Tinnitus from Blasting Earbuds at Max Volume: Hello from a Newbie

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by nikkinikki, Jun 13, 2020.

    1. nikkinikki

      nikkinikki Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earbuds
      Hello everyone, unfortunately I've reached the point where I felt it was time to make an account rather than lurk. Hit a low spot, I guess.

      I got tinnitus in earnest six weeks ago. Blasted both my ears with ear buds at my computer's max volume. It was an accident, and only for a few seconds, but those few seconds were enough. Now I have a ~1000 Hz tone in one ear and 550 Hz in the other.

      The last six weeks have been a mental struggle, though I still consider myself lucky. Two tones are annoying, but they're low enough to ignore everywhere but in silence. Even though I've always been responsible with the volume in my ear buds/headphones, I realize now I was using them too much regardless, and have stopped using them altogether. So it's a lesson learned, and I'm lucky the lesson wasn't harsher. Thinking like this has helped keep me from devolving too far into the "poor me"s, but it's not 100% effective. I'm using this opportunity to reach out to you. My story and questions can wait; for now I'm glad to say Hello, and thank you for taking the time to read this. It feels good to get out here.
       
      • Hug Hug x 9
      • Agree Agree x 1
    2. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      Sorry this has happened to you.

      Lesson learned, but never an easy transition.

      Glad that the noise isn't intrusive, and great that you're resigned to avoiding ear buds and headphones (I hope).

      Consider nicotinamide riboside nevertheless.

      A few here report responding to steroids, even after a few years/months. Might be worth a try.

      Welcome, and feel free to reach out anytime.
       
    3. ASilverLight
      In pain

      ASilverLight Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise, stress and a neck injury.
      Seems like an acoustic trauma. Do you have any sensitivity to noise?

      Either way, please be very gentle with your ears from now on. No more earbuds, no loud noise etc. Give them a good rest, and hopefully you'll improve.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      nikkinikki

      nikkinikki Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earbuds
      Hi there @DebInAustralia and @ASilverLight , thank you for the kind words. :) Mark my words, no more headphones. I am DONE with those!

      I am looking into supplements, though I'm unsure how much they may help. I know recovery is a long process, but the first weeks I know are crucial, and hopefully I haven't missed too many windows. I did take a corticosteroid nasal spray for two weeks from ~6 days after the trauma, but not so sure it helped any.

      @ASilverLight Yes I do have some sensitivity to sound... I think. Certain sounds, not necessarily loud, make my eardrums twitch like they've been hit by a little mallet. Paper/plastic packaging crinkling, metal on metal, metal on ceramic, even onion skins! It doesn't hurt, but it doesn't feel nice.

      Weirdly enough, the ringing is better today than it has been so far, but I have a handful of other symptoms like dizziness and migraine that may or may not be related to it. My ears also have a medical history, and I can hear the vein in my left ear to boot. I'm not too sure what to do right now.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      nikkinikki

      nikkinikki Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earbuds
      I’m still new to this whole tinnitus game, going on week 8 now. From the beginning I had a different pitch tone in each ear. Both were mild. I was coping well. Worry was way down, and I was back to sleeping full nights without any noise on to mask.

      Now here I am at 3:30 AM. I’ve woken up with a brand new tone. It’s higher, louder, and 100% constant. It sounds the same in both ears, like it’s coming from the base of my brain.

      What caused it? Was there even an external cause? I don’t fkn know, and surely knowing the reason won’t help anyway. All the same, I’m feeling rough about it. Sudden worsenings are not in my recovery plan.

      Can anyone out there lend a supporting word? Thank you for listening.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    6. ajc

      ajc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
      It's not unusual to wake up to a worse tinnitus. Sometimes it's permanent, sometimes temporary.

      There might not be any reason for the worsening.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      nikkinikki

      nikkinikki Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earbuds
      And just my luck, on a nice evening walk, someone shot a GUN in the neighbourhood. (A starting pistol, not a crime lol.) No ear protection, because who expects a fkn gun to be shot in a residential area! Hopefully no damage was done. Stress is high.
       
    8. tbuzz89

      tbuzz89 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      Intrusive 03/2020; Very mild 2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Years of AirPods, probably.
      @nikkinikki

      How far away was the starter pistol gunshot? If you were a reasonable distance away, I'm sure it's more likely that your anxiety is at play over the fear of acoustic damage rather than actual damage.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      nikkinikki

      nikkinikki Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earbuds
      @tbuzz89
      About 150 metres away, so not close but not far either. I don’t know if it matters, but the shot came to me from across the open water, so nothing between me and it.
       
    10. DaveyJones
      No Mood

      DaveyJones Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/19/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I'm relatively new to T as well (about 5.5 weeks in), and I've had a couple worsenings/changings in tone, and it is so discouraging. I'm sorry you woke up to a spike. I don't have any advice, but I can empathize.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      nikkinikki

      nikkinikki Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earbuds
      Mine too. I had one tone initially, then two, now three. Not knowing if it will go away or get better is that hardest part IMO. At least when you break your leg you're miserable for months, but you know that by the end of it you'll have a healed leg, right?
       
    12. ASilverLight
      In pain

      ASilverLight Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise, stress and a neck injury.
      Just out of curiosity, do you have any idea how loud the blast was? In decibels of course.
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      nikkinikki

      nikkinikki Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earbuds
      @ASilverLight I have no clue how loud it was, really. I might be able to check with my watch, but honestly I'm better off not knowing. :p
       
    14. Tanni
      Volatile

      Tanni Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ???
      Hi Nikki,

      Fluctuations when you first develop Tinnitus are totally normal -- your ears are new to the injury, so they are likely to bring in/take away tones and increase/decrease in sound as they recover. You will also be overly analysing them right now, so are bound to keep hearing/experiencing different symptoms.

      This does not mean that your Tinnitus won't completely disappear or cease to be a problem. Ears take a long time to heal.

      Besides staying away from earbuds and other overly loud noises (which you're already doing), my advise is to try to stop listening to and analysing the Tinnitus. Fluctuations can be completely random, but as logical beings we naturally try to pin an event onto a sudden perceived increase -- was it that plate banging, was it the door slamming? Then we start to anticipate that certain noises will cause an increase in Tinnitus - ie, that plate slammed, now my Tinnitus is bound to be louder.

      It creates a vicious loop of anxiety and stress -- and it is the stress and anxiety that then temporarily spikes the Tinnitus.

      It's such a difficult balancing act that we all have to go through and all have different opinions on -- but your Tinnitus is new, and statistically more likely to resolve itself that to remain. So please read lots of success stories, and try not to spend too much time in the support section whilst you're recovering.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      nikkinikki

      nikkinikki Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earbuds
      6 MONTH UPDATE

      Hello again Tinnitus Talk, I'm still here. This will be an update on what's been going on with me and my tinnitus. Sadly I would not yet call my story "success", so I'm writing it here.

      So it's been 6 months almost to the day that I had an acoustic trauma. There has been change, and some for the better, but there has also been not so positive development.

      In the week that I was blasted by the earbuds, I initially noticed one low tone in one ear. That later became one in each ear, and even later became two in each ear. Today I have four distinct sounds in total: one low tone in each ear, and a mid-level squeal in each ear as well. Only one tone is steady; the other three all oscillate in both pitch and volume. They're all constant. I would not say that any of the tones has gotten meaningfully quieter over these 6 months, though thankfully they are all fairly quiet to begin with. I can focus one one tone and thus ignore the rest for a time, so at least the soundtrack is varied lol.

      On the positive side of things, I'm sleeping like a rock, and am able to fall asleep quickly without using masking. However, I do occasionally wake up in the night, and when I do one of the higher tones will be quite a bit louder than normal and going back to sleep is challenging. It's usually back down to baseline when I wake up again in the morning.

      Also positive is I'm largely in a good place mentally. I don't really carry hope that the tinnitus will go away, but I've come a good way in accepting it. Mentally, I'm OK most of the time. I am well aware that my tinnitus volume is mild, and I don't take that for granted. But there are periods when I'm not OK too. Especially late in the night when the volume is loud and there's nothing to do but think.

      On the negative side, I've started having more intense bouts of dizziness. I do remember feeling dizzy at times in the months before my tinnitus came on, and it's gotten more frequent, so that has brought with it negative thoughts and doubt. What if the acoustic trauma wasn't the cause, what if I have inner ear problems or Meniere's, etc. I still struggle with feeling like I have been wrong all along and that debilitating tinnitus is lurking around the corner, despite all the care I've taken to prevent that. I plan to have another audiogram and more thorough testing done in the near future, with a different hearing clinic.

      So that's it for now. TL;DR: the tinnitus hasn't gotten better, but I have gotten better, despite some low days and some lingering questions. Thank you to all for reading.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    16. SadMan
      Tired

      SadMan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud voice
      Hello, it was the same with my tinnitus. It was caused by the loud noise coming from the headphones. It has been 22 days since the incident. I used betahistine. However, nothing has changed. When I wake up in the middle of the night, it's hard to fall asleep again. In the middle of the night, the sound gets louder. My ringing is 12,000 Hz. I hope we get well.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    17. Adaś
      Curious

      Adaś Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Switzerland
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphones, Stress, Rock concerts
      It is exactly how I got my tinnitus back in 2013. About 1-2 seconds of blasting Sennheiser over-ear headphones connected to iMac. That was about 105 dB. I had no idea what permanent tinnitus is back then and that such mishap that can happen to anyone can make such a damage. If only I knew back then what I know now :/

      Worth to mention that according to NIOSH 105 dB should be fine up to 5 min! So it looks my ears were more fragile than on average as 1-2 second blast was sufficient to trigger my tinnitus. I can suspect this was due to my long time previous use of the headphones at moderate volumes. I have been also to few concerts in my life, including a very loud ear splitting one after which I started using earplugs. So my previous lifestyle must have contributed a lot.

      It makes me sad to see new comers joining tinnitus club because of the same thing that happened to me. I still find hard to understand why in 2020 the consumer devices by default are able to output more than 100 dB and no one takes responsibility for that. I wrote about sense of responsibility of corporate contributors to the tinnitus risk but unfortunately it received rather small feedback.
       
    18. SadMan
      Tired

      SadMan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud voice
      How are you now? Has there been a decrease in tinnitus severity?
       

Share This Page

Loading...