Tinnitus Spike with Earplugs and Muffs? What the Heck?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Mr Guppy, Jul 27, 2015.

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    1. Mr Guppy
      Batty

      Mr Guppy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1989
      Here's a very strange story, and I wonder if any of you can relate to it.


      I've always had a mild case of tinnitus caused by playing in rock bands as a teenager. It was constant and mild and not noticeable unless the room was deadly quiet.


      This all changed when I went to work for a temp agency that sent me to a job in a food processing plant. The place really was not that loud at all and I had good quality earplugs, but afterwards my tinnitus spiked in one ear and completely changed in character. The volume doubled, the pitch became extremely high in the sound oscillates in a cyclical swishing manner. After the job, the spiked calm down considerably, but the character of the tinnitus seems to have permanently changed.


      So this summer, I was sent back there again, but I was ready! Silicon earplugs combined with good quality earmuffs. Damn! Same result. Same high-pitched spike. How the hell could damaging noise get through two layers of protection?


      So I went to the doctor and he told me to take an anti-histamine for about 10 days since I told him that I felt my ear was draining in addition to the noise. So that didn't work. He thought it was highly unlikely that my ear could be damaged with so much protection so he thought it might be a blockage. He told me to chew gum constantly and take a steroid. So I did, without result. Now I'm seeing a specialist, and he agreed that there was no such thing as a magical evil frequency that can somehow get through earmuffs and earplugs. So he is ordered an MRI. The audiologist told me that my eardrum with the ringing failed a pressure test and was punched in (whatever that means) by double. She thought this might be causing the excessive ringing. Maybe the first time I had excessive earwax in jammed my eardrum by putting a plug-in it?


      Has anybody else had a spike even through layers of protection? I can't believe this! Could I be allergic to something inside the plant instead? I really don't want to give up this job since the pay is excellent, the work is slight, and the people are extremely friendly. This is an extremely laid-back company. Anyway, this is too weird. Thanks for listening.
       
    2. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      To answer your question yes--I get spikes despite wearing ear plugs. That actually, is not all that unusual. The main thing is protecting your hearing. Spikes will not generally make your hearing or tinnitus worse. The change in character of your T could be due to something that has changed or not. My T has changed over the years, not necessarily for the worst but it has definitely changed character. I think that has to depend whether you have tonal T or something else. Tonal T is more likely to remain constant. I have reactive T with a few diff tonal tones mixed in and some crickets which seems to be always change. I wouldn't worry about your spikes. I don't work in a loud plant but I do several loud activities which almost always gives me spikes. They tend to go down later in the day or the next day; however I have had some last days.

      The main thing is not letting your hearing get any worse (which you are doing) and not to worry about spikes which are very normal with T.
       
    3. Mr Guppy
      Batty

      Mr Guppy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1989
      Thanks for your response. Yeah my main concern was having the spike become a new baseline which is kinda what happened last year. I will quit this job if necessary but I'd like to avoid doing so.
       
    4. LillianLexicon97
      Spooky

      LillianLexicon97 Member

      Location:
      U.S.A.
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise: Headphones
      Whenever I wear earplugs my T spikes, too. It's because your brain in more aware of the T from the earplugs blocking out environmental noise.
       
    5. Tamika
      No Mood

      Tamika Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One loud indoor concert
      Sorry to hear about your spike despite all the care you took. I have been wanting to ask a similar question. I have had T for 3 months from a concert. Shortly after acquiring it we had a tree come down on our driveway so we had to use a chainsaw for a couple of hours. I tried to keep a distance from the chainsaw (2-5 metres) and just did the clearing. I doubled up with silicone and top quality ear muffs. I thought my T was louder that night but it seemed to be back to normal by next morning. I'm still wary of doing any work with chainsaws and other noisy machinery now as like you I wonder if despite double protection it could make it worse. The chainsaw still sounded very loud to me despite the double protection.
       
    6. Robert44

      Robert44 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert
      When I had an ear infection I also failed a pressure test. When my ear infection cleared up completely the ringing went away.
       
    7. Mr Guppy
      Batty

      Mr Guppy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1989
      I'm looking forward to hearing what the "specialist" has to say after my MRI. The audiologist told me they can push your eardrum back out by blowing air in your nose but the "specialist" seemed dismissive of the idea. Anyway thanks for your comment. I'd still like to know how double protection can cause spikes. It seems to defy all reason.
       

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