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Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #1 

I got some T (which does not bother me), and H, which turns my life into a nightmare. I am "sensitive" mostly to fairly low frequencies- "hum" and impact sounds. 

I often go out to salsa parties. They are part of my social life. I recently started to use earplugs in these (objectively) loud environments. 

However, I start to feel that my tolerance to loud noises decreases. Before I used the earplugs I felt the noise level was (too) loud, but something I can tolerate. After several weeks with earplugs I am simply unable to be in the same club without them. The noise became unbearable. 

Is it a coincidence? Do I reduce my tolerance when I use the earplugs?

Just to emphasise, this is an objectively loud place- my phone measures 80-90db.


I am still puzzled as for why they play music so loud.... 

Posts: 176
Reply with quote  #2 
I would use some ear protection when in clubs or T could increase over time, then try use less ear protection during other times, listening to normal everyday sounds.
s simpson

Posts: 162
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi, i am a musician and suffer from mild T since 2004 caused by a noise trauma. Since then i started to use custom made plugs. Last year however I was at a christmas concert but not as a musician. I used my plugs an noticed i couldn't stand the music and singing voices, but all the people around me in the audience, and on average much older then me, didn't seem to have a problem with the loudness.
However i kept playing music and listened with headphones etc. But my ears gave warning signs the next days. I had to quit for some days to make my ears feel 'normal' again.
One day I played at home without plugs but not too loud. Few days later a had this pain that wouldn't go away. After a week i thought, there must be something wrong, accessive earwax or something. My doctor however didnt see anything wrong. After using some natural ear drops it went away. But it came back and one night a new much louder tinnitus in both ears woke me up, not a mild single tone but sort of whoosing noise in sync with my heartbeat. Something snapped and now i have still severe T and H after a few months.

To answer your question, did using plugs make my ears less tolerable for loud noises, maybe, maybe not. Probably nobody knows. But when i didn't use them i simply could not tolerate loud noises. I had to use them if i wanted to play music.

Now i realize that i got many warning signs, i wish i could turn back time, i would have done things differently. Once your hearing snaps there is no turning back. Just be carefull, mild T is nothing.

Be safe, make sure your plugs have no leaks, maybe get custom molded if you don't already have, they cost a bit but remember that many of us who suffer from severe T and H would give all there money to get rid of T and H.

Remember the human ear is not designed to withstand very loud noise. Neanderthalers didn't life in noisy cities, didn't go to parties, played music using amplifiers walls or killed their pray with loud guns. They used their ears to hunt and detect wildlife in the bushes.

Some doctors are even warning that premature infants who's brains are still in development could get damaged from the low noise in neonatal intensive care units...

Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #4 

Thanks for the reply...

I play the guitar as an hobby. I do not now what portion of my T and H are due to the guitar, but for sure, the guitar has a part in it.

I had some level of H for years (most of the time I did not know what H is). However, it got worse, and the T appeared in when I played in an amateur band. The volume during the reversals was terribly loud. 

Like you, I got my share of warning signs. Once I joined the band I started to have pain in my years. Then, over time my H got worse, and eventually the T appeared as well. I went to the doctor once the pain in the ear started, but it seemed at the time more related to my stiff neck (and maybe this is also the truth). However, only when the T appeared I figured out the music simply harm my ears. 

In the meanwhile I went out with a friend yesterday. He took me to a loud bar. At the beginning I thought I am okay with the noise. About 20 minutes later I figured out it is too much and left. It was enough exposure to make my ears hurt, a pain which still lasts and make my T worse. I guess I should be more careful in the future.


Posts: 46
Reply with quote  #5 
Salsa music has a lot of low frequencies that ear plugs don't help with - also they always use BIG speakers that really up the Bass. In any case don't risk loud music!! The whole world states that LOUD music is not good for T suffers - everyone can't be wrong!. I like dancing too and wear ear plugs - it's only for around 3 hours a week so can't affect anything. There must be something else you're doing! Ears/ nerve healing is a very slow process but it's better to wait than delay the healing (in my opinion)
One day one my ear plug fell off while dancing and I didn't know of it - T went crazy for the next 2 days. One day I thought I'd wait for the DJ to start before putting on the plugs - he blasted the speakers accidentally and I paid the price for that too. Now I just plug my ears before entering and enjoy my social life!!

Posts: 710
Reply with quote  #6 
80-90 db is too loud.  90 db over prolonged time will cause hearing damage.  You absolutely should use hearing protection in this environment.

And it is also absolutely true that overuse of hearing protection will lower your tolerance.  Wearing earplugs in more normal circumstances will lower your tolerance also.

Too much sound = reduced tolerance

Not enough sound = reduced tolerance

It's stupid but true.  [frown]

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Posts: 40
Reply with quote  #7 
I have ear plugs I carry all the time . I also have custom made ones which I never leave home without . In Asia shops and malls think loud music is good. I stood in a queue in Watson’s the other day trying without plugs and after 15 mins ( notorious for slow service ) I could feel the rising emotion of frustration and anger due to the stupid noise level , everyone else seemed oblivious. ?? I left before reaching the counter. I usually avoid or remove myself from situations quickly but needed something , so tried to stand it . For about an hour I was like ‘ don’t come near me or I’ll explode ‘ till my nerve endings calmed down .
My whole body and nervous system was on fire.
I usually whack in ear plugs in the first instance. Trying to cope and improve tolerance caused way more stress than just banging in plugs.
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