Tinnitus Got MUCH Worse After Standing Close to Festival Speaker for 12 Hours Straight

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Liz13, Nov 3, 2022.

    1. Liz13

      Liz13 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi! I’m Liz. I’m 29. When I was 18 I got a concussion from being kicked pretty hard in the back of the head, and I have had tinnitus ever since. I learned to live with it, but recently it got SO much worse and I’m scared it will be this loud forever. :( I would love any advice!

      I went to a music festival on October 23rd, and we got there early to be close to the stage for the headliner, so we stood close to the speaker for 12 hours straight. I wore custom molded musicians earplugs because of my pre-existing tinnitus, and I didn’t notice any volume issues during the show... but after the show when I took the earplugs out it kept feeling like I was still wearing them (my ears felt full + hearing was muffled). I also had some balance issues walking back to the hotel but that may have been dehydration. When I laid down to sleep that night, the ringing was insanely loud and kept me up.

      The ENT I saw on Monday (October 31st) said it probably wasn’t noise-related since I wore earplugs at the festival and my hearing test did not show any damage... but it just seems like it would be a weird coincidence for my tinnitus to suddenly get worse after standing by a festival speaker all day? I’m not sure if the source matters but yeah. She said the same thing I heard 11 years ago — it may get better with time, but there’s no cure, sorry.

      Urgent care gave me Prednisone on October 26th for post-COVID-19 bronchitis (I had COVID-19 in early October, very mild case due to vaccines + boosters, but I just also have asthma and often get bronchitis after colds etc). I couldn’t tell if the Prednisone was making a difference with the ringing but now I think it maybe was helping, because as I’m tapering off it seems louder? The ENT asked if it had helped and I said I didn’t know. Now I’m wondering if I should call back and say yes it was?

      I don’t know what to do. I’m very discouraged. It also didn’t help that while calling around trying to get in to see an ENT that first week, no one seemed to think it was urgent, and my primary care physician said if it was really bothering me I could go to the ER, which I did but they were not very nice or at all helpful. I mean — I totally get it, they’re swamped! But now I feel like I’m insane for being bothered by this noise or like I’m just a drug-seeker or hypochondriac or something.

      I would love any insight on next steps I could take, etc. (if there are any), or any advice for dealing with this generally moving forward. Thanks!
      • Hug Hug x 5
    2. Stuart-T

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      Hello Liz and sorry you are here but welcome.

      I think it is near certain that your new increased level is as a direct result of the concert. As has been pointed out on this forum many times - earplug use is not a guarantee against loud noise. Vibrations can travel through the skull into the middle ear. I went to a ballet recently and only 2 minutes exposure to the sound led to a horrible 1 week spike. I vowed in fact not to go to any more sound performances. It's not worth it. If I want music I listen at low levels on my Hi-Fi or car audio. So my spike cleared. Maybe yours will clear too.

      Ears feeling full tends to indicate a fluid build up. It may also affect your balance. Keep a check on that as you can report it to the ENT - in worst case scenarios they can drain the fluid by making a small hole in the eardrum.

      The emergency department at a hospital is dealing with very visible injuries and conditions so yes ringing in the ears is not something that seems serious to them.

      Not sure about Prednisone - some people say it helps. I don't know what to advise there.

      The bronchitis won't help of course and when it clears you may find an improvement.

      In the meantime get reading around on this board - there is a lot to try - diet - supplements etc. I used to try them all and obsess over sugar, salt etc. Now I just eat what I want as I concluded the level of improvement was not worth the hassle. But we are all different so I would recommend you try different things.
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    3. 10Kcd

      10Kcd Member

      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hi @Liz13 - I agree with @Stuart-T that it is near certain that your current condition is a direct result of the concert, and that things will improve with time. I also agree that staying away from loud concerts is a wise move.

      Hopefully the Prednisone will help some, as you are within the window in which it can have a positive impact. I also encourage you to make moves toward health - good sleep, healthy diet, exercise, etc), and if I could recommend one supplement, it would be NAC. Like many here, I've tried a lot of them, and NAC is the one thing that has clearly helped reduce my symptoms. That said, every individual is different, so what works for me may not work for me.

      Good luck - wishing you speedy healing!
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