Travelling to Work by Train with Hyperacusis?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Pomme, Jul 7, 2017.

    1. Pomme

      Pomme Member

      Manchester UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concerts and Stress
      Does anyone have any ideas / tips on how I can handle train travel with Hyperacusis. I need to be able to do this for work purposes shortly. Commute is about an hour.
    2. Tom Cnyc

      Tom Cnyc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Warehouse event after years of enjoying music.
      get custom earplugs. I managed to do it. Admittedly my H was what most would consider mild - but it would have been mostly impossible without plugs
    3. Lex

      Lex Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad decisions
      I wear earplugs. Without them, I could never leave my flat.
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hyperacusis can be an annoying problem. The best way to "PREVENT" it being cured is to overuse ear protection. Please read the post below as you might find it helpful. In my opinion, all you need is a pair of standard "noise reducing earplugs". Use these for a while but try not to use them too often. A 20 decibel noise reduction should suffice. I advise you not to use foam earplugs as they block off most external sound which is something that you don't want to do.


      Hyperacusis, As I See It.

      Some members have asked for my opinion on hyperacusis as they are finding it increasingly difficult to live with. They want to know if there is a way of treating this condition so that their life can become a little easier? Or whether it can be completely cured? For a few it has become so distressing they have decided to only leave their homes when it’s absolutely necessary. This is because of the fear of making the symptoms worse, by subjecting their ears to the hustle and bustle of everyday road traffic noise and other environmental sounds that we are all familiar with.

      Reading some of the posts in this forum, one can easily see that certain people daren’t leave their homes without first checking they have their earmuffs and an assortment of earplugs in various degrees of attenuation, in readiness for any potential environment that they happen to find themselves in. The cinema, nightclub, restaurant, or on public transport. If money is no object aspiring to custom made moulded earplugs for some is the way to go. It can bring the added assurance they will be getting the best hearing protection. Whether this is true or not doesn’t really matter because it’s what the person believes and this helps to give them that peace of mind which is something many of us strive for at one time or another.

      The above may seem a little extreme until I tell you one member provoked a lot of discussion here, when he mentioned having the air bag in a car that he had just purchased disabled in case it was deployed in an accident. I suppose the thought of 170 decibels raining down on his auditory system and the possibility of his tinnitus and hyperacusis shooting through the roof was too much too bear and is more important than a potential life saving device. As strange as this might seem, others have discussed doing the same thing elsewhere on the Internet.

      I am not an expert in this field but do have the experience of living with very severe hyperacusis that was brought on with the onset of my tinnitus twenty years ago due to loud noise exposure. It was so severe; conversation with someone at times caused immense pain. However, it was completely cured in two years with TRT and having counselling with a hearing therapist. I wore white noise generators for 10hrs a day and used a sound machine throughout the night until morning for sound enrichment. My tinnitus had reduced to a very low level.

      Some people believe hyperacusis cannot be cured and if treatment such as TRT works then it merely suppresses the condition. In the event of future loud noise exposure it will return and the condition will be worse than before. I believe it's up to the individual to take care of their hearing and not subject themselves to loud noise exposure. However, accidents do happen as in my case. I have previously explained in this forum that my tinnitus increased to very severe levels in 2008 due to noise exposure so won’t go over it again. To my surprise the hyperacusis did not return and has remained the same till this day, completely silent.

      This summer I went onto the Brighton Pier and into the arcade. The place was a hive of activity and many people were using the slot machines. Music was playing and mixed with loud laughter so everyone seemed to be having a good time. I had my sound level meter and also a sound App on my mobile phone. Just in case things got too uncomfortable I had my noise reducing earplugs with me that reduce sound levels by 18 decibels. This was a test and not something I normally do or recommend anyone else to try.

      The sound level in that place remained constant at just over 100 decibels. My ears didn’t feel uncomfortable and I felt no pain. I stayed at the venue for 30 minutes and then left.

      The next morning my tinnitus was silent and I experienced no symptoms of hyperacusis. I do not believe that it is a good idea for someone with tinnitus or hyperacusis (or both) to wear earplugs or noise-reducing earplugs with filters too often, because it’s possible for the auditory system to become hypersensitive. In some cases it could make matters worse and cause a condition called phonophobia. This is literally having a fear of sound.

      I used to counsel someone that had phonophobia like symptoms although she wasn’t diagnosed. This person had hypercausis that gradually got worse and at every opportunity she kept away from sound. This got so bad going out the front door because of the noise was a problem. Her ears couldn’t tolerate the sound of the microwave, dishwasher or the washing machine. She even complained of the sound of rain falling on her conservatory roof that was made of glass. Fortunately she has improved.

      There is much discussion on this in the medical field from experts saying that the overuse of hearing protection isn’t good and therefore discouraged as it will lower loudness threshold and I completely agree with this. I think if one isn’t careful they can become paranoid over sound making their hyperacusis and tinnitus worse and I don’t think it’s healthy.

      I believe the answer is to seek proper treatment. If TRT is unavailable then start using a sound machine by the bedside at night for sound enrichment. This usually helps to desensitise the auditory system. Try going out for long walks and getting used to everyday sounds instead of keeping away from them by staying at home. I don’t normally recommend anyone to use white noise generators unless they are under the care of a hearing therapist. However, if your tinnitus is under control and you have habituated but experience hyperacusis, that some call: Reactive tinnitus. Then white noise generators could be the way to go. Two should be used to keep the auditory system in balance and set the volume level low, preferably below the tinnitus. This will help to desensitise the auditory system and treat the hypercusis.

      Hearing protection is important and does have its place. If I am going to venues where I believe noise level could become loud then I have my earplugs with me. Night clubs, parties etc. I would always use them at the cinema although I haven’t been to one in years. Reading some of the posts on this forum people say those places can be very loud.

      When I use my petrol lawn mower or electric power tools for those DIY jobs around the home, I always use my ear defenders. I want to live life and enjoy it. Not to be living in fear of hearing a fire truck or ambulance siren coming towards me and I have to panic and quickly insert earplugs or reach for earmuffs to protect my hearing. I just think this is overkill.


      PS: There is a condition called: vestibular hyperacusis. This is where the sound can cause a person to fall, lose balance or experience dizziness, and will probably require more professional help.
    5. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Use hearing protection. Noises around trains can peak up to pretty high decibel levels. Screeching, the PA system, and some trains have those whistle sounds..
    6. Mike Allman

      Mike Allman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      High volume exposure
      use standard ear plugs while going only on subway or train, your ear must re adapt step by step to that sounds but only with time... re training your ear with street sounds really works ... remember step by step (15 minutes of street and 10 of rest with earplugs), force yourself to do it you will note the difference in a few weeks.

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