What Would You Do? What Steps Would You Take to Protect Yourself from Worsening Symptoms?

Discussion in 'Support' started by ilovemusic, Mar 17, 2016.

    1. ilovemusic

      ilovemusic Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music @ club
      TL;DR

      I don't have *persistent* tinnitus symptoms, but suspect I permanently damaged my hearing recently. I love music and have been up to this point in my life a frequent concert-goer. Given this background, what steps would you take to protect yourself from developing more severe symptoms / hearing problems? I don't want to overreact to a problem that's not that severe yet, but at the same time want to be doing enough to prevent it from developing into something more serious.

      -----

      THE INCIDENT

      About a month ago I was at a loud club, and after walking out felt a ringing & muffled feeling in my ears, which persisted throughout the following day. Despite having been to many loud concerts in my life, that severity of ringing in my ears was a first for me (and also the friend who I went with). Fortunately, since then, my ears have largely felt normal. I purchased some very discreet musician's earplugs (Earasers), which I wore to a concert two weeks ago, with good results.

      However, 2 nights ago I felt a feeling of stuffiness in my left ear, that was accompanied by a scrunchy, white-noise-like sound whenever I moved my jaw a certain way. I assumed it was just a matter of earwax and so went got my ears cleaned out by an ENT the following afternoon. (The sound/feeling was no longer present when I woke up that morning but I got my ears cleaned anyway since I had made the appointment.) Unfortunately, later on that very night the same sound & feeling of stuffiness came back in my left ear, only instead of being activated by moving my jaw, it seemed to pulse with my heartbeat. I noticed I could stop the sound by clenching my jaws.

      As I type this now, the morning after, the feeling/sound is thankfully gone again. I hope it stays that way, but regardless of whether it becomes a persistent issue (fingers crossed it doesn't), I'm now worried about my hearing.

      -----

      MY DILEMMA

      What should I be doing going forward? I imagine after "the incident," my ears are now more vulnerable / susceptible to damage than they used to be. No matter what, I plan to continue wearing my Earasers earplugs whenever I go to a concert or club going forward. But should I be doing more? Do I need more serious / higher NRR earplugs (my Earasers have a -23dB advertised rating, but officially only have a -5 NRR)? Should I be limiting my concertgoing to infrequent, special occasions as opposed to bi-weekly?

      I see people on these threads whose experience with tinnitus have led them to completely & with little hesitation swear off loud concerts (some of whom appear to be musicians & music lovers like myself). While I imagine I have less severe symptoms than they do, their willingness to make this tradeoff is informative to me, and I really want to make sure I'm taking the preventative steps I should be so I don't worsen my situation.

      Thanks all in advance.
       

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