Tinnitus Sounds Off After Trip to City — And I Was Wearing Double Protection

Discussion in 'Support' started by Fally, Feb 21, 2019.

    1. Fally
      Bookworm

      Fally Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6 years
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      no sure
      I don't know if this is anxiety or I am being logical. I have noticed lately my tinnitus has been slowly getting worse, from what I am not sure, I always protect.

      Today ironically I went to tinnitus therapy, I normally travel into the the city for this anyway as I was coming out I ducked in to Sephora and Dymocks to get some things. I was roughly in the city 45 minutes. I was wearing double protection so ear plugs and muffs, which is what I normally do anyway. I noticed it seemed to be loud which increased my anxiety. I have just gotten home after an hour and I took of my ear plugs and I've noticed my right ear seems rather full. Now I know this might be due to having my plugs in for hours, but both ears seem a little off. I am also positive the ringing in my ears is off as well a bit more high pitched.

      I noticed something like this happened last week when I went to the shopping mall to get something. I was in there an hour before coming home and my ears sounded really irritated and I'm pretty sure my tinnitus went up in sound. Again double protection.

      Now I am slightly freaking out, how is this happening with double protection? Have my ears just become that sensitive they now no longer can stand anything even with double protection?
       
    2. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Were any of the sounds uncomfortably loud to you when you were wearing that double protection?

      Normally, the daily fluctuation in tinnitus is difficult to understand and to explain. What matters is the monthly trend. I am unsure about your ear fullness sensation, though...
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Fally
      Bookworm

      Fally Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6 years
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      no sure
      Only the train coming in and out of the station but that was it, since it was underground. It was just normal outdoor people shopping.

      Yeah I notice my daily fluctuation is all over the place, even my therapist noted that today. She wants me to write things down see if there is a monthly trend. I'm wondering if it's because I had my earplug in from 8-2 plus muffs?
       
    4. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Many people wear earplugs as they sleep and are ok. But of course everyone is different...
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Fally
      Bookworm

      Fally Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6 years
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      no sure
      Oh I know. Which is why I was a bit weirded out by it. I will see how we go, my hearing isn't muffled. It could be my TMJ being annoying. Who knows at this stage, I will see how it goes. I did everything correctly so if something happened at this point it was unavoidable.
       
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    6. Lane

      Lane Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      It appears exposure to various vibrations can cause spikes as well as noise. Don't know if that's the case, but since you didn't experience anything extremely traumatic, I suspect this spike will fade relatively quickly. -- I hope anyway!
       
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    7. Gman

      Gman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic earwax drops
      @Fally Don't you find the occlusion effect really irritating and loud walking around with earmuffs and earplugs? I can't do it.
      Did you talk a lot with them in?

      Or else maybe wearing so much ear protection is making your ears overly sensitive.
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Fally
      Bookworm

      Fally Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6 years
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      no sure
      I do talk with them on a lot my earplugs anyway when I'm at work, which I'm starting to wonder if that's annoying them. I did today for a bit so maybe that did it. But as for the effect, I'm use to it now so no. I only wear muffs when I'm at the mall, most of the time it's just earplugs I wear. I am starting to wonder if my ears are becoming majorly oversensitive but I'm too scared to take the plugs off (I'm working on it in therapy).

      @Lane really? Did not know that. Wow. I hope it does.
       
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    9. another sean
      Studious

      another sean Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Los Angeles
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Long duration of low audio
      ive had my baseline raised in the past when wearing double protection. so in my experience, double protection isn't 100% protection and still need to be careful. like I wouldn't go to the mall because of the threat of music playing over the PA systems in the stores. maybe in a few years I could, as its getting more resilient, but its very possible that your hearing I just not ready yet for certain sounds even with double protection and it just needs more time.
       
    10. AZeurotuner

      AZeurotuner Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Could be a result of ear canal inflammation due to the plugs, a random fluctuation, hyperacusis, or stress/anxiety. There's just no way your ears were damaged wearing double protection unless you were exposed to an EXTREMELY loud noise, such as an explosion.

      I understand that some on this forum will disagree with me, but I've had tinnitus for almost a decade, I know first hand how tinnitus can be (temporarily) exasperated by things that have nothing to do with actual hearing damage. I used to get increases for months from noises I don't even think about now.

      Keep attending your tinnitus therapy and don't give up, things will get better if your work for it. Good luck.
       
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    11. JohnAdams
      Starving

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      here
      Tinnitus Since:
      it started.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      hearing loss
      Sometimes there can be spikes for what seems like no reason.
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Fally
      Bookworm

      Fally Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6 years
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      no sure
      It's 3am here in Sydney and I've woken up to my ears raging. I'm not what has happened but yesterday's trip has made things a lot worse. Ears also feel blocked wondering if it's me talking with my ear plugs on that did it.
       
    13. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      These will be your two best answers.

      Seeing that your were double protected and didn’t get exposed to any super loud sounds 120+ db, there was nothing to cause damage. You have also done this trip before and never had an issue. The sounds from the store were not loud enough to give you an issue especially since you were wearing double protection.

      By wearing protection in relatively normal quiet environments, (60-70 db) like a store, you are lowering your sound sensitivity thresholds. This has been proven in studies. It has also been proven in studies that over protection can cause an increase in tinnitus perception.

      There is no need to be wearing hearing protection at night if you sleep in a quiet environment. There is literally no logical reason to do this and is more of a anxiety issue than an ear protection issue. Over protection can cause you to develop sound sensitivity issues which can also effect your tinnitus.

      @Ed209 care to weigh in too?
       
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    14. Lane

      Lane Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      I never go into a store without earplugs. Seems like things almost always "happen". Like being in Home Depot, all of a sudden loud, piercing "beeps" in the next aisle from a forklift backing up. Or being at a local food coop (where you'd think it would be safe), accidents like things dropping, or somebody coming on the intercom with some accompanying very loud noises. Last time I was there, four separate things happened, all of which could have given me a spike if I hadn't had earplugs in.
      Absolutely agree 100%!
       
    15. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      What level of sound are these events? If they are below 80 dB for half a second I am almost 100% sure it wouldn’t have an effect on your tinnitus unless you are extremely sensitive to sound.
       
    16. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      In those situations, I find that I can simply plug my ears with my naturally-made ear plugs that I like to call fingers. I rarely forget them home, too! ;)

      As others have mentioned, keeping your ears unnecessary plugged can have a pretty negative effect on your hearing apparatus, triggering an artificial increase in gain.
       
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    17. Lane

      Lane Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      I'd guess those forklift backup beeps are 100+ db, and once they start, can persist for quite a long time. Two of the events in the CO-OP were probably close to 100 db as well. One was from a lid that was lifted on a fairly large bulk container, and it slipped from the person's hand and crashed (very close to me). The second one was when the intercom right above my head did a very loud thing.

      I am extremely sensitive to sound, and have been for many years prior to getting tinnitus about a year ago. I went through a period about 15 years ago where some of the softest, most beautiful music would feel so grating, I could no longer listen to it. During this time however, it was rare that I ever wore earplugs except for major things like mowing the lawn or using power tools, etc.

      These days, I only wear earplugs when I'm driving or am in a store. Other than that, I rarely feel a need for them, but do wear earmuffs for household things like using the blender, vacuum cleaner, etc. When my tinnitus first started a year ago, both it and my hyperacusis went off the charts. But even then I didn't wear earplugs any more than I had before. In fact--almost bizarrely--I found when I walked on a pathway close to the freeway, that the traffic sounds felt almost soothing to my ears, which were so overwhelmed by the tinnitus.

      While I seemed to be able to listen to freeway traffic, I realized that even a short vehicle trip on the freeway of less than five miles would set the tinnitus off for several hours. That was when I realized I had to do something to protect my ears better. Reading some of the cautionary posts on this forum reinforced that realization. I noticed right away that foam earplugs weren't working very well for me, and I finally got some better quality Earpeace ones.

      I immediately liked the feeling of my ears being able to "breathe" better with the Earpeace, and could actually have a conversation quite a bit better with them than with the foam earplugs. I would certainly prefer not to wear them at all. Even though they're quite inconsqicuous and don't really bother me much while I'm wearing them, I always "breathe" a sigh of relief when I get back home and take them out. I probably average wearing them less than an hour per week.

      This tinnitus/hyperacusis/reactive tinnitus can all be so peculiar and unpredicable. I've now entered a phase where even though running water and peeing are fairly uncomfortable (to painful) for me, I've noticed using the hair dryer doesn't. So why does a hair dryer that's much louder than running water feel almost soothing to me, but running water is just the opposite? That's why I often advocate for people to tune into their own unique situations, and try to determine the best they can what they can and cannot tolerate, and then adjust accordingly as the saga plays out.
       
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    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Fally
      Bookworm

      Fally Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6 years
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      no sure
      I am pretty sure I have lowered the sensitivity threshold? Can it go back back up or no?

      I dont sleep with hearing protection, not sure where you got that idea. I live in the bush in a very quiet area at night its like 20-30db so that would be a pity silly to wear them.

      I am starting to think having the ear plugs in yesterday and talking for an hour and half may have done it? All I know is ive woken this morning and its louder and my ears way more crackly.
       
    19. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      Since they are louder and seem more crackly it may have something to do with ETD. Do you have a cold or feel stuffy?

      It may also be some ear wax in your ear. You should talk to your sound therapist about what can be done to lowered sound tolerance due to increased protection.
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Fally
      Bookworm

      Fally Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6 years
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      no sure
      My ENT thinks I have ETD they have always been crackly for years but today it all seems a bit worse. No I dont have a cold or feel stuffy. Unless its sinus in my head my eyes are watering which can sometimes be an indication of allergies.

      We are looking at doing that already, she wants me to ween of the protection, especially at work.
       
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    21. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      If you don’t work in a noisey work environment that would cause you spikes, than you shouldn’t be wearing hearing protection there.

      It might have to do with allergies. I have talked many times while wearing hearing protection and have not had issues as long as you weren’t screaming.
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Fally
      Bookworm

      Fally Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6 years
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      no sure
      I work in a library, I know... I shouldn't be wearing them. But I had an incident which made me start wearing them. I am aware it's all my anxiety that is causing it and I will admit to that but it's something I am working on with my therapists.

      I wasn't screaming, apparently I have a habit of whispering when having them in.
       
    23. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      Yeah I was going to mention you might want to see a therapist too, to go over the anxiety surrounding this.
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Fally
      Bookworm

      Fally Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6 years
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      no sure
      I've been in therapy for years and my anxiety surround my tinnitus has been going on for years. It's just been made worse because it got worse last year so my anxiety has gone into overdrive and I've also apparently now developed OCD because of it. I am trying so hard to do all the right things but it's a serious struggle.
       
    25. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      It sounds like overprotection for the level of sound exposure, which will make you too sensitive. Next time, try the plugs, OR the muffs, but both is overkill for just going around town.

      As an aside, Home Depot can get quite noisy with those forklifts, and the backup beeps.

      Hair dryers are loud, and it is quite reasonable to use protection with them.
       
    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Fally
      Bookworm

      Fally Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6 years
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      no sure
      I never use to overprotect, I was quiet good. Just plugs and that was enough, but since it got worse last year my anxiety is now fueling everything. I am working on it though.
       
    27. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Glad to hear you are getting help with it. Dont want this to become a downward spiral of overprotection and hyperacusis.
       
    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Fally
      Bookworm

      Fally Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6 years
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      no sure
      I feel like its gotten to that point, but i was sort of aware it would get to that point which is why we started early trying to get me not to. Unfortunately my Tinnitus Therapist went on maternity leave just as we were going to do desensitization to normal sounds so i could ween of the ear plugs. Now she's been replaced and we need to start a plan over again. Its hard.
       
    29. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Fally
      Bookworm

      Fally Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6 years
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      no sure
      -Sigh- pretty sure I have now developed a brand new tone in my right ear after whatever happened on Thursday.
       
    30. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      In a store, with the intercom going off, what is the db level then? Could it be db level and/or pitch/frequency that triggers a spike?

      I posted in a thread I created, that I went into a grocery store and the announcement on the intercom is not what did it, imho, but the screechy sound that accompanied it. In Walmarts and Home Depots, maybe it's loud but at least clear but not this grocery store. I was doing the 'overprotected' earing protection thing for a while but my audiologist said I was doing it too much. Thanks to her, I 'let down my guard' and went into the store without the protection. The result was only 2 hrs of sleep and torture of loud, constant buzzing for around 12 hrs.

      I agree with the theory that you can develop sound sensitivity issues with over protection but at the same time I think certain sounds and frequencies can create/cause a spike and T issues - and then you don't know how long it will last - the duration and volume is torture for some people. So, where to find that balance and is there a balance? It's awful to choose between risking sound sensitivity and causing a spike. Sure, some spikes can occur out of nowhere and are random but others seem to be provoked or caused by certain sounds so what do you do? :-(
       

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