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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
My husband has a mild case of hyperacusis in one ear and has been treating it with an ear plug when needed for the past 7 months, (only when going out to places with inclreased volume- approximately 2 times per week).  It had gotten much better over the past few months, until 2 weeks ago, when a loud cell phone continually ringing seemed to bother it again. 

Sounds that bother him are tv/radio volume if too loud or varies in pitch, pitch of cell phone ringing, and baby crying too close to ear, to name a few examples.  All of these vary depending on the day and time.  Again, he was much better up until 2 weeks ago.  He has a scheduled evaluation for LDL testing within the month. 

Here is my question: He has tickets to a rock concert this weekend.  If he wears an ear plug, will he be able to enjoy the show without making the condition worse?  I would like to see him go, but do not want him to hurt his ear further.

Thanks for any help you can offer.  We hoped this would have not been an issue still.  We just do not want to make it worse.

Posts: 1,951
Reply with quote  #2 
If a cell phone ringing made his condition worse then I'd say he should forgo the concert. Most people should use ear protection in both ears at a rock concert, or at least have it available. Concerts can be very loud and people with normal hearing often develop tinnitus and/or hyperacusis just from attending a concert.

Ear protection can only do so much, and isn't as effective at lower frequencies. But, if he does go he should use ear protection in both ears IMO.


Posts: 1,512
Reply with quote  #3 

Everything that John said, AGREED.
Does your husband know what started the hyperacusis in the first place?
Some early stage hyperacusis can apparently heal on it's own....this could be a critical window of time to be allowing the auditiory system to rest and recouperate.
If things seem to recover completely over the next months with care and perhaps some forms of treatment, and concert going is an interest,
After things had seemed totally stable for 4 or more months,
I would test concert-level volumes - say....3 minutes (always with earplugs both ears) then evaluate over a week....
then 10 minutes another time.....continuing to build up and evaluate and let time go by between trials to see if any delayed reactions (24-48 hours for example) occur and to provide a further rest between bouts.
If it is eventually proven that 2 hours or whatever of such volumes will be safe with earplugs, great, and go to only one concert per two week period or so.
Even for the general public, there are recommendations on frequency in terms of allowing the auditory system to recouperate, might look into what that time frame is and follow that.

BTW what if anything treatment-wise has he done?

You two are wise to check this out before going to the concert.
While there is evidence of active hyperacusis, highly amplified rock concerts, even with earplugs in BOTH ears (as they are meant to be worn because of the ways the two ears interact anyway) are very likely to be too much.


Breathing is good.

Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #4 
He started having problems when he held his cell phone up to his hear not knowing it was on speaker phone with the volume turned all the way up.  He saw an ENT, who advised him that it should get better on its own in 6-8 months, and to use earplugs when necessary.  As stated in my previous post, he has scheduled LDL testing within the month.  Hope he can get the relief he needs and no longer has any setbacks.
Thank you for all your help.


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

I agree with John and Debbie about the concert.
During a setback it can be helpful to take it a bit easier around sound.
I've had setbacks made more difficult by being around sound that was too difficult for me to tolerate at that time. (and in my case none of that additional sound was anywhere near concert level, for volume.)

Some with hyperacusis have had their challenges made more difficult by exposure to Loud sound before they really knew much about these challenges.
So even aside from the setback, I think it's good to understand a bit about these challenges and how sound affects one on an individual basis - before going into a really loud situation - like a concert, or loud clubs, or other loud events.

It can also help to understand a bit about sound -
sound is not only heard through the ears, but can be bone conducted as well.
and hearing protection only goes so far.

Sub woofers,  when they are used, can sometimes shake the floor and everything on it

I  imagine the sound systems used these days for concerts  are different than the  sound systems systems that used to be used.

Something else to consider with a concert - is the venue. Some venues would likely have better acoustics and sound dampening qualities.
(If i ever try for another good sized concert,  i will  probably  try for one outdoors where the sound can escape into the evening air.)
I would also select a venue that is designed for a concert that will not draw Extremely large crowds.
And i would also keep in mind that the sound and levels of sound are  not only from the artist or bands playing, but from the audience as well.
And some groups or musicians are likely to draw a more rowdy, and louder crowd than others.
 And i would try for a concert that may be on the more mellow side, something where the music would hopefully and likely be pleasing and tolerable for my hearing and ears, and also where the audience would hopefully be pretty mellow as well.
(verses loud and rowdy)

I would want to be far back from the speaker/sound system, and have appropriate hearing protection - and also -
I would be  ready, willing, and able to leave immediately if it was too loud For ME - no matter what others thought. And no matter what the tickets cost.
If I would not be able to leave if it was too loud for me - i would not go.

Being able to leave an event such as that if it's too loud, in my view is extremely important.

With hyperacusis, it's not just the level of sound,  but the duration that can make a difference as well - so if sound is way too loud, (like if a concert is too loud) the sooner one can get away from it - the better.

I think if someone takes the time understand more about these challenges, many times they can progress forward , and help to keep their situation from becoming more difficult.

To use what we learn about these challenges to help educate others , may also help  keep people like friends - that we would go to concerts with if we could - from coming down with these challenges.
To let them know to use hearing protection when going to loud  events, such as a concert - and to keep in mind that if it's too LOUD it may be better to leave than to stay no matter what th tickets cost, or how much one wanted to see the show or event  - may help keep someone else, from having to learn about hyperacusis first hand.

With the concert tickets - my thought would be to offer them to someone i kenw who would like to go,  and let them know why i was passing on the event at that time.
(Using the time to explain a bit about these challenges and about hearing protection)
A mild case of hyperacusis, to some around here that would seem like a wonderful alternative to what they are going through.

Thankfully  with these challenges things can also get better. And understanding more about them can be very helpful.

The following website  has some good information

The Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Centre, London UK

P.S. I am nowhere near being ready to try for a good sized concert,  but maybe someday - though at this point I don't know. For me it's a step at a time and i am very  grateful for the improvements i notice, and what i am able to tolerate.


Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #6 

Thanks so much for the information and I can only imagine what you and others on the board have experienced and are presently going through. Thanks again.


Posts: 1,378
Reply with quote  #7 
There is no question:  He should not go. 

The night of the concert, turn off the TV and the telephone.  Dim the lights, light a candle, and sit and listen to the CD/record with him at home at a moderate or low volume -- uninterrupted and undistracted.  The experience of the music will be superior to what he would experience at the concert venue with screaming fans waving cell phones and what not. 

The result of going to the concert can be a quite unforgiving one.  Trust us when we tell you it is not wise for him to go.

Please resist the temptation to pick apart my post by quoting it piece by piece.

Posts: 2,083
Reply with quote  #8 
Some around here have mentioned being able to go to concerts,
and i find encouragement in that.
Though i am no where near ready for that.
(except maybe something VERY Small --
like a very small free concert in a small park. maybe some light jazz or acoustic music -
something without too many people.
and where i could easily leave if it was too loud - and stand as far back as i wanted, and needed to be -
across the street if necessary.)

But I'm not anywhere near ready to try for a large concert.
(a fairly quiet restaurant can still be too difficult at times, even though I sit in the quietest section)

Awhile back someone  mentioned going to a large concert, she said it was Extremely loud -
Some performers play very Loudly, and are noted for very Loud shows.
So, even if sometime in the future,  i  have improved to the point i am able  to go to concerts -
or wish to try .....
I'd avoid those really loud shows - unless I knew the artists had toned it down quite a bit, and were not playing so loud anymore   even if the groups were artists  i really wanted to see.
(though i am unsure if i will ever get to that point, of being able to go to a good sized concert again,
but I will not rule it out for the future - at this point -
with appropriate hearing protection of course, if i ever do go.)

And Even if or when i am able to go to concerts, and do some other things again - that i have not been able to for a long time ...I will be extremely grateful for the improvement, use hearing protection when necessary - and
I'd also avoid shows and events that would include fireworks.

I don't know how many performers or bands  use fireworks as part of their show - but i would want to know about it in advance - so i could leave the area, before they were used (if used at the end of a show or as part of encore)
or not go in the first place.

And all the talk of concerts reminds me, how beautiful it used to be - to see a mellow and  appreciative crowd, in awe after a wondrous concert - with lighters held high - (like thousands of candles in the night)
calling the band back and showing appreciation for the music and beautiful energy shared......

It's been a long time, but the beautiful memories do remain.

Ben mentioned -
The experience of the music will be superior to what he would experience at the concert venue with screaming fans waving cell phones and what not.

The last concert i went to - was before cell phones become so prevalent. and they did not have fireworks -
and the sound was not sent out over sound systems - with subwoofers.
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