Tinnitus Caused by Workplace Noise — Should I Change Careers?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Andrew Ingram, Jan 31, 2017.

    1. Andrew Ingram

      Andrew Ingram Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      workplace noise
      Hello tinnitus friends

      I'm a carpenter who started noticing ringing in my ears last summer. I've been wearing ear muffs since then but the ringing has increased. Saw ENT yesterday and have hearing loss on some high frequencies and tinnitus.

      I'm very apprehensive about returning to work. I'm sure I don't have the most acute tinnitus in the world but I don't want it to get worse. I'm exposed to loud machines most of the day - around about 90-100db. Using really good earmuffs should reduce it down to about 65db. Should this level of noise make it worse?

      Although I love my job I'm thinking about changing to do something quieter as I really couldn't bear it if the tinnitus worsens.

      Kind regards, Andrew
       
    2. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England,
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Hi Andrew,
      I can understand as im sure you work with lots of noisy tools etc.
      My friend @Michael Leigh
      Might be able help you as that was his trade...lots of love glynis
       
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @Andrew Ingram
      HI Andrew,
      As a carpenter and joiner myself I understand how you feel. I believe your tinnitus has been coming on for some time although you didn't notice it until last summer. If you were using "hand held" power tools: electric drill, router, skill saw or electric planner daily; providing you use good quality ear defenders I don't think you would have any problems and the tinnitus shouldn't get worse.

      However, the fact you are around loud machinery most of the day this is something that I would be concerned about. If you are working in an enclosed environment "carpenter shop" and using: electric table saw, table router or table planer for example. Even wearing ear defenders could still cause problems - because these industrial machines generate high noise levels.

      Behind each ear is a hard piece of bone called: The Mastoid bone. It is honeycombed with air pockets. If external sound is loud enough, it can pass through the mastoid bone and enter the inner ear and irritate the cochlea. It is something that you will have to think about because we are all different. What might affect one person's tinnitus might not affect another.

      If you listen to music through headphones then I advise you to stop. Please read my articles below by clicking on the links, as you might find them helpful.
      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
       
    4. Tweaker
      Transparent

      Tweaker Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      I moved from a noisy manufacturing background to an office based job because of tinnitus. I would never do a job with machinery again. The open plan office of around 45 people is noisy enough to be honest. When I revsited the manufacturing area I couldn't believe how noisy it really was. Not surprising my ears are messed up after years of noisy work.
       
    5. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Large caliber rifles/machine guns and loud Music/clubs
      change careers - yes.
      No job or money is worth this suffering

      From there it will only go worse and quicker than you think ..and next in the line is painful hyperacusis in addition to louder T, some people even killed themselves over H.
       
    6. Foncky
      Tired

      Foncky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music. Balloon. Genes.
      Yes. You have to think about a change, before T and H force you to change. Michael explained it well. Protection is great but not always enough.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Andrew Ingram

      Andrew Ingram Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      workplace noise
      wow - many thanks for the helpful replies.

      The noises I've been exposed to have been from hand held power tools like the ones Michael mentioned and some smallish machines like a mitre saw and table saw. I haven't been exposed to the really loud machines of joinery shops.

      However it is a problem I really don't want to get worse before it drives me nuts.
       
    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @Andrew Ingram Carpentry is a very good trade and takes many years to learn the skill to reach a high standard. Depends how long you've been doing it? If you are just using hand-held power tools ear defenders are more than good enough in my opinion.
      Do you listen to music through headphones or use them for computer games? Or attend places where loud music is played. Concerts, clubs etc? If the answer is yes, then I suspect these place will make your tinnitus worse rather than the power tools when using ear protection.
      Michael
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Andrew Ingram

      Andrew Ingram Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      workplace noise
      Hi Michael

      I don't use headphones to listen to music or go to loud places. I noticed the ringing last summer and have worn decent ear defenders since then and the tinnitus is just getting worse. I'd love to but its difficult for me to consider carrying on.

      Cheers, Andrew
       
    10. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi Andrew,
      I am sorry to hear and hope you are able to change your job doing something that is more quiet.
      All the best
      Michael
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Andrew Ingram

      Andrew Ingram Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      workplace noise
      Thanks Michael

      I think for now I'll just do jobs which don't require use of machines which isn't many to be honest! I have been thinking of getting into site/job supervising which would distance me more from the loud noises. I would still be able to put knowledge I've built up about building to good use.

      Cheers, Andrew
       

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