Tinnitus from Loud Live Music in Enclosed Venues (Two Acoustic Traumas)

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by bkhomuts, May 23, 2024.

    1. bkhomuts

      bkhomuts Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2022 (mosquito-quiet), 04/2024 audible
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music exposure (drums in enclosed space)
      I have always protected my hearing and knew about the dangers of loud noise. However, in the last two months, I became less attentive, possibly due to the stress I put on myself as I was very ambitious with my work and hobbies (playing piano, swimming, and occasionally going to the gym).

      At the end of March, I was with a group of friends, and we were deciding where to go. Someone proposed going to a music jam. I knew it would be loud, but I somehow convinced myself that I would be playing the piano there and that there might be other, quieter instruments, or I would leave early. I played the piano first and felt very good about myself; people seemed to like it. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my earplugs with me.

      Then other bands started playing, with guitar and keyboard at the beginning, so it wasn't loud at all. We moved to a table behind the wall. Over time, the volume of the music increased, and drums started playing, making it difficult to talk. I decided to go outside but returned to pay, and the bar was located near the drums. A drummer was hitting very loudly at that time, and I couldn't cover my ears since I was paying by card. After that event, I noticed that my low-frequency hearing had reduced, and I could hear high frequencies very well, like someone had set up an equalizer emphasizing them. I had slight tinnitus that night, which disappeared the next day. However, I became slightly anxious about my hearing and at work.

      On April 10th, I attended a dancing party for the first time in 12 years. When I arrived, I noticed drums in a small enclosed space, which alarmed me, but then I saw a plastic wall that partially covered the drum, and I thought the volume would be okay. How wrong I was. I had earplugs with me but didn't put them in immediately since I wanted to talk to a lovely young lady I had invited to dance. I put my earplugs in only after about 7 minutes, but that didn't help, as the earplugs were Alpine MusicSafe Pro with an NRR of only 22 dB and low attenuation at lower frequencies. After the concert, I had tinnitus, which I thought would disappear quickly. I used a masker from YouTube for the first time and fell asleep, not worrying about anything. How wrong I was about my tinnitus.

      In two days, I was totally obsessed with the new sound in my head and couldn't sleep. For the first time in my life, I had suicidal thoughts and went to a psychiatrist. I was prescribed 15 mg of Mirtazapine, which helped me sleep. However, in addition to the ringing, I felt dizzy while walking and swimming in the pool. That increased my anxiety significantly. I signed up for an ENT appointment, which was available in two weeks. The doctor found nothing wrong and told me to avoid exposure to loud sounds, saying it could reduce over time.

      One night in the fourth week, it actually disappeared for an hour. I was so happy that I desperately checked the sound with earplugs. Eventually, the tinnitus reappeared but was much quieter. The next day, I had a dentist appointment. I took earplugs with me but forgot them at the reception. After that, my ears were quiet, but another high-frequency sound appeared a day later.

      Six weeks have passed, and so far, the volume hasn't changed; the tinnitus sounds the same. I took time off work since I have difficulty concentrating. I feel quite depressed without music, swimming, and going to the gym. Just two mistakes, and my life has changed completely.
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Muggumbo

      Muggumbo Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/Acoustic Trauma
      Six weeks is still early. It can improve or even go away, but it may take a long time.
    3. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Welcome to Tinnitus Talk. I agree that 6 weeks is too early to expect drastic improvements. But the good sign is that you did have some quiet moments already. Be prepared that the ears can be unstable initially and may take 6 to 18 months to heal, typical of acoustic trauma. Stay calm and positive that all will be well in time to avoid triggering the limbic nerves, which can result in a fight or flight response. Try to get on with living or pursue a new hobby so your brain doesn't focus on the ringing. If needed, you can try to mask the ringing with natural sounds. Free tinnitus masking apps can generate masking sounds to help you cope. Try reading the success stories to give you hope and to learn what has helped the recovery. Take good care. God bless.
    4. Paul617

      Paul617 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise damage and sinus congestion
      Hi, I just joined.

      I have a similar background. Noise damage at a music venue caused reverse-slope hearing loss in my left ear, which means all bass is gone, and the upper range sounds like a busted-out cheap speaker. I have also had constant multi-toned "EEEEEE" ringing tinnitus in that ear ever since. Unfortunately, mine happened in 2021, and it has not changed.

      This kind of hearing loss (reverse slope) is statistically unusual compared to most hearing loss. I had to shop around before finding an otologist with experience in this kind of thing.

      Hopefully, yours will go away, but if it doesn't—and that is very possible—it is also very possible that you will learn over time how to sleep with it, do life stuff with it, and become more skillful at ignoring it.

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