Tinnitus Is Worse After Hunting with Ear Protection

Discussion in 'Dr. Stephen Nagler (MD)' started by Kahuna, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. Dr. Nagler will be unavailable to answer questions until approx end of April. You can still submit questions in the meanwhile.
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    1. Kahuna

      Kahuna Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dr. Nagler,

      I gave up shooting of any type five years ago after developing tinnitus.

      I was invited to go quail hunting this past week and, after much trepidation, decided to accept. I wore foam earplugs (33 dB NRR) along with good active noise canceling muffs at all times.

      My tinnitus has been back to a bothersome level since then, though.

      Do you think I caused further damage to my hearing that has increased the tinnitus or am I just focused too much on it and driving it up through anxiety?


    2. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician Benefactor

      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Hello @Kahuna. Thank you for your question.

      Considering the precautions you took, I do not believe you have caused any further damage to your auditory system. The exacerbation you are experiencing is likely driven by your concern about possibly having caused yourself damage, when in fact such was not the case. This sort of phenomenon can sometimes take on a life of its own, which is why I am pleased that you posted on the Doctors' Corner. I suspect that things will settle back down in time, but try not to put a calendar on it. I also suggest that you not purposely seek silence to "give you ears a rest." Interestingly, strict environmental silence is quite stressful to the auditory system. It is generally better to keep some soft music or nature sounds in the background.

      All the best with it.

      Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.
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