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NorthWind

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #1 
We were told that at our new office, there will be white/pink noise generators there running all day long to "provide privacy."

Does anyone know if this is fine for the Hyperacusics?  All day long? Will it make my condition worse?

Are they normally running it at frequencies acceptable to those with normal ears or all?
I have no idea what frequencies are acceptable for me.

Is there any kind of questions I should be asking them?

thanks,
nw

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Johnloudb

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Reply with quote  #2 
Well, that kind of sucks. Pink noise is more pleasant sounding than white noise (flat noise) and so maybe pink noise won't be a problem. Do you use ear devices, or a pink noise CD?

I'd recommend you talk to your employer and tell them about your problem. And you should ask them exactly what type of noise it is: Pink, White, or Other. And ask them how loud they intend to play it. If it's to drowned out talking and such that doesn't sound too good.

It may may not bother you at all and I wouldn't try to predict whether or not you can handle it or not. But, best to talk to your employer beforehand and let them know it might be a problem. Hopefully they will accommodate you if it is.

Good Luck!
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Rob

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Reply with quote  #3 
NorthWind --
 
Don't worry.  I'm very familiar with what they're talking about and you will be perfectly fine.  Many offices do what your office will be doing.  It is actually very common.  The sound is barely noticeable and won't hurt to hear.  It is not played at a loud volume.  Most of the time, you will not even be aware of it.  It will not make your condition worse, and the frequencies used are quite modest.  Technically speaking, the background sound they will be using is neither white nor pink noise.  It is very unobtrusive and I wouldn't give it another thought.     
 
Rob 

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NorthWind

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you Rob,  that sounds comforting.
Now, the next question is, will the office noise generator help? i.e. will it dampen the high-pitched noises for me?

I especially have problem with offending noises coming from my back or left. Unfortunately, this is an "open" floor plan with no walls, much different from the cubicle environment that I'm accustomed to (and currently have).
The thought of this wall-less work area makes me cringe in fear (extreme fear, to be honest)

nw



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Rob

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Reply with quote  #5 
The noise generator in your office will dampen some external sound around you.  Try your best to not let yourself make predictions about how your new office space is going to go for you.  You're assuming the worst, but it may turn out to be fine. 
 
I think you are on the right track about finding an audiologist (or a neurotologist) so that you can be properly diagnosed.  That's the thing to focus on.
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NorthWind

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #6 
just an update.
We moved in on Monday.  It was a total disaster for me.  I worked from home on Monday to avoid the unpacking chaos.  On Tuesday, I went in the office, and in three hours, I just could not take it any longer.  There was this rushing sound everywhere and I had no where to hide. I'm not even sure how to describe the feeling.  It was like this pressure on my ear drums that gets worse by the second... like my ears would explode any minute.  I told people that I'd work from home for the rest of the day.
  I had stayed home since.  For the rest of that day, my ears were sore and Tinnitus was bad.  Even now, my left ear is still roaring with noise (it had never been this bad before).

The white noise generators are cylinders hanging on the ceiling.  They look like a medium-sized paint can.  There is one hanging above me a bit to the rear left.
Someone sitting close to me, who I know has Tinnitus and also has one hanging over his head, commented how his ear drums felt like being on the verge of bleeding.  He also stayed home for the next day.

I looked into noise cancelling headphones.  I actually tried one in the past and did not like it.  I could feel pressure on my ear drums.  Maybe I should try heavy-duty ear muffs.

Two people at the office managed to pulled off the cords from their units.  My manager recommended against it.  His concern is that it'd be like declaring war to the highest management for their grand vision of open space office.

I don't think I can work from home for the rest of my life.  I do have limited use of phones, so it'd not be good for my image.

And here I'm, trapped at home, wondering if I should just bring in a ladder on a weekend and try to pull the cord anyway and hide the cord so it won't dangle for all to see.

Any suggestion?

thanks!
nw

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Johnloudb

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Posts: 1,951
Reply with quote  #7 

Well, that is a bummer. Sorry to hear about your troubles.

Quote:
I don't think I can work from home for the rest of my life. I do have limited use of phones, so it'd not be good for my image.

Why would that be bad for your image? Would your employer let you work at home? Have you checked into it? Just wondering.  

If you can find a way to work it out it may be your best bet.

Quote:
And here I'm, trapped at home, wondering if I should just bring in a ladder on a weekend and try to pull the cord anyway and hide the cord so it won't dangle for all to see.

You might try that, if you think that would solve the problem. Just play stupid if someone finds out. 

I don't know, I can't work anywhere and am looking for ways to support myself by starting my own business or maybe I'll become a writer ... who knows.

Good Luck,

John

 

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Rob

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Reply with quote  #8 
And here I'm, trapped at home, wondering if I should just bring in a ladder on a weekend and try to pull the cord anyway and hide the cord so it won't dangle for all to see.
 
Yes. 

Or, if you think it would do any good, you could discuss your condition with your boss, explain to him that other co-workers who do not have your sensitivity to sound were also bothered by the sound, and request that management remove the unit above you so that you can do your work without having your health affected by sound that is too loud for you.  It sounds like your company opted to get very cheap (and loud) units.  Many companies have a system installed in the ceilings that is completely unobtrusive, and when you originally asked about it at the top of the thread, that's what I thought they were planning to do.  If it were me, I wouldn't put up with it.  Either make your own "repairs" or talk to your boss about a legitimate health concern. 

Rob 
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gardennut

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Posts: 134
Reply with quote  #9 
Northwind, Have you thought about using the term "accessability" with your management. There are laws regarding accessability for the disabled. Sometimes using these terms will get attention, as employers don't want law suits. You could also see a lawyer re this.
I know it's hard to call oneself " disabled" but sometimes it's necessary.
After all being disabled shouldn't be something to be ashamed of.
I went through hell many years ago re the cigarette smoke in my workplace, from which I developed chemical sensitivities....... Long story not for now.
I feel greatly for what you're going through.

Fight for your rights.........    Donna

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Donna Keddie
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egarber

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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #10 
Hi,

I am not used to writing on message boards, but I feel deparate.  I came down with Hyperacusis 3 months ago. I have been to 6 doctors and now have one I like. He diagnosed me as having Meniere's disease.  The symptoms I have are the fullness and some hearing loss of decibals that is coming back.  The Hyperacusis is keeping me from enjoying my life.  My doctor basically said to learn to live with it.  Help!!!  I can't work now.
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Johnloudb

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Posts: 1,951
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Hi,

I am not used to writing on message boards, but I feel deparate. I came down with Hyperacusis 3 months ago. I have been to 6 doctors and now have one I like. He diagnosed me as having Meniere's disease. The symptoms I have are the fullness and some hearing loss of decibals that is coming back. The Hyperacusis is keeping me from enjoying my life. My doctor basically said to learn to live with it. Help!!! I can't work now.


Hi egarber,

ENTs don't understand hyperacusis or how our ear/brain works for the most part. It's a sad truth. There is help for treating hyperacusis.

You saw 6 doctors and only the last one diagnosed you with Meniere's disease? My cousin has Meniere's and can't work do to his off and on vertigo. My understanding is that it's caused by an increase in fluid pressure of the innear ear. 

A feeling of fullness in the ears is common with people who have hyperacusis and it has nothing to do with meniere's. Though people with Menier's also experience this symptom.

Anyway, do you experience other symptoms of Meniere's? Vertigo, dizziness, ...?

Does anyone know if Menier's can cause hyperacusis? 

For treating hyperacusis you need to see a TRT trained doctor, though the Meniere's if you do have it might complicate treatment. There are things you can do though, like using sound enrichment (a pleasant sound you hear all the time) and avoid extended periods of silence.

You should read the information on this site and I've also found Dr. Hazell's site very helpful here ( http://www.tinnitus.org  ).  You can read how to properly use sound enrichment there. 

John

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