Tinnitus from Shooting a 9mm Handgun with No Hearing Protection

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by adrian rojas, May 21, 2024.


Will acoustic trauma cases resolve over time ?

  1. Yes

    2 vote(s)
  2. No

    3 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
    1. adrian rojas

      adrian rojas Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Alright guys, I had an incident happen about a month and a half ago. I was shooting my 9mm pistol without ear protection (stupid, I know). I shot a 13-round magazine while target shooting. I didn’t notice the ringing right away, but it progressively got louder over two days. I developed an extremely loud ringing in my right ear, along with muffled hearing and pressure for about a week. Both the muffled hearing and pressure went away, but the slight ringing remained.

      I went to the ER four days later, and they diagnosed me with tinnitus, saying there was nothing they could do. Ten days later, I went to another ER for a second opinion. I was told my eardrum looked dull and my nostrils appeared inflamed. I was prescribed an 11-day dose of Prednisone: 6 days at 60 mg and 5 days at 40 mg. This significantly reduced the ringing from a 9/10 to a 2/10. Now, I occasionally hear cricket sounds, but it’s much better. I only hear it in quiet rooms or when trying to sleep, particularly in the mornings when it’s really quiet.

      I’m wondering if anyone has recovered from this kind of trauma over the course of months. I went to an ENT doctor who said my eardrum looked healthy, my hearing was perfect, and there were no signs of hearing loss. I had nasal inflammation due to my sinuses, so I was given a spray, Ryaltris or something like that.

      Every night, I wake up at 1:30 in the morning with my tinnitus screaming. I’m not sure if it’s because my A/C unit is pretty noisy. Honestly, it’s gotten to the point where I’m scared to sleep because of it. Is there any hope or chance of recovery from this? I wish I could go back to normal—I really miss it. Is there any chance of a full recovery from this?

      I should also mention that I am a weekend drinker and have been for many years. It’s hard to quit drinking, but it does cause temporary spikes in my tinnitus the following day, though it returns to baseline a few hours after. I need advice. I’m only 23 years old and plan on getting married to my beautiful girlfriend in the near future. I used to love life when I didn’t have this annoying ringing. I work 50-60 hour weeks, and now it has significantly impacted my life. I feel slower and depressed. It has destroyed my work ethic and overall quality of life.

      I used to enjoy lifting in the gym 4 to 5 days a week, but I haven’t been to the gym in two weeks. I feel so alone in this battle. I’m afraid it’s life-changing, but I’m trying to remain calm. I need to stop googling horror stories, as I know it slows the healing process. I’m constantly thinking about the day I made this huge mistake. I really messed up, and all I can do is hope for recovery. There’s nothing good that comes from dwelling on this situation, and it’s nobody’s fault but mine. I should have known better. I’ve hunted and shot multiple guns in my life with and without hearing protection, but this time I wasn’t very lucky. The only good thing is that I have no hearing loss, which gives me hope for recovery. My ear still pops like crazy when I swallow or yawn, and I’m not sure why that is. Praying for better days on this road I’m on.
      • Hug Hug x 3
    2. Luman

      Luman Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      Sorry to hear this; you are not alone.

      I have tinnitus from loud noises, as well, and experienced many of the symptoms you describe. They all improved over time, and this is true for the vast majority of people with tinnitus. Not only is there "a chance" you will improve, but it's very likely. There are plenty of success stories here, from people of all ages and walks of life, to read. I suggest learning coping strategies until it subsides and/or you are no longer bothered by it. Just remember, no matter how bad it seems, it's only a sound, and your brain will deal with it better and better as time passes.
      • Like Like x 1
    3. Muggumbo

      Muggumbo Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/Acoustic Trauma
      My tinnitus used to go crazy at night occasionally, but it stopped doing that after a few months. I still have tinnitus and am almost nine months in, but it has become milder and more manageable most days lately. Mine changes a lot, though, so we'll see if it stays that way.
    4. Jupiterman

      Jupiterman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden loud noise
      You've no idea how lucky you are.

      Just protect your ears for the next few months. No loud places, and always carry earplugs.

      You'll adapt to 2/10 tinnitus relatively easily.
      • Agree Agree x 3
    5. momus

      momus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Yes, alcohol will cause tinnitus to spike. One drink, probably not, but a few will definitely do it. Smoking weed is even worse. Just about everything will spike tinnitus! Or so it seems. You have to take it one day at a time. The main thing is not to do things you know will make it worse because we never know when a spike will go back down.

      There are other things to avoid. Loud noises, of course, but flying can be a problem due to the air pressure changes. Stress should be avoided. Eat healthy and avoid a lot of sugary and fattening foods. Anything that spikes your blood pressure will increase the level of tinnitus. Get out as much as possible; the ambient sounds will do a great job of masking tinnitus.
    6. JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Sorry, bro. Here are a few things to keep in mind: Tinnitus is very varied. It's almost like a fingerprint—no two cases are exactly alike. There is noise-induced tinnitus, and then there are those who get it for no "apparent" reason. In both cases, some degree of hearing loss is usually present as well. You may not think you have hearing loss, but you probably do. In my case, I have what is known as SSHL (Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss). My hearing was fine, and then one night, I woke up with total hearing loss in my right ear, very significant tinnitus on the right side (loud hissing static noise), and hyperacusis in my left ear. Talk about a mess. Of course, I was scared to death, devastated, and helpless, with no answers. Long story short, I went through all the exams, Prednisone treatments, etc., with no relief at all. That was six years ago, and nothing has changed. My tinnitus rages 24/7. It is also "reactive," meaning noise entering my "good" ear causes the tinnitus to spike, especially when indoors. I do my best in an outside environment. Unlike some here, I dread being in noisy places because instead of masking my tinnitus, it usually causes an increase. I always carry earplugs. I could go on and on about all the negative impacts of my personal tinnitus, but I guess I am taking the time here to show you that life goes on. Yes, my life has changed, and I may not enjoy certain things as much as before, but I still enjoy doing things. Life goes on.

      My advice to you is to do your best to ward off anxiety. Stress and anxiety are not your friends. Also, since this is pretty recent for you, there is still the possibility that you will see some noticeable improvement over time. I felt totally helpless when it happened to me. It was the last thing I was expecting. I have pretty much habituated to it now, meaning I am at a place where I go through long periods of the day and don't dwell on it at all. I have learned to accept it as simply the way it is totally. This may sound strange, but I have learned not to hate it anymore. It's a kind of acceptance that leads to true habituation. I have heard that people living next to a busy train track get to a place where they don't hear the trains go by anymore. Of course, they hear them—they have become habituated to the noise. They have learned not to hate the trains.

      Yes, your despair is understandable. You are young and can't imagine going through the rest of your life with this noise in your head. Believe me, I get it. I also had my complete breakdown moment. For the first time, I thought the worst thoughts. That was ground zero. That was also six years ago, and now I don't even come to this website much anymore, and my condition has not improved at all, but my tolerance has. Yours will, too. You will learn your own personal form of "acceptance" and start down the road to habituation and livability. Good luck, bro.
      • Like Like x 2
    7. kingsfan

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      A town near you
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      If you only hear it in quiet rooms, you will habituate. Your life isn't over. You'll be okay. Rest easy and give it time. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. You can always consult the forum on any sleeping medication the doctor prescribes. It's common for tinnitus to be elevated when waking up prematurely.

      I probably wouldn't shoot guns anymore, even with hearing protection. But if you do, wear impulse earplugs and earmuffs.
      • Agree Agree x 3

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