Was Quitting My Job at the Food Factory Because of the Noise the Right Choice?

Discussion in 'Support' started by nighost, Apr 28, 2020.

    1. nighost

      nighost Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly Acoustic Trauma or TMJ
      Hello everyone, and thanks to the founders of the forum.

      I decided to quit my job at the food factory because of the noise.

      I wondered afterwards whether that was an unnecessary overreaction, or is it possible that my own tinnitus could develop even worse from this because of work, or could that even go in a better direction after quitting?

      I have had my tinnitus since about 2018 and the most likely cause was acoustic trauma or Temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

      The sound resembles the static noise of a old CRT TV and is continuous.

      Before, it didn’t bother me terribly, but now, over time, it has progressed to the level of not being able to enjoy tv series as before because it spoils the concentration at times.

      When I finish my work I have been working there for seven months.

      Prior to this job, I worked at a recycling center for three months to six hours a day, when I always had to occasionally try vacuum cleaners and blenders during the day.

      That was time when I first noticed an increase in tinnitus.

      I also go clubbing fairly often, but ever since the tinnitus started I have taken steps to protect my ears with.

      Unfortunately, in many places the bass kicks so hard that I feel the vibration all the way to my head and I worry wearing ear plugs isn't enough.

      So I'm wondering that is the ear plugs even helping good enough, and is this bigger threat to increase my tinnitus than my work.

      in my work there is noise between 70, 80 or 85-87 decibels, depending on which production line I have to get during the day.

      Most of the sounds are low frequency and 87 decibels come from a cutter that cuts evenly every 5 minutes.

      So at worst some days, I have to be prone to 85 decibels for eight hours excluding breaks.

      When I started work I didn’t use hearing protection for the first three weeks, but there were fewer days a week when I was exposed to that 85 decibels full day.

      Now, I always wear foam plugs and try to use ear-muffs and plugs at the same time if the noise exceeds 85 decibels.

      "I wish I could get my tinnitus back down to a level where I could enjoy watching TV.

      What are your thoughts on this?
       
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    2. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      destroy all creatures. they cannot be regenerated.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      85-87 decibels, with earplugs, is certainly fine for most people without existing damage. Over a period of years, this may still be sufficient to cause some amount of hearing loss; that's a complex question and might boil down to individual susceptibility. If you've been doing this work without hearing protection, that's definitely dangerous.

      Clubs can be much louder; there are also clubs which actually are not louder than ~85dB, so that's hard to pin down.

      You have a history of recreational and occupational noise exposure and are now experiencing a bothersome increase in your tinnitus. I think the best thing to do is to rest your ears as much as possible (but still getting lots of exposure to different kinds of sounds, just at reasonable volumes), and try to eat/sleep well, meditate or do yoga, exercise, etc and basically give yourself the best shot of getting your body to heal as much as possible, and your nervous system plasticize these changes in the least traumatic way possible.

      So, no, I personally don't think quitting your job was a dumb thing to do, provided you are able to provide for yourself through other means.
      I hope that you are able to, as well. But, ruminating on thoughts like this amounts to wanting things to be not as they are; my experience is that consciously engaging with that kind of thinking just increased my anxiety level over time, whereas consciously making an effort to let go of and take a step back from thoughts like that and just exist in the current moment, has decreased my anxiety level over time.

      If you do have TMJ and it is not treated, treating those symptoms may reduce the severity of your ear symptoms. Conversely, if you do not address clenching/grinding, it can wear down your discs and potentially eventually compress or even damage nerve structures.

      I sleep with a bite guard that cost me $1700 :-/
       
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    3. Bartoli

      Bartoli Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009,worsened 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Depending on the production line, you're definitely in the "danger zone" around the cutter at 87dB. But... (And there are a few buts...)

      How did you measure the dB level? Was it on your phone? These readings can be off. In this case it's better to get a reading with a properly calibrated dB meter (or some dB apps on some iPhones actually are pretty accurate because the apps are calibrated to the mic used in those phones.) It should give you some idea at least, but every 3dB increase halves your exposure time and since you're right there are 87dB a couple of dB up or down could make a difference.
      Then again, the 'safe level' of 85dB for 8 hrs is a guideline where the majority of people don't seem to experience measurable hearing loss over years of exposure, so it's more of an empirically established safe level. It doesn't account for spectral characteristics of the noise either.

      I know I couldn't do 85dB...
      Your experience too might vary depending on susceptibility. You're wise to be protecting yourself. The 85dB is meant to be continuous exposure. I understand the cutter only kicks in every once in a while, so the average exposure for you may be lower.

      In the end, if your ears are acting up, it's wise to listen to them and adjust accordingly. Sometimes, worsenings of tinnitus can happen without a reason (or because of past noise exposure catching up), but in your case you have a history of noise exposure so I would take it easy for a while and see if it gets better. All the best.
       
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    4. Sash
      Doubtful

      Sash Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/01/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      cleaning out wax
      I would definitely stay away from indoor clubs though I guess its a blessing in disguise for tinnitus suffers that clubs will not open for several months yet. I have learnt the hard way as mine has got progressively worse over two years mainly due to exposure loud noise and even when I did take all precautions and be sensible.

      Yes probably did the right thing to quit as blenders are horrible for the ears.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    5. jasonbourne

      jasonbourne Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      I don't know exactly what you're trying to say. At 87 decibels if you use earplugs and good quality over ear muffs you could spend 100 years in that factory and be fine. Even muffs alone would do the job.
       
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    6. Autumnly
      Wishful

      Autumnly Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced
      That's not the case for everyone with tinnitus. Edit: Just wanted to add that it's obviously important not to needlessly scare people but I'd say, if possible and financially feasible, it's a reasonable decision to work in a quieter environment as someone with tinnitus.
       
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    7. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Here is an actual, direct answer to OP's question
      Unfortunately
      @jasonbourne You are talking about the guidelines for the healthy people. There hasn't been a study of tinnitus sufferers. (If your "words of wisdom" above were based on a study of tinnitus sufferers, please provide a link.) There is a lot of evidence (e.g., multiple posts on this forum, the ones I am quoting below are just the tip of the iceberg) that points to many tinnitus sufferers' ears being compromised, so that the noises that the healthy people won't even notice could cause serious damage.

      @nighost Once you check out the testimonies below, you will know that you did the right thing.
      Which one sounds worse - years spent being exposed to noise at a factory or a kid stomping on an inflated bag?
      https://www.buzzfeed.com/joycecohen/noise-kills-when-everyday-sound-becomes-torture
      More useful quotes from that buzzfeed article
      Regarding a person who had committed suicide as a result of tinnitus and hyperacusis:
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      nighost

      nighost Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly Acoustic Trauma or TMJ
      Thanks to everyone for the answers.

      This helps me a lot and confirmed the decision that quitting on the work was the right choice.
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      nighost

      nighost Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly Acoustic Trauma or TMJ
      Thanks for you advice!

      I now try to give my ears much rest as it possible.

      Good that you mentioned how important is to treat TMJ correctly, I am starting the treatment soon as possible.

      I also have the bite guard but I have not been using that for longtime because is so hard to fall a sleep with that thing, but now when i don't need to wake up early, i can start try using that again.

      I know my toxic thinking of wanting things to be as they used.

      Sometimes is it just so damn hard to let it go
      the things you like and love.

      Good thing is there is still many things i enjoy even with tinnitus, and i keep big possibly I can habituate even if the tinnitus is not going fade to the level where is used to be.
       
    10. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      I would suspect the clubs are the bigger threat, and I would stay away.

      Working at the mid 80s is not ideal, but could be done with earplugs, and if still have issues, ear muffs as well. Would give your ears a few months of rent, and try to find a quieter job at this point.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      nighost

      nighost Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly Acoustic Trauma or TMJ
      Thank you!

      Yes i have measured the dB level with my phone app just for curiosity, and I know the readings can be off.

      Also there was been visiting professionals who have get 85 dB measurements and they wrote information letter to us.

      The problem was they don't wrote the exact locations of the noise and some places seems to be more quieter than others.

      So just in case I needed to think that every places from that area noise is at least 85 dB.

      The noise actually doesn't sound too loud with protection on, but i was still thinking is not worth of any risk that my tinnitus is going to get worse.
       
    12. Bartoli

      Bartoli Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009,worsened 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Better safe than sorry. Hope you find a good and quiet job.

      Cheers
       
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    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      nighost

      nighost Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly Acoustic Trauma or TMJ
      Thanks for the reply!

      The blenders were a problem in my previous line of work at the recycling center, not in the food factory.

      It's unpleasant to hear, that clubbing can cause that kind of harm even with protection on, because I kinda like partying and here in Finland it is unfortunately one of the most common social activities with guys my age.

      And now I really need to re-evaluate is clubbing worth the risk at all.

      I am also thinking that it is good that the clubs are closed for the moment.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      nighost

      nighost Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly Acoustic Trauma or TMJ
      You can be right, and I appreciate your opinion, but I was still thinking it is not worth the risk even if it is small.

      My finances are stabile and I'm not reliant on work.
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      nighost

      nighost Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly Acoustic Trauma or TMJ
      So thats why I'dont have to take risk and be there any extra time anymore.

      I'm afraid that you might be right about the clubs and now I really need to re-evaluate is clubbing worth the risk at all.
       
    16. Nobody19

      Nobody19 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Clubbing
      Please stop going to clubs.

      I continued clubbing for years with plugs. I convinced myself that it was fine. When I felt like a club was too loud, I left. My tinnitus didn't get worse.

      Until one day it did. I knew it was too loud but I thought it would be ok because I had strong plugs. Not only did my tinnitus get permanently worse, something much worse happened: I got hyperacusis.
       
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    17. jasonbourne

      jasonbourne Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      Now clubbing is a different story. Bass better penetrates through ear protection. Most clubs are around high 90s and 100+ dB. There is no way to protect your ears. Damage is 100%.
       
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    18. jasonbourne

      jasonbourne Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      You can give me 10000000 quotes of people's experiences of low volumes making tinnitus worse and I take it with a grain of salt, because I understand how bad anxiety and paranoia affects it. And those people usually don't follow up with mentioning how it went back to baseline.

      Now, I was exaggerating about the 100 years but as long as the food factory is super low frequency, ear protection will easily bring it down to the low 70s. That's speech level. I don't see how that isn't safe.
       
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    19. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      It looks like you haven't actually read the posts that I quoted:
      If one doesn't learn from others' mistakes, that's ok too:
       
    20. jasonbourne

      jasonbourne Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      I meant to say isn't.
       
    21. jasonbourne

      jasonbourne Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      Did you honestly expect me to go through every quote and to see is they replied with followups and cross reference the names?

      Stop expecting validation for your paranoia. You wont get it from me bro. I understand that the rules are different for us and I've mentioned it before, but you are an extremist. I literally remember the thread you created about eggshells cracking making your tinnitus worse.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    22. aot
      Bookworm

      aot Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016. Worsened 11/2019.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound induced, worsened due to noise expouse + flu.
      Can I get a source on that? I'm not exactly a huge Bill Bauer supporter, but this strikes me as kinda absurd and unbelievable.
       
    23. jasonbourne

      jasonbourne Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      I could be wrong and confused him with another user. He never denied it the last time I called him out on it.
       
    24. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      If you are critical of something, it is a good idea to actually learn about the thing you are critical of.
      That's what the researchers looking into the link between smoking and mortality were told back in 1950s.
      LOL I will save you the trouble of looking for the link to this, it has never happened, so you would be wasting your time.
      That comment of his shines the light into his mind - instead of looking at reality, he seems to imagine how things Ought to be, and then he actually believes that the world is like the fantasy he has created. He rejects the reality and substitutes his own. If he sees any evidence that isn't compatible with his fantasy, he just dismisses it, and he makes up evidence Supporting his fantasy.
      May I please see a link supporting the claim above?
       
    25. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I expected you to Read the posts I quoted. If you were to do that, you would see that some of the posts actually contained the followup that you claimed didn't exist. Also, if you Claim that people never provide a followup, then it would make sense for you to base it on verifying it to yourself by looking at whether Some randomly selected posters I quoted had provided a followup. How can you claim that there is no followup, if you had never looked into it?!
       
    26. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      I would find a quieter workplace if I was you. I think loud workplaces can lead to getting tinnitus (the constant noise over time). Of course, not everyone who works at these places get tinnitus but perhaps, it's a genetic thing in which some ears get more easily damaged or something. Distraction and masking may help but I don't see why anyone would continue working at a loud workplace after getting tinnitus. I wish I didn't at all. Maybe I wouldn't have it now.

      Can researchers answer these questions? I read about people discussing research and projects but never anything like this.
       

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