Worried I've Made My Tinnitus Worse After Going to a Gun Shooting Range

Discussion in 'Support' started by Iowa54, Apr 1, 2019.

    1. Iowa54
      Alone

      Iowa54 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012 possibly 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Band practice/shooting incident.
      Hey all,

      Long time listener first time poster. I've had tinnitus for a long time. I'm 22 and have had it since early teens. It was always very quiet and hadn't bugged me till February this year when it increased to be very loud and back in my consciousness.

      I had been struggling for a few months and finally got the place where even though it was ringing I could also still enjoy life to an extent. I still do and I'm not thinking rash just in a bad place. Shooting had been a favorite hobby of mine and today my family and my father (who also has it decently bad) went to the range.

      I told myself that it wouldn't get worse, and I doubled up on in ear plugs and over ear muffs. I felt fine all the time shooting and a bit after. But right now it seems very loud and has been for a few hours. Granted I still hear the same besides my ringing and I had a proper seal the whole time. I don't know if I'm just getting in my head and sort of making my t worse than it is or not.

      Figured I'd ask on here if anyone had a similar experience shooting or if someone knows if you can still make t worse even when properly protected. Thanks all.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. GSC
      Wishful

      GSC Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma.
      It could be just inside your head and stress - and I hope it goes back to baseline. But to answer your question, yes someone's T can get worse even with proper protection. I hope this isn't the case for you though!
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    3. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Shooting is quite loud, and even with adequate double protection, you can still get worsening of the T, which is known as a T spike.

      There is the possibility as @GSC mentioned above that this is anxiety related.

      The other is that the noise caused another spike. Most of these will settle down with time, and without additional noise exposure.

      For the time being, avoid any further shooting is the obvious, but quite important advice.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Yes, you can. See the posts I quoted in the post below
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/learn-from-others-mistakes.29437/

      Having said that, I would be worried about a spike only if it were to last for over a month. Most spikes are temporary and temporary spikes can take months to clear.
       
      Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
      • Like Like x 1
    5. Lane

      Lane Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      @Iowa54 -- The odds are this is a temporary spike, and you'll likely go back to baseline. -- However -- I hope you're learning something from this experience. What I hope you'll learn is that your ears--for the rest of your life--will be far more vulnerable to acoustic shocks than most other people. So when you think of iffy situations that "it'll probably be alright", think in terms of it being alright for normal people. Not with people who have or have had tinnitus. -- That said, I think you should be find going forward as long as you take reasonable precautions. -- All the Best!
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    6. Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      I find that whenever I wear muffs/plugs my tinnitus is more prominent. Basically when I exclude outside sounds from my brain then it tends to concentrate more on the ringing, and so when I take off the plugs/muffs I hear the ringing louder for at least a few hours, if not longer. It may just be the reason you're hearing it more. Hopefully it will settle down.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Iowa54
      Alone

      Iowa54 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012 possibly 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Band practice/shooting incident.
      I would do anything for it to go back to what it was before February. That spike wasn't brought in by anything that I can think of. I also am thinking this spike from yesterday will go away and if not I guess I have more adjusting to do.
       
    8. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Your brain is not concentrating on anything. When you remove some sounds, the remaining sounds can be heard more clearly. That's all.
       
    9. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      I have noticed this to be true as well.
       
    10. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      So then why is the tinnitus still perceived as louder after the hearing protection was taken off than before the hearing protection is put in?
       
    11. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      @Iowa54 totally up to you, but personally I have given up basically everything bigger than .22 rimfire, because it just seems too loud to me, even doubling up. A friend brought an AR over last year, and I didn't want to be closer than about 25' to the muzzle. My wife still has one larger centerfire rifle that we keep around on the off chance we ever have to deal with a larger-than-a-raccoon pest animal, but I don't shoot it. (it's a 7.62x54r gun, so you probably know which one it is, hint it's not a dragunov ;) ) -- I put 4 or 5 rounds through it a couple years ago and even though it didn't seem to cause me any problems, it just felt louder than anything else I do, and since I'm pretty liberal with chainsaws and motorcycles, to me that meant the gun is just too loud.

      Depending on what state you're in, silencers may be a good option, if you can afford it. For large weapons you'd still need to use hearing protection, but a silencer can bring a larger gun down into roughly the decibel range a .22 is in (125-140db of impulse noise). Silencers are legal here, but of course you're looking at around $1000 and an 8 month wait while the federalis run your background check to make sure you're not an ISIS-loving spree killer who needs a silencer for some reason.

      Personally the reason my wife has guns in the house at all is just general defense of the chicken coop and anxiety about rodents with rabies or distempter, so a .22 with glass on it pretty much has us covered.
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Iowa54
      Alone

      Iowa54 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012 possibly 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Band practice/shooting incident.
      I get this. However before the spike or whatever you want to call it in February to where I could hear it loud all the time I had never really had a spike that I remember in the past 7 or more years
       
    13. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Is it the case that the spike in February hasn't faded yet?
       
    14. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I have never experienced that. I also don't recall seeing too many people describe anything like that.

      Mine sounds louder when the hearing protection is in, and goes back to normal when the hearing protection is out.

      If someone's T sounds louder after the hearing protection is out, perhaps it is hearing protection that makes it louder for that person, after all. Disturbing...
       
    15. Karl28
      No Mood

      Karl28 Member

      Location:
      Melbourne
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001 bad since 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music via headphones
      You had double protection, you should be fine, it’s probably just anxiety and overthinking it.
       
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Iowa54
      Alone

      Iowa54 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012 possibly 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Band practice/shooting incident.
      I would say so. It's been louder since the first week of February It hasn't gone back to where it was before considering before it wasn't in my conscious thinking really anymore.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    17. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Do you have any idea about what might have caused that spike?
       
      • Creative Creative x 1
    18. New Guy
      Doh

      New Guy Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      FWIW after I wear hearing protection I'm focusing on the sound of the t and it's louder for a while...unless I go to an environment with adequate background noise to mask it. If I'm wearing hearing protection and take it off in a quiet room the t will be loud, though it would be loud in a quiet room anyway.

      I've made it a habit to remove hearing protection as quickly as possible, while still being safe, once clear of offending noise so I don't focus on the sound of the t.

      Hope that makes sense.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Iowa54
      Alone

      Iowa54 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012 possibly 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Band practice/shooting incident.
      Not really, only had a kind of loud noise a few months before that shouldn't have affected me.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    20. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Yes, me as well. It is quite predictable when I wear the hearing protection during the day. However, I know that the T goes back into the background with the other noise when I take it off so it is all good.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    21. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      I have experienced as well as a few others I have talked to. It always goes back to baseline in 10-15 min.
       
    22. rdz
      Gloomy

      rdz Member

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      how is your T now? I've been wanting to go to the range again but indoor ones could get very loud.
       
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Iowa54
      Alone

      Iowa54 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012 possibly 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Band practice/shooting incident.
      I think the indoor didn't really have an effect it may have just been my nerves making it worse. I did however go to a camping shooting meetup where I was exposed to copious amounts of gunfire (double earpro of course) t seemed worse at night because of lack of sleep but once I got home I was having lower levels of t. Personally I think to stay away from indoor and try to go to outdoor if possible. More space for the sound to dissipate. A .50 caliber rifle I stood pretty close to didn't even spike my t. Just went trapshooting this past weekend too and no spike. Just be careful and work your way up. Make sure earpro is correctly inserted and seated.
       
    24. coffee_girl
      Innocent

      coffee_girl Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      All my life, but got worse 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced / Concert
      Hearing protection may give you a false sense of security, i would avoid places like shooting ranges because you never know what can happen. Make sure to insulate yourself well!
       

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