Worsened Tinnitus — A Physical Cause or Only a Perception in the Mind?

Discussion in 'Support' started by birt, Aug 4, 2019.

    1. birt

      birt Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Hi. I'm a musician with tinnitus and recently tried to do a few gigs again with a full band after quit a long time.
      Of course my tinnitus spiked as a result. Usually it had always gone back down in the background after a few days,weeks but this time the loudness has seemed to remain.

      I visited my tinnitus doc and they said that the level of my tinnitus didn't necessarily get worse but that my perception of it makes it seem like it got louder. It's the whole mind game around the fear of tinnitus getting worse. But who really knows what is really physically and what is perceived in the mind concerning tinnitus?

      I have considered stopping to play in bands although I get good offers. But I was told that I haven't done further damage and the increase of tinnitus is only a perception in the brain because of me being anxious that it could get worse etc... after a gig. Know what I mean?

      Not sure who or what to believe. I guess that's the frustration. Nobody knows really how it works. Anyways, the Dr encouraged me not to stop playing/gigging. But it seems to me that if you play in a loud environment (with drums, etc), then you've further irritated the tinnitus.
       
    2. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      It's a physical condition. Dont let anyone convince you of anything else.
       
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    3. Contrast
      No Mood

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Clown World
      Tinnitus Since:
      late 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise injury
      You paid someone to lie to you.
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      birt

      birt Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Thanks for response. I asked the Dr about the increase in loudness and I was told that the tinnitus has a loudness threshold and can't just keep getting 'louder'. I can't remember exactly how it was said but something in those terms. Therefore, this Dr. believes the somewhat more 'permanent' spike in my tinnitus was more my worrying and anxiety about my tinnitus getting louder. Interesting that there are soo many different opinions and this is a Tinnitus Center where I went.
      Guess I have to reconsider if I can play any further. Thnx.
       
    5. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      Spikes are definitely not just you worrying about it. Many doctors have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.
       
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    6. jay777

      jay777 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      benzo/ headphones
      When they told me it was my perception that had changed, not the loudness, I quipped back ok I can get my perception so I do not hear tinnitus, all I got was strange looks.
       
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    7. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      That's a good joke.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      birt

      birt Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Thanks everyone for the replies! Appreciate it. I really wanted to try and play again with a band instead of always by myself but I've got to really reconsider. I guess in the long run I'll regret it.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      birt

      birt Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Other options my be...trying out some hearing aids? I've heard that some have experienced improvement with T by using them. I think there are some that also double as earplugs.
      Have any musicians been able to continue playing by using earplugs?
      I've used musician (prof) earplugs in the past but it still irritated my T.
      I've had more success with industrial earplugs (35db) but then you don't really hear the music well.

      Hard to know whether to quit or not. thnx
       
    10. UKBloke

      UKBloke Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / family history
      The first time I experienced tinnitus was many years ago when I was in a band. Back then I started to plug my ears with big waxy earplugs that would block anything and everything out. To be honest I found it took a lot of the enjoyment out of playing live. That said, I got used to the tinnitus pretty quickly, eventually removed the earplugs and continued playing live. Although I would often hear tinnitus at night, the level was very low and genuinely did not bother me.

      Fast forward thirty or so years. Over a number of weeks I blasted my ears with a new pair of Audio-Technica enclosed headphones. I'm living to regret doing that. My tinnitus has returned and spiked to an all-new intrusive level that I think is going to take quite some time to deal with (I believe my age, and therefore changed physiology has to some degree been a factor in the mechanics of onset and why I'm experiencing tinnitus louder now than I did first time round. But how the mind perceives and deals with the condition seems to be a bit of an open-book. It's a complex condition).

      I guess the moral of the story is to be sensible. Where sound levels are concerned, however, the idea of "sensible" can be rather subjective for us musicians!
       
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    11. DBD_Drummer

      DBD_Drummer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      I have been playing drums for 20 years, and have been gigging for 15 years in a metal band (so loud volumes). This is what eventually caused my Tinnitus. After an extended practice session without hearing protection, I left my practice space with Tinnitus, which wasn't too uncommon. Only this time, it never went away like it always had before after a few hours. The volume of the Tinnitus eventually went down to a more manageable level, but it would still annoy me when I would think about it or when I was in complete silence. Ever since it started, I refuse to practice by myself without heavy duty ear muffs, or if I'm with my whole band, I use in-ear monitors. They're basically ear plugs which block out sound almost completely, but also perform as ear phones. This way, you can keep the volume very low in comparison to hearing everything blaring out into the open. It also greatly helps with your performance. I would give them a shot before giving up on gigging entirely. Tinnitus can spike for seemingly no reason. Mine did almost a week ago, and I hadn't been exposing myself to any loud noises for a good while before that. I have always been careful since my Tinnitus first started because I didn't want to make it worse. But it DID get worse, and I can't blame it on gigging.
      Try these out or any other brand of in-ear monitors. These are the best bang for your buck from my experience.
      https://www.amazon.com/Zildjian-ZIE...n+ear+monitor&qid=1569497352&s=gateway&sr=8-4
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      birt

      birt Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Hey DBD, thanks soo much. I tried in-ear monitors once. The problem I had is that I wanted the volume soo low in my ear that the outside noise was still enough to drown out the signal....yea those weren't the custom fit plugs. I seem to be pretty sensitive to loud. I get a distorted sound in my ear with any noise much above the human voice.
       

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