Tinnitus from Loud Indoor Metal Concert — I Forgot My Earplugs

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by pants, Jun 15, 2024.

    1. pants

      pants Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert
      I've been lurking on these forums for the past two months and realized my tinnitus isn't going away, so it's time to share my story here. In April, I attended an indoor metal concert. I was in a rush and forgot my earplugs. Now, here I am with chronic tinnitus.

      After two weeks, my tinnitus faded to a faint hiss, and I thought I was lucky enough to escape with just a life lesson. However, it came back, with the volume level varying, and I hoped it would eventually fade away. At five weeks, I had about four consecutive days where I could barely hear it and thought I was over it. Then I got a haircut, thinking I could return to normal life. The barber used clippers near my ear, and I suddenly panicked. I asked him to stop and explain my situation. He then used a hair dryer to blow the hair off my shoulders, and I should have stopped him immediately, but I was in shock. He saw my reaction and asked if it was too loud. I said it was, but he continued for a few more seconds to finish.

      Since then, my tinnitus has been constant, if not worse. I hear high-pitched squealing sounds that used to fade into a hiss but haven't faded in weeks. In my left ear, I have a ringing sound similar to someone rubbing their finger around the rim of a glass, along with another Morse code-like tone.

      My biggest problem is a lack of sleep. I can't get more than a couple of hours without waking up, unable to fall back asleep because of the ringing. During the day, I manage better, but I notice the tinnitus more now than I did earlier on.

      I'm not sure what to do. I feel that if I could get eight hours of sleep a night, I'd be able to cope much better. I've read and reread all the success stories, hoping I can eventually be one of them. However, I've seen conflicting advice about what to do and what not to do. It seems like whenever someone shares what worked for them, someone else says it made them worse.

      It's depressing that the medical community has nothing to offer to treat this. I went to an audiologist, and the first thing they suggested was vacuum microsuction. I noped out of there and went to a GP. He offered nothing and suggested water irrigation, which is also loud, when I asked for a quiet way to clean wax out of my ears. I ended up buying an ear camera with a scoop attachment from Amazon and removed the earwax myself, silently and easily. This experience has really dented my faith in getting help from medical practitioners for this condition.

      I'm probably going to do what many others have done and try various supplements, although I'm not very optimistic. I'm avoiding loud places and wearing earplugs when going out. I've noticed that whenever I travel, there are always a few Harley Davidson motorbikes nearby, especially when driving through tunnels.
      • Hug Hug x 3
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @pants.

      You are in the very early stages of noise-induced tinnitus. This type of tinnitus usually improves with time, so try not to worry too much. Unless you are experiencing dizziness, problems with your balance, deafness, or acute pain in your ears, it's best to leave your ears alone and give them time to heal. There are certain things that I advise you to do that are mentioned in the link below: New to Tinnitus: What to Do?

      If you frequently went to concerts or regularly used any type of headphones to listen to audio, then I suspect your tinnitus has been present for some time but was operating at a low level, which enabled your brain to easily ignore it. This often happens prior to a person developing full-blown noise-induced tinnitus. Hyperacusis or having some over-sensitivity to sound can also accompany this type of tinnitus. Even if a person wears noise-reducing earplugs and regularly goes to venues where loud music is played, they are putting themselves at risk. If the external sound is loud enough, it can pass through the head and transfer to the inner ear by bone conduction and irritate the cochlea. Continuous exposure to loud noise in this way can cause tinnitus.

      Please do not underestimate the importance of medical professionals in helping someone with tinnitus. Various treatments are available, but these are treatments, not cures, that can help a person manage and cope with tinnitus.

      Go to my started threads and read my post, Tinnitus, A Personal View. I advise that you print it instead of reading it on your phone or computer screen. This way, you will better absorb and retrain the information.

      Try to avoid quiet rooms and surroundings, especially at night. Use low-level sound enrichment, which is best supplied by a sound machine. The link below explains more about this. I advise you not to listen to audio through any type of headphones, even at low volume, as you risk making the tinnitus worse.

      All the best,

      New to Tinnitus, What to Do? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
    3. jjflyman

      jjflyman Member

      Michigan, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise (Concert)
      I'm sorry this happened to you. If I can offer any advice, it would be this: People can get tinnitus in many ways, but acoustic trauma seems to be one of the most common ways. The good news is that most people who get tinnitus from a one-time event (not long-term exposure to loud noises like working in a factory) usually see their tinnitus resolve itself after 6-18 months. However, sometimes it can take over two years (mine took 24 months).

      Protect your ears from loud noises with earplugs for a few months (and your concert days should be over, as your ears are more easily injured from now on) and give it lots and lots of time. It will probably take over six months to notice a slight improvement, but the fact that yours is already changing is a good sign. You can try a sleep app playing rain sounds at night to help you sleep. In my opinion, the hair dryer did not cause any permanent damage.

      All this advice is just my humble opinion from my personal experience with two separate times in my life when I had noise-induced tinnitus.

      Many good people are on this forum, and you can get good advice and support from them.
      • Agree Agree x 2
    4. Pixelito

      Pixelito Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Too many Rush concerts
      My ENT uses a device to scoop out the earwax. No suction or anything like that. Personally, I wouldn't do anything like that myself, but whatever suits you.

      When I have trouble sleeping, I take a generic version of Unisom. It puts me to sleep in about an hour and doesn't affect my ringing at all. In fact, I usually wake in the morning to silence.

      Invest in molded earplugs. They're about $200 and are fitted by an audiologist.
    5. weehiru

      weehiru Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      TMJ 2015, Noise Exposure 03/2024
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced + TMJ
      Hey there,

      I had a similar experience at an indoor concert, right in front of the speakers for Sanguisugabogg. I was in a rush and forgot my earplugs. The hissing and ringing in my ears didn't go away, so I went and got my ears microsuctioned, thinking it would help. I really wanted to opt for the ear curette, but it wasn't possible. Fortunately, the microsuction didn't worsen my tinnitus because it was done in short intervals. If you find a place that offers ear curettage and decide to go that route, try not to overload your ear with softening oils and follow the doctor's instructions. In my case, the doctor couldn't perform the procedure because the wax in my ear was too soft, as I had used softening oils before the appointment.

      I completely understand your frustration with health professionals regarding this issue. I'm sorry you're going through this. It sucks, and it feels like everyone brushes it off so easily.

      Unfortunately, I don't have much to offer in terms of a solution. This happened to me in March, and the volume reduction in my tinnitus has been minimal. I'm still new to this, and our cases differ in some ways. However, I'm coping better now and able to sleep at night. I know everyone handles tinnitus differently, and the volume varies for each person. I've decided to dedicate half of my paycheck to finding ways to cope with it rather than searching for a cure. Protecting my ears in loud environments and redirecting my energy have become my priorities. The anxiety and restlessness can be overwhelming, but it's important to focus on coping strategies.

      Prioritizing sleep might help you, as things started to improve for me once I did that. Sound therapy at a low level can be effective if your tinnitus has multiple tones like mine. I use DaleSnale and Treble Health's audios on YouTube because they're free.
      I completely understand what you're saying here. All the websites offer conflicting advice, experiences, and anecdotes. The first thing I learned on this journey is that no two experiences with tinnitus are exactly alike. Two people could stand in the front row at a concert, and one might have hissing in their ears for 60 years while the other only experiences a day of ringing and forgets about it. That's what happened with my friend and me at the concert. I ended up with tinnitus, and he didn't. Why? Nobody knows for sure, not even the professionals.

      It's helpful to take the advice you read with a grain of salt. Be empathetic, but remember that what works for one person may not work for you. It's up to you to discover your limits and find what helps you manage your tinnitus. Treat everything you read as knowledge to keep in your back pocket and focus on being okay. I hope you can reach a point where it's manageable.
    6. kingsfan

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      A town near you
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      Only ENTs are trained to remove earwax manually. You'll need to see an ENT to have that done.

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