heard that listening to an iPod or iPhone with earphones at loud volumes was dangerous, but the idea of damage from listening at a volume under 50% using the speakers never even registered to me.

      Around two weeks ago, I was in a quiet room and noticed a hiss in my right ear only. My OCD instantly kicked in. In addition to the hiss, I can ear intermittent ringing in the background. The ringing is hard to explain, but the volume is not constant and there appears to be breaks in it. The hiss is more of like a static sound, and it doesn't really bother me.

      I had an appointment with my primary doctor the other day. He said both of my ears look fine. There is no excess wax and no signs of any infection. I have an appointment scheduled with an audiologist and ENT next week.

      I have always hated loud noises and only attended a few concerts in my life — the last being at least six years ago. From 21-26, I was probably in loud bars at least 50 times. My ears would ring after, but the ringing never persisted. I have never played an instrument and rarely in my life listened to music via headphones or earbuds (they never fit in my ears).

      I remember last June when my power went out for a week, I laid in my bed in complete silence a lot. There was no ringing, so I am guessing and hoping that the ringing is fairly new and that I just didn't notice it before.

      Since I have not been to a concert in years and rarely go to loud bars these days, I am guessing the cause is not from a sudden loud sound.

      I decided to download a Decibel meter on my iPhone in order to try and figure out how loud the white noise app is. Since the Decibel meter app lowered the white noise app a tad when I open the meter, I have to then adjust my volume to try and match the sound of what I run my white noise app at. I feel as though I found the range, and it appears I have been listening to the white noise at 74-82 decibels every night for eight hours.

      I am shocked that the white noise app produces such a loud decibel amount at less than 50%! I am done with the app now, but is it possible that eight hours a day of 74-82 decibels over a two and a half year period could contribute to my tinnitus and possible hearing loss? I am seriously furious with myself that I was listening to it as loud as I was. It never hurt my ears and I could talk to people at a comfortable volume, so I never thought anything of it :(

      * I lift weights a few days a week and often my right ear —the problem ear— will sort of pop or get clogged. When I breath I will hear the air coming through that ear for around 20-30 minutes until the ear returns to normal. It is a weird sensation but the ear that I am hearing the ringing in seems to always feel a bit more fuller too and prone to issues with getting clogged.

      Cliffs:
      - Ran white noise app on iPhone 6 for 2 and a half years at 35% to 50% of the phone's volume via the speakers.
      - Noticed a hiss and a ringing in the distance two weeks ago in my right ear only
      - Primary Doctor said my ears look fine and there is no excess wax/infection.
      - I am seeing an Audiologist/ENT next week.
      - From a Decibel Meter app it appears as though the white noise app was running between 74-82 decibels.
      - My problem ear also feels fuller and gets clogged in the gym when I do not breath properly.
       

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