Working at Sea with Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Russs, Jul 9, 2019.

    1. Russs

      Russs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Hi there,

      I originally got mild tinnitus in my teens from the numerous punk gigs/clubs I would go to. It got to the point where I could deal with it, and ultimately completely forgot it was there (except for the day or two after a gig)

      I now work in engineering on ships in the engine room (extremely loud). Last year I returned from a voyage and the ringing was akin to that as experienced similar to a day or two after a loud gig... but it hasn’t subsided. There are three ringing frequencies ranging from low to high, my right ear has all 3 the highest/loudest, my left has 2.

      I read stories of how people with tinnitus are cautious of street sounds... kids yelling etc... working on ship is on another level of constant noise...

      It causes me to lose sleep/anxiety probably one night out of every week. I can manage during the day from background noise, keeping busy etc.

      I’ve had a hearing test and my hearing is perfect and my ability to distinguish sounds among background noises is in the top 1%, the ENT specialist said.

      I’m exposed to ‘loud noises’ (I wear ear protection) for approx 8 hours a day. I wear single ear protection (custom plugs - 27 NRR) in most places, and wear double protection (custom plugs - 27 NRR + ear muffs - 35 NRR) in the engine room/machinery spaces.

      I believe my tinnitus is getting slightly worse with each voyage... but then it gets better while on land...

      My question is... Who else is in the same situation as me? Put up with it? What’s the long term outcome? Career change? (Don’t want this - love my job and am only in my 20s), all the old boys at sea have hearing loss/tinnitus - “comes with the job,” mine has just come sooner rather than later.
       
    2. Daniel Lion
      Ape-like

      Daniel Lion Member Benefactor

      Location:
      se asia
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma, hearing loss
      Career change... Sorry dude... I had to too... A lot of us lost our vocations and joy.

      Just my humble opinion... You're young.. You don’t want chronic tinnitus... It’s a killer.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. Contrast

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Retrovile
      Tinnitus Since:
      late 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      injury from noxious noise
      I hate to burst your bubble, a hearing test only tests the bare vitals of human speech.
      The speech in noise test lasts one minute, it's not comprehensive at all.

      https://hyperacusisfocus.org/innerear/#hiddenloss
       
    4. Fifth Business

      Fifth Business Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD and CERTAINLY not noise (it was noise)
      Maybe see an audiologist that specializes in tinnitus management (yer employer better pay for it...)? It sounds like you are being serious about hearing protection, and nobody here would be able to categorically say "Yes! But despite all this... you are further damaging your hearing and this is without question the cause of your worsening tinnitus!"

      Changes in routine, diet, stress and amount of sleep you get can all be factors (this is true in case). Seems like bet on a boat might affect all of the above.

      It's a really tough spot you're in--really sorry to hear.
       
    5. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Yes, your hearing is getting damaged despite double protection. Engine rooms are quite loud. Best course of action is a career change. Once this starts, with ongoing noise exposure it most likely will get worse over time.

      Have you looked into foam earplugs? The best ones are NRR 33, which is better than what you list for your custom ones.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Russs

      Russs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I appreciate the responses. At the moment this whole tinnitus thing is more of an annoyance than it is debilitating. I have been studying for a good part of 8 years to get to this point, so a career change is out of the question (period).

      Foam earplugs are very uncomfortable (after 8 + hours of straight use), but I will try again and see if I notice any difference.

      I’ve learnt to live (and forget) about it before (I remember it took a good couple of years before I noticed I had selectively tuned it out) I will do some research into ways which can further help me reach the same level of comfort as I was at previous to this increase.

      Cheers
       

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