Tinnitus from Double Noise Trauma! Loud Discharge of Air and Someone Stepping on Bubble Wrap

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by WestHighlandWoof, Apr 5, 2021.

    1. WestHighlandWoof
      Doh

      WestHighlandWoof Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Here's my story. I'm in my 30s. Last Sunday I was working with my paint sprayer on some house projects. I wear earmuffs with other power tools but never for this type of project. I was tired at the end of the day. I pushed the remote button to shut off the HVLP unit and proceeded to disconnect the hose for cleanup. However, the press of the remote button didn't register and I didn't stop to wait for the machine to shut down. I disconnected the hose and my left ear experienced an extremely loud discharge of air for 2-3 seconds. No direct air, no eardrum damage. I was standing next to the house and the sound must have bounced off of the house and into my left ear.

      I didn't think much of it at the time. Later that night when the house was quiet, I noticed some mild ringing and realized that I might be in for some issues. The next morning my hearing was muffled but there was very little ringing. I went to an ENT on Tuesday and the test showed a 10 dB threshold shift in the left ear, likely temporary. He said he could give me steroids but it probably wouldn't make any difference for this case and said I should feel back to normal in a week or so.

      I was feeling pretty good, my hearing was progressing each day with slight tinnitus only audible in relative quiet.

      Then on Thursday, as I was sitting in quiet reading, a family member came in the room to ask me a question and accidentally stepped on some bubble wrap on the floor from a package I had unwrapped days earlier. To me it was like firecrackers. Without thinking I ran straight out of the room as fast as I could (flight response).

      Since then my ears have been ringing constantly. A bit of whooshing with a high frequency component, like a computer running.

      I went to a second ENT and told him about the second incident and he put me Prednisone. I didn't think it would do much but couldn't hurt to try. He also recommended Lipoflavonoid, though with the disclaimer that there's no evidence they actually do anything.

      I am also taking NAC, Zinc, Magnesium, a general multivitamin, and Fish Oil per this forum's recommendations.

      I am riding a stationary bike 30 minutes a day to try to keep the blood flowing to aid with healing.

      The tinnitus, if permanent, is livable, but I will miss the silence forever. I have broken down crying more than a few times since due of that feeling of permanence and loss. Thankfully I am able to sleep without much trouble using some minor masking.

      I will update periodically on my recovery. If anyone has any tips, please share them. I see a lot of details here on what to do immediately after an accident, how to cope months in, but feel a little unsure of what to do in the days and weeks that follow. For example, I'm scared to take a shower because it's fairly loud.

      Thanks in advance for any kind words or advice you can offer.

      If I can offer some advice to others with new, maybe mild trauma, it's to be extremely vigilant about the potential for reinjury and make sure there's no opportunity for loud noise in your immediate vicinity at all times. And if that's not possible to wear earmuffs.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    2. ajc

      ajc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
      You are truly doing everything you can at this point. I would maybe add Nicotinamide Riboside to the mix?

      You are still in the "acute" stage meaning it can get loads better in the next weeks/months. I hope that's what happens to you.

      I've not heard of the shower making anyone's tinnitus worse by the way.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    3. GBB

      GBB Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus / Microsuction / Acoustic Trauma
      Showers still spike me 8 months in as do fans - not tryna be that guy but it does happen.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      WestHighlandWoof
      Doh

      WestHighlandWoof Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Thank you for the encouragement. I forgot to mention I am also going to add Ginkgo Biloba to my regimen.

      I too am hopeful but progress seemed to stop after the second incident. However maybe the improvements are small and I am just too stubborn to notice them. Also I wonder if I will notice a tinnitus reduction after the steroids are done.
      Yeah I'm weary not so much weary of a spike even but rather interfering with the healing. I think I will stick to baths for at least another week.

      On another note it really disappoints me that neither ENT handed me a pamphlet that told me what to expect over the next 2-4 weeks. If you search the internet quickly most sites say that after 72 hours you have little hope of recovery, but there are many more encouraging stories out there with healing occurring weeks into the process. Those stories give me hope.
       
    5. GBB

      GBB Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus / Microsuction / Acoustic Trauma
      I remember asking the ENT, okay, can you show me a graph of recovery rates segmented based on time elapsed e.g. recovery rate at 3 weeks, 3 months, 1 year - he looked at me like I was retarded.

      Sorry doc, didn't realize it's 1734 and the only advice you can give me is to move to the mountains as brisk fresh air will reinvigorate the body.
       
      • Funny Funny x 4
    6. twa
      Studious

      twa Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017- mild /Sept. 2020-moderate
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      meds/acoustic trauma
      So very sorry this has happened. Mine was similar in that I had one acoustic trauma and then a few weeks later I went to the dentist not realizing I had an acoustic trauma. I've had louder tinnitus (previously had very mild for 3 years) for 6 months.

      Hope you are feeling better soon.

      Fellow Texan,
      twa
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Hug Hug x 1
    7. Ken219
      Frustrated

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      Mine started before internet. The ENT I went to didn't even mention tinnitus can be caused by exposure to loud noise, nor did he recommend to stay away from loud noise. I wasn't smart to ask the right questions. I assumed it was an aging process. At the time it was a slight ring. A year later I had full blown tinnitus. I went to the Public Library and found three books on tinnitus. Top cause listed was exposure to loud noise. Every hearing clinic should explain the reasons for tinnitus and give their patient their first set of earplugs.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Genius Genius x 1
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      WestHighlandWoof
      Doh

      WestHighlandWoof Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hang in there!

      Also I did some additional research on follow-up injuries and found this from a military study:

      When hearing loss is present, individuals should be restricted from hazardous noise environments and kept on base, if possible. This is important to allow time for healing, and the inner ear is more susceptible to further noise-induced damage while it is under the oxidative stress and glutamate toxicity of an acute injury.​

      Source: https://jts.amedd.army.mil/assets/d...t_Injury_Acoustic_Trauma_27_Jul_2018_ID05.pdf
      An ounce of prevention... It's unfortunate that neither provider I visited has materials or hearing protection for free. Who knows, if I had a pamphlet which said to thoroughly check your environment for possible noise stressors, maybe I would have picked up that bubble wrap from the floor. Unlikely I suppose but I'm sure there are others who would benefit from such education.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      WestHighlandWoof
      Doh

      WestHighlandWoof Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      A few updates at 1.5 weeks:
      • Starting one week from the injury, my tinnitus has reduced from a 4.5 - 5 range to a 3.5 - 4.5 range, and normally closer to 3.5 - 4. Nighttime is when it mostly ramps up to the higher end of the range. I'm still able to sleep with minimal masking though.
      • I'm definitely still missing some of the hearing from the original 10dB threshold shift. But I'm hoping the reduction in my tinnitus signifies some additional recovery of my hearing and that it will continue to improve. 10dB is not a lot, but combined with the tinnitus it definitely affects my ability to clearly understand every word in a conversation.
      • I am scheduled to a see a local TRT specialist on the 20th. The second ENT I saw who I really like referred me to them after I called to ask some questions about the tinnitus. Even though I'm not sure it will be all that beneficial at this stage of my recovery (still feels like I am firmly in the "wait and see" stage) I am advocating for myself and doing whatever I can to maximize the outcome.
      I have read many more threads and advice here and I am very thankful this community exists.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      WestHighlandWoof
      Doh

      WestHighlandWoof Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Another quick update just a day before the 2 week mark:
      • My tinnitus is now in the 2.5 - 4 range. So the minimums are still improving. Still at its worst when I lie down for the evening.
      • My sensitivity to sound has gone down significantly, and the fullness in my ear has reduced by about 80%. I'm still mentally a bit on edge when I hear moderately loud noises (e.g. a spoon clinking on a bowl) but they do not spike my tinnitus or give me extended periods of anxiety.
      • I definitely still have some minor hearing loss, or at least difficulty hearing due to the tinnitus if I try to hear only from my affected ear and not my good ear by putting an earplug in the good ear.
      • Last night I woke up after about 4 hours of sleep and had difficulty falling back asleep due to the tinnitus. My worst night of sleep yet. It was also the first night I tried all night sound enrichment. I seem to do better with a 3-hour enrichment on a timer that helps me fall asleep and turns off in the middle of the night when I am sleeping.
      • Even with only partial recovery and still some annoying ear issues, I have felt "normal" at times for the first time since the incident. There are short periods where I have been able to forget about the tinnitus and enjoy watching TV on low volume, being in the backyard with the dog, or talking with my family.
      I have browsed many more threads and posts and still have some hope for a full recovery beyond the normal 2-week window, but my "minimums" (periods where I can forget about or mostly ignore the tinnitus) give me hope that I'll be able to habituate to this at some point anyways. This has helped to lower my stress and anxiety.

      Hope everyone is having a good enough weekend. Let's take this one day at a time.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      WestHighlandWoof
      Doh

      WestHighlandWoof Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      3.5 week update:
      • Tinnitus is in the 1.5-3.5 range. Better in the morning and worse at night as before. It seems like this is a sign it may continue to fade even as I near the end of the recovery period. There have been moments where I have had to search it out, i.e. when outdoors with ambient noise. I try not to of course if I'm not thinking about it. The pitch of my tinnitus is also less variable in the morning through the early afternoon which makes it easier to ignore.
      • Should still mention I have had some really bad days through all of this, loud tinnitus, depression, anxiety. Definitely not a straight line improvement. It has still been really hard.
      • Saw the tinnitus specialist yesterday. Recommendation is to go back to living daily life as normal now, i.e. instead of watching TV at half volume, watch at normal volume. Well I did exactly that and it felt great to not be constantly monitoring the volume of music and TV for fear of spiking my tinnitus, and it didn't spike my tinnitus even on a show with a few loud crashes. I also wonder if babying my ear up to this point has slowed or diminished my hearing recovery with not enough exposure to sound. For that reason I'm really liking being able to comfortably ramp up the sound level.
      • Went back to the ENT this morning with a last-minute appointment (even though he told me to give it 8 weeks). Asked if he would be up for another round of steroids since I'm nearing the end of the physical recovery window and still have issues. He said it couldn't hurt and put me on 30 mg for 9 days (with 10 mg taper every 3 days). This is a higher dose than I took before. I asked him why he put me on a lower dose before and it's because my hearing loss was minor 10-20 dB. I wish I would have been given a stronger a longer initial course but I don't think it would have made an enormous difference.
      I have read a bunch more success stories and still maintain a shred of hope that this thing could completely disappear after a few months however small the chance. I am still very optimistic on habituation and being able to put it in the background if not. I feel good about having the tinnitus specialist to counsel me if I regress and start feeling bad about my tinnitus. I am extremely lucky mine gets down to such a low volume though.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    12. Brain Tumor Dave
      Wishful

      Brain Tumor Dave Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      1972
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Vestibular Schwannoma / Posterior Fossa Meningioma
      Uh, oh. Don't try to tell that to any Field Artillery Branch commanders.
       
      • Winner Winner x 1
Loading...

Share This Page