Would Wearing Earplugs 24/7 for a Year Help with the Nerve Repair Process?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Pharz, May 6, 2022.

    1. Pharz

      Pharz Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to loud noise
      Hi all,

      I have read somewhere that nerve repair does happen, only that the rate is so slow that it seems that there isn’t any repair happening.

      Now I was wondering if one wears earplugs all the time for a year or so, to prevent any further damage and excitation of the hair cells, and takes all sorts of Vitamin Bs and supplements to help with the healing process, would you think it would be beneficial or not?

      I would like to hear your opinions.

      Regards.
       
    2. ajc

      ajc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
      Insane idea. Wearing earplugs to that degree would sensitize your hearing so much that you'd be bound to acquire hyperacusis and worse tinnitus.
       
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    3. Jerad

      Jerad Member

      Location:
      Ohio; United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication ototoxicity
      Ya, some have developed severe hyperacusis from constant or 24/7 protection. And some report that sleeping with plugs can cause bad spikes — happened to me, too. I wouldn’t recommend trying this.
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Pharz

      Pharz Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to loud noise
      Thanks for your reply. I did not know that wearing earplugs would cause hyperacusis. Is it the extended wear of earplugs that would cause hyperacusis or would random wear of earplugs also caused this problem?
       
    5. Andrei88
      No Mood

      Andrei88 Member

      Location:
      South Africa
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      Just wear them in noisy environments.
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Pharz

      Pharz Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to loud noise
      Thanks guys, I guess you saved me from developing hyperacusis.

      :thankyousign:
       
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    7. Marshall

      Marshall Member

      Location:
      ND
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure/virus/noise trauma/cumulative noise damage
      DO NOT WEAR HEARING PROTECTION 24/7. YOU WILL BE BEYOND FUCKED.

      Your auditory system would get so sensitized you would be in such a hole with tinnitus and hyperacusis you might not be able to get out of.
       
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    8. DimLeb

      DimLeb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic Cochleopathy or Maybe Loud Music
      I don't think earplugs 24/7 would help. Apart from increased risk of ear infections, there is the risk of becoming to sensitized to sound (developing hyperacusis) and pushing tinnitus to your awareness a lot more.

      We don't really know if nerve repair really happens anyway, but normal sound levels are mostly safe. The auditory system is built to always receive sound, so I don't think you're preventing any repair from happening with normal exposure.

      I personally experienced more spikes wearing hearing protection (mostly with earmuffs) than without lol. My tinnitus just worsens on its own very gradually, not relating to external sound, but I have noticed every time I wear earmuffs for a -relatively- long time in quiet environments to monitor it, it seems that some tones (cicadas + eee) expand to the whole head and in volume noticeably for a few hours or until next day.

      Every case is different, so you need to find out by yourself what works for you.
       
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    9. Marshall

      Marshall Member

      Location:
      ND
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure/virus/noise trauma/cumulative noise damage
      I had a tinnitus sound from earmuff use that lasted over a week.
       
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    10. DimLeb

      DimLeb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic Cochleopathy or Maybe Loud Music
      Damn, that must have been shitty. The quality (tones, texture) of mine changes a bit too, not only volume and ear spread. I haven't come to conclusion about what causes it, but maybe our brain hates silence or reduced input? Maybe earmuffs cause pressure on the nerves on the outside of the ears and that irritates the tinnitus? I don't know, but I haven't noticed this effect with normal (musician) earplugs.
       
    11. Marshall

      Marshall Member

      Location:
      ND
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure/virus/noise trauma/cumulative noise damage
      I’m not sure man. I think the difference might be because I was wearing it in a quiet environment where I could hear internal sounds, and it ended up just growing louder and louder and finally disappeared. It was a really strange sound too. I’m not sure how to explain. Wasn’t anything I’d call a normal tinnitus sound.
       
    12. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      Wearing earplugs cannot cause hyperacusis lol. Yeah your ears will get sensitive to noise over time, then gradually go back into sound. I kinda stopped going on support forums because I’ve been trying to focus on other things. I have been one of the worst hyperacusis cases, people with only tinnitus cannot give advice on hyperacusis. They do not know.

      If you’re not getting ear pain (noxacusis) I wouldn’t worry too much about noise unless it’s loud or it’s bothering your ears. I recovered once from an acoustic trauma. I didn’t wear earplugs 24/7 but I avoided loud places for a whole year and the tinnitus slowly quieted down. I actually developed severe noxacusis last year because I failed to protect my ears after another acoustic trauma. All it took was my car’s squealing break to set the nail in the coffin. I doubt you will ever end up like me so just be good to your ears and don’t worry about low level volume.
       
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    13. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      That happened to you?
       
    14. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member

      Location:
      Russia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Oh yeah people giving me this sensitization, don't protect garbage advice is what turned my hyperacusis from mild into catastrophic.
       
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    15. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Well there’s a huge difference in my opinion. Literal 24/7 earplugs while having moderate hyperacusis is a terrible idea. I personally believe in protection when not sure about surrounding sounds, but allowing sounds that don’t bother you when possible is the best way forward. One cannot just remove all sounds completely at once, at least this is the information I’ve been gathering on here.

      I worsened allowing sounds too but many were uncomfortable to my auditory system. Tinnitus and hyperacusis worsened about 3 times.
       
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    16. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      @Marshall is not saying one shouldn't protect, he's saying that one shouldn't be in hearing protection literally 24/7 - it's something completely different as it deprives the brain more or less completely of high frequency input. I suppose it wasn't a <15 dB "silent" room that made your hyperacusis get from mild to catastrophic, right?
       
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    17. makeyourownluck

      makeyourownluck Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Wearing earplugs 24/7 is not good for anyone, simply because it’s pure and utter torture to listen to louder tinnitus all day long.

      Full Disclosure - I don’t think I have hyperacusis, it’s more sound sensitivity. Only certain sounds/frequencies hurt my ears. I think hyperacusis is when all sound hurt.

      However, for me personally, I believe that my body is trying to help, it’s sending a pain signal because the sound is damaging to one extent or another. So, I protect against or avoid these sounds where possible. Same way I would avoid squats if my knees were sore.

      I wear hearing protection anytime I am outside (I live in a busy city, next to a hospital - the ambulance’s are a nightmare!). I also wear them in the car, when I’m playing with my daughter and I know she will laugh, when someone visits with a dog, or I am cooking.

      I do make sure I get out in quieter areas & large parks as often as possible so I don’t forget what the birds sound like. I’ve been doing this for 10 months and I have not developed any further sensitivity. In fact, my kettle no longer sounds like a spaceship about to take off, so I’d say things are improving, slowly.
       
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    18. ZFire
      Bored

      ZFire Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011 (mild) & 04/2021 (severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity (2012) Unknown-likely noise induce (2021)
      I could have sworn someone posted a study here recently that found 24/7 sound deprivation could lead to permanent hearing loss. I believe the mice were subjected to 1 year of complete sound deprivation. Not sure about the accuracy of the study though...
       
    19. Marshall

      Marshall Member

      Location:
      ND
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure/virus/noise trauma/cumulative noise damage
      Didn’t you randomly improve by being forced to go to the the hospital, and being surrounded by sound?
       
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    20. Shizune
      Alone

      Shizune Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      The bell tower
      Tinnitus Since:
      H: 6/2020 T: 7/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Chemical inhalation+Too many sleeping drugs
      I don't agree with the hearing protection causing hyperacusis stuff, those studies are based on people with normal hearing and ears. But I am not here to debate that. I think wearing earplugs for that long would not only be impossible but also cause a host of issues overprotection be damned. The occlusion effect is very real and I think that would cause worsening alone. Everything would be amplified and reverb through your body, especially if they aren't fitted properly.

      Not to mention the risk of bacteria growth and outer ear infection. My tragus is probably permanently scarred from the ridge of my foam plugs digging into them so much. Not a good time.

      I may be taking your question too literally though. Would it help the nerve repair process? I don't really know enough to answer that, but I think giving your ears adequate rest is probably a good thing. I want to say everything in moderation but I don't know if those rules apply to hyperacusis. It seems to make up its own rules when it feels like it.
       
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    21. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      Yes, I agree with you. Somebody with moderate hyperacusis and no noxacusis letting low level comfortable sounds in is not bad and will not damage anything. It will help your ears relax. I mean low level noise almost cures my loudness hyperacusis. If it weren’t for my noxacusis, I wouldn’t be housebound. Everything in moderation.
       
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    22. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Yes sir. I’m not sure about noxacusis. I’m assuming protect as much as you can to allow healing, then start a low but slow comfortable sound regiment and hope for the best lol *shrug*.

      Hyperacusis is a huge YMMV kinda thing.
       
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    23. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      Yeah I have my doubts towards that study, but there's no doubt in my mind that things can get pretty out of hand without there being true structural damage.

      I think it's pretty obvious that our tolerances to sound aren't fixed; they're dynamic per frequency and adjusts itself according to the environment we're in. I don't have a reference on hand, but I believe it's pretty clear that e.g. factory workers generally have a greater tolerance to sound than common man. Likewise, if we completely deprive ourselves of, say, 8 kHz sound for three months, of course we'll be more sensitive to that frequency. Wear heavy duty hearing protection 24/7 for months and you will have yourself a pretty severe sensitivity to sound - in my opinion, it's just common sense. It should be reversible though, since there haven't been any structural damage and the brain is more or less plastic. It may not be "true" loudness hyperacusis (whatever that is then), but it can still cause some very severe symptoms, especially in combination with tinnitus, e.g. reactivity.
       
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    24. Franci003

      Franci003 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Wearing constant hearing protection brought my hyperacusis back, and caused muffling clogged ear sensation. There has to be balance.
       
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    25. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      The problem is balance is per individual. Sucks lol.
       
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    26. Franci003

      Franci003 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      True true! lol.
       
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    27. xyz
      Alienated

      xyz Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006 mild T 2019 T worsening H onset
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown / probably noise induced
      Wearing hearing protection 24/7 is probably the best decision that I have made in the last couple of years. I am doing this around 1.5 years now and my pain hyperacusis and tinnitus have reduced.
       
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    28. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      That’s awesome! How is the tolerance of sounds?
       
    29. Marshall

      Marshall Member

      Location:
      ND
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure/virus/noise trauma/cumulative noise damage
      How’s your tinnitus from before to now? Also did your loudness hyperacusis get better?
       
    30. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Pharz

      Pharz Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to loud noise
      It’s really bad that we don’t have a solid way forward.
      This is good to hear.

      For the time being I wear the earmuffs when I deal with the dishes, am in the car, etc. It kind of helps me with not getting spikes.

      At the same time for a period of 1 month or so I would wear earplugs and earmuffs most of the times, from then my tinnitus didn’t go back to the baseline like before.
       
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