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Posts: 76
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone,

I have been for the most part fine until last Thursday (April 22, 2010). After going to the public library to use the internet, I walked back to my car. There was a music festival going on this week (Festival International) and for the 1-2 minutes while I walked back to my car, there was a band playing a show. It wasn't a rock band or anything, but from what I heard, it sounded like low brass or even a ship's horn (weird I know). I had custom molded earplugs in and I would say that they offer at least 20 dB protection. I also had my decibel reader onhand and it read between about 75-85dB. I couldn't tell where the music was coming from until I got to my car, and it was down the street.

Giving a generous guess, I would say the music might have been 96 dB at most by the time I got to my car. That's a generous guess, too. I was too busy getting in my car to check my decibel reader again, so there's no way of knowing. The highest reading I got was 82 dB. However, afterward, my right ear (which has less Tinnitus) was hurting really bad and my tinnitus flared up almost as bad as my left ear (the bad one). I know that especially with ear protection, I don't think I exceeded dangerous levels or for very long, but I still can't help but think I overdid it. I kind of knew there would be bands playing, but I was into what I was reading online and figured I would be safe going to my car. I also have TMJ problems, which are surely flaring up my right ear, but I don't know how much is caused by the TMJ and how much (if any) is caused by the noise.

This message is more of a vent than anything. I pray I don't have hearing loss. It's hard to tell when tinnitus gets worse if you've got hearing damage or if it's just a setback. I wish I could go back and change it but of course I can't. Can someone please tell me I'm ok? Thanks.


Posts: 208
Reply with quote  #2 
You're okay. 



Posts: 443
Reply with quote  #3 
Hey Ska Masta,
Are you using earplugs a lot? My ears DIDN'T like the earplugs and my h. got worse when using them on a regular basis! So, just a thought!
(Maybe it's not the sounds as such, but the other habits?)
These things are usually temporary and you may indeed be experiencing a setback. Have you tried massage and nutrition yet? (They helped my t. muchly.) There's also a possibly helpful book on TMJ, have you read it? (With exercises and suggestions for nutrition too..) So, wishing you things get better soon!


Posts: 76
Reply with quote  #4 
I am still worried about it. Setbacks are not supposed to last half a week, (well they don't for me usually, anyway). I am tempted to go get a hearing test. It's been a year at the last plIt seems I can't hear as well out of the affected ear, but it might be my imagination. There's no way that little exposure damaged my hearing permanently.

I know many on here would disagree with me, but there is at least one poster who shares my views. I can't get TRT right now, so instead of getting anxiety attacks from every little noise. In quiet situations however, I take them out.

Now, I just got my pink noise CD in the other day but I don't listen to it because it doesn't work in my CD player and I don't have a portable player or headphones anymore.

Posts: 2,083
Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Skamasta,

Having one's tinnitus spike can be stressful.....
Mine has spiked more times than I would be able to count, and also settled back down
For Me, I have  found one of the best things I can do is not worry about it. And not focus on it.
(Though if it is a VERY loud spike that seems to come from out of nowhere, I will usually try to  figure out what in the way of sound is causing it. )

Is there a reason you carry a sound meter everywhere?
Letting my hearing/ears be my guide as far as sound goes, has for the most part been very helpful to me -
knowing what  dB it is - will not make it more tolerable to my ears if it is too difficult.

Though to realize the difference between sound that is just bothersome and what is actually too difficult for my hearing/ears has been important for me.
Tinnitus and hyperacusis are different. One can one or the other or both.
And they can both be difficult challenges, but from everything i have read, and to the best of my knowledge  - they are different.
Just because something makes my t spike does not mean the sound is too difficult for my hearing/ears.
It does not take loud sound to cause my t to fluctuate in volume, and to realize that not everything that caused my t to fluctuate, was too difficult for my hearing /ears was very important for me.
(Enough things in the way of sound were too difficult for my hearing and ears anyway, and some  still are,
but focusing less on my tinnitus and it's fluctuations - was helpful to me. It has allowed me to be less focused on sound in general.)

We are all different and I think some may experience setbacks differently -
but I do not generally view a spike or fluctuation in my t as a setback.
Though having my tinnitus spike or sound louder, is one of the things that happens when i do get a setback,  having  everything else sound louder, is one of my more noticeable symptoms.

I have had spikes that last a long time, and still settle back down -
and  at times my t has gotten so loud i wondered if it would ever settle back down, but it has - even if it took a long time to do so.

In my case i have found in general, it can help for me not to focus on it so much, but to figure that it has settled down before and likely will again. Thinking about it too much and monitoring the volume of it especially when it it is loud, can be stressful, but accepting the fact that there is a good chance mine will settle back down again, has been helpful to me.

I hope yours settles back down soon.....I have had mine settle back down, even from loud sound
- even when i wondered if it ever would again or not...and been surprised to notice it had - at times noticing  that it had , when my t was pretty quiet - being very pleasantly surprised that it was. :-)

Wishing you much better days, and a time when you will be much less focused on your tinnitus.

By the way - do you usually use anything for some gentle sound enrichment?


Posts: 76
Reply with quote  #6 

I carry around a sound meter because I have phonophobia. Anything from clanking dishes to a vacuum sounds too loud to me, so I can't rely much on my own perception of sound, as it is warped by hyperacusis. A decibel reader gives me an objective source on how loud something is, and instead of constantly worrying about whether I was exposed to too much noise, it gives me peace of mind.

Granted, even sounds that are low can be very irritating to my ears, like you said. I have had inconsiderate neighbors from upstairs blast there music at night. I can feel the bass through the ceiling/walls, but it is barely 50 dB. Same goes for lawnmowers and table saws that go off outside of my apartment (which unfortunately has a broken window). Even those from inside my apartment are barely 50-60dB but it aggravates the daylights out of my ears.

Thanks for the wishes. I actually am becoming less focused on my tinnitus because I get worn out from worrying so much about it. Sometimes I just can't worry even if I wanted to (and I am a huge worrier). I just have faith in God that I will be ok and faith in myself that I protect myself sufficiently by not being around loud noise very much, listening to the tv/stereo at a low volume, wearing earplugs, and having my sound meter with me at all times.

I just got the pink noise cd from this network, but it won't play in my stereo.
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