Young(ish) Musician with Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by gotu, Aug 31, 2015.

    1. gotu

      gotu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi Everybody,

      I'll post this in the other relevant forums, but I figured I'd get the general intro out of the way. I apologize for the lengthy post but I have a lot to get off my chest and as I'm sure you all know, nobody really understands this unless they've gone through it themselves.

      I'm 27, and I'm a guitar player. I've been playing in bands since I was about 13. I recognized early on that it was probably smart to wear ear plugs, and I would say that about 75% of the time I did during rehearsals and shows. I also was very mindful about how loud my earphones were, and in general I was pretty conscientious for a teenager. I suppose I mention this to at least make myself feel better that I made a legitimate effort to protect myself. However.....

      There were enough events (concerts, loud bars, etc) where I was caught in a loud environment without protection to deduce that this in fact caused my Tinnitus. I don't have a history of any ear infections or medications that are known to cause T, so I've put 2 and 2 together. I've never thought about it until about a year ago when I started noticing it (either because of self-awareness, or because it got worse), and I am terrified that it is going to get progressively worse and eventually render me completely deaf.

      I can describe my tinnitus as generally mild (as in, I don't really notice it unless it's really quiet) but the scariest part is that I will have sporadic periods of 10-20 seconds where it intensifies in loudness, then dims back into the background. When this happens, it is only in one ear, although which ear it occurs in seems totally random--I can't say for certain if it happens in one ear more than the other. It does not seem to be brought on by any one thing. There are days where it doesn't happen at all, or days that it will happen several times.

      I feel a fullness in my ears, or maybe it could be described as pressure, as well. When I first noticed my T getting worse, I was confident that all I had was an ear wax problem, but the ENT told me that the amount of ear wax she took out wasn't all that significant. Even after my ear cleaning, I still feel the fullness and a slight ache. I find that popping my ears (like you do when you're on a plane) offers momentary improvement in my hearing, but I stopped doing this as I am worried that it is bad for you. For what it's worth, the ENT's professional opinion is that I most likely just have very sensitive ears. Not sure if I buy into that, but to be honest I've been deliberately avoiding any other ENT appointments or hearing tests, because I am scared of the results.

      More recently I have found myself more sensitive to sound than in the past. Things like the subway screeching to a halt (I live in NYC) or the door slamming, or whenever firetrucks or ambulences pass by will usually lead to me covering my ears.

      Over the past year or so, this issue has cast a shadow over everything that I do. I have been treated for anxiety in the past with great results, but this has ushered my anxiety back with a vengance. I'm just looking for support, advice and knowledge, and I will try to provide the same to anybody who asks. Thanks for reading, I look forward to learning with all of you.

    2. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Welcome to TT. Tinnitus is quite common to musicians. If you Google musicians or celebrities with tinnitus, it will be a long list, such as Townsend, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Streisand etc. Here is a long list:

      You probably have developed some level of hyperacusis (H). I had T & H a few years back. But like many members, my T stays but H just faded within the year. Hope yours can fade out too. H is trouble but it is usually the easier one to fade out. If your H persists, perhaps you can read up @Danny Boy and he may be able to point you to Keppler as a last resort.

      Your T is also very new. So perhaps get the doctor to prescribe prednisone to treat the acoustic trauma injury to the ears. People do get better with T caused by ears with fluid, or infection, with symptoms of feeling ear pressure with fullness. Here is a success story with a guy getting better in 2 short months with T from ear pressure and fluid. Click on the following to read through and hopefully you feel better and not so stressful. Stress is a huge factor in T loudness and intrusiveness. So relax and take care. God bless you.

      Also, the success story of I Who Loves Music called 'Back to Silence' may be of interest to you, as he is also a musician. Using a simple method, he says his T is back to silence after 40 years. Here is his success story which is the most read story on TT:
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    3. Eazeyo

      Eazeyo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I'm a 27 year old musician-- played mainly acoustic music my whole life and have had much enjoyment touring around with a New Orleans jazz band.
      Never wore ear protection but it wasn't the gigs that caused the T I don't think.
      I think it was caused by the headphones I purchased...I researched safe volume levels but it turns out they have a boost in the highs when I looked at the frequency response curve afterwards and they fatigued my ears one night. T the next day and I've had it since the day after Xmas.

      Getting a hearing check Monday and looking into an audiologist.
      I'm also an avid meditator, this helped me:
      As did beethovens letters to his brothers. And remember: music runs deeper than our external sense of sound!

      I wish you all peace and happiness and I hope I can deal with this in a way that doesn't interfere with my hopes for the future and my music writing...
    4. Vincent777

      Vincent777 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced after a rock concert where I played
      Wondering how OP is doing these days?

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