The Hyperacusis Network Message Board
Sign up Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Sadears

Registered:
Posts: 62
Reply with quote  #1 
Sorry for the wall of text.

I am a musician. I have played guitar/drums for 7+ years. It is my passion and favorite hobby. 

For many years I played along to music through earphones/earbuds, as well as having listened to music through these as well. I was often told I listened to the music too loud, but it never bothered me and I kind of ignored it. Didn't start turning it down til just a few years ago.

I've played in bands since I was 15. I didn't start wearing ear plugs until I was about 17 or 18. For the longest time it did not bother me but after a while I noticed the sound became irritating and too loud when playing with a band and thus decided to use earplugs. After that I had no problems.

I've been playing with a band for over a year now, and have been wearing regular, foam ear plugs the entire time. Never had any problems. Recently this year I was listening to music through ear buds and playing along to it while playing drums. I turned it up to hear the parts better. I knew it was too loud, but continued. 15 minutes passed and I had to stop. Something was wrong. My ears hurt and felt full. All sounds seemed too loud and my ears were sensitive.

This was in July of this year, 2014. 

I went to my family doctor and he performed earwax irrigation and removed quite a bit of ear wax, thinking that was the problem. While it took away a lot of pain and helped my condition, my sensitivity to sound still persisted and my ears generally still hurt.

For a few weeks I couldn't even listen to music in my car at low volumes, it was just too irritating. I still went to band practice but switched out my foam ear plugs for industrial ear muffs to block out more sound. We played a show that month as well where I wore foam ear plugs. I was worried about the show making my ears worse/hurting them. Not much seemed to change after though.

While I felt things were slightly better, my condition still persisted. Now keep in mind earlier in the year I ordered multiple tickets to multiple concerts through out the year. Now I'm concerned because not only was I excited to go, but now I am somewhat afraid to go, as well as I am in debt if I do not attend these events. I really want to go though. I was excited. It saddens me.

I decided to go to an ear doctor about all this. I told him about what happened, mentioned I thought it could be hyperacusis; he thought that sounded about right. Told me to wear hearing protection when around loud noises and that even though sounds seemed loud and irritated my ears, they were not damaging to my ears. This was quite a relief.

I felt like I was starting to get better. I went to one of the shows last sunday (8/24/14) (while wearing ear plugs, I bought musician's ear plugs that are supposedly higher grade than just foam ear plugs) and while I really had a great time at the show, the following week my ears have been hurting and sensitive again. I assume this is a "setback" as many have called it, but I am worried. They are ringing more often and I feel like my hearing is not as well, as I find myself hearing speech more blurred than I did before. (Not up close, but in a room..I work at a restaurant and take orders, often I find it difficult to understand people over the rest of the noise).

To top it all off, my band is playing another show tomorrow that I quite honestly do not even want to play. However, there has been so much planning and commitment from other people that it would be inconsiderate to cancel. I am going to wear ear plugs and I am probably going to leave as soon as my band finishes, but I am still very worried about all this. I also have plans to go to a music festival 2 weeks from now. I couldn't have picked a worse time to develop hyperacusis and hearing issues.

I am really distraught and upset over all this. My ears feel constantly in pain, and/or uncomfortable day in and out. Sometimes I can relax and take my mind off it which seems to help quite a bit sometimes but other times I can't take my mind off it. I am just so worried. I love music, it's the most important thing in my life, my life would be meaningless without it. I am planning to take a break from my band for a while after this show, and I have not been listening to music at high volumes or through ear plugs or earphones during this time. If I wear ear plugs to this event, will I worsen my condition permanently? I have read that hyperacusis can be treated and have talked to several people online who have recovered over time with therapy. I would like to get myself into Tinnitus Retraining Therapy. I am not trying to push this. I don't want to damage my hearing further and I definitely do not want to make this problem worse, it is causing me constant stress, anxiety and depression on top of the fact that I already have problems with depression and anxiety.

My audiologist said if I wore hearing protection that my condition would not worsen. Will I simply just cause myself to take even longer to heal if I attend these loud events with ear protection? I need somewhere to reach out to, I am honestly scared and seek answers. This year has been very rough, I've had a lot of health problems. I don't need any more.

Thank you to anyone who reads this and replies. You don't know how much it means to me.
0
Johnloudb

Registered:
Posts: 1,951
Reply with quote  #2 
Well, I suggest you look into TRT help. Ears do get more sensitive at times after a noise exposure, but that's not the same thing as damage.

You should read everything on this website:
http://www.tinnitus.org

Read about sound enrichment, nature sounds make good sound enrichment. If playing music at low levels hurts your ears it's not because of hyperacusis. It's because of misophonia (dislike for sounds), so you should learn what that is.

To get an idea of what your tolerances are you need to have an LDL (loudness discomfort level) test, performed by a qualified audiologist.

I understand your need to continue with the band and you might be able to do that, if you learn how to deal with your sensitivity challenge. So do some reading, and seek help. It's more important now that you treat your condition and move forward. Hopefully you can get to a good TRT professional.

Best of luck to ya!

John
0
cosmos

Registered:
Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #3 
The music will never go away, even if you have to take a break and even if you have to find a new expression within it.  Do not worry about that. She will never leave you. Just take care of your ears/hearing and keep your stress level as low as possible.  good luck  with your healing.
0
Aplomado

Registered:
Posts: 711
Reply with quote  #4 
Hello,

Please go see an audiologist that does TRT and get checked out.  If you have hyperacusis, go ahead and get started on the treatment... even if you have to borrow money to pay for it.

You won't like hearing this, but I highly recommend not attending concerts or loud events until your hyperacusis has been resolved.  It could cause your hyperacusis to worsen, at least temporarily.  Give your tickets away.  

Aplomado
0
StringBean

Registered:
Posts: 40
Reply with quote  #5 
You have hyperacusis. It won't go away on its own.

Now that you know your condition, treat it accordingly: stop going to loud concerts and start listening to low-level pink noise at all times.

Your mind will grapple with this condition for the next several months, and once you realize it's not going to simply heal on its own you need the mental conviction to do TRT for at least 12 months. Music will be on the back-burner if you want to heal and one day return pain-free.

There's no easy answer; earplugs are a safety mechanism but will not cure the problem.

If you want more info from someone who went through exactly what you are going through, who has felt the struggle, and who can tell you exactly what you need to hear, feel free to PM me.

Good luck,
Andrew
0
Sadears

Registered:
Posts: 62
Reply with quote  #6 
Thank you for all the replies. I really appreciate your help and feedback. 

@Stringbean, will listening to pink noise work if I buy the CD that is advertised on the hyperacusis network website? I am still trying to find legitimate TRT in places near me but haven't yet. Did you try to attempt TRT on your own or did you seek professional help?
0
Aplomado

Registered:
Posts: 711
Reply with quote  #7 
I don't think you can even buy the ear devices on your own (which is stupid).  I believe you have to go through an audiologist.  I am using the general hearing tranquil devices.  Go see a TRT professional.
0
Sadears

Registered:
Posts: 62
Reply with quote  #8 
Hm. I have another question for sufferers/survivors of hyperacusis: After you recovered, or since having been in TRT, are/have you able to use headphones again? I have not tried to as I think they would be too irritating, however I really hope I can use them again one day, at a safe volume, of course.
0
saab1216

Registered:
Posts: 400
Reply with quote  #9 
Sadears, Is it worth losing the ability to hear  the simple things in life without pain in exchange for a few more concerts? Keep pushing it and you will pay dearly. I was a musician too but gladly gave it up for my healing. I am healed to a degree and that's good enough for me. Does it ever go away completely? well, Not for many, including me. I now have limits in everything including simple loud laughter,movies and all musical events. I just dont attend much at all but its because I have never forgotten the living hell I went through. It was a time when simple rain was ripping my ears out as I drove to work. It was when taking a shower sounded like Niagra falls on my head. I will never compromise on my ears again. Instead of questioning recovery and what you can do then,why not focus on trying to recover first? Its not a simple line to follow. It took me at least 4 to 5 years of treatment and an attitude of never quitting!  All my Best to you. Do the right thing.  As far as headphone use. Its ok for me now but I limit the time I use them. Prolonged use will have dire consequences on me. Its a question as to how long I can listen. Hyperacusis gives no warning.
0
StringBean

Registered:
Posts: 40
Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sadears
Hm. I have another question for sufferers/survivors of hyperacusis: After you recovered, or since having been in TRT, are/have you able to use headphones again? I have not tried to as I think they would be too irritating, however I really hope I can use them again one day, at a safe volume, of course.


I found headphones most unbearable at first.

But, when you have pink noise in your ear for 15 months straight, slowly raising the volume, your ears become accustomed to having a sound source close to the ear.

I use headphones every day. But don't blast them and get a neutral pair: things like Dr. Dre Beats are atrocious for your hearing because they hype the high end and the low end. Earbuds are similarly very harsh when turned up.

FYI, I did TRT on my own. I did a lot of research and felt comfortable enough with the protocol to do it myself. It's not what I recommend if you are able to find a doctor trained in TRT, but if you understand the conceptual underpinning then it's really very simple: Pink noise, all day, every day, gradually raising the volume over the course of months until it is at equal volume with the outside world. Do so for at least 12 months and you will approach maximum recovery.



0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.



This message board is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for any medical advice. MANDATORY BOARD ETIQUETTE: 1. No personal attacks. 2. No profanity or use of inappropriate usernames. 3. No self solicitation of goods or services. 4 No discriminatory remarks based on race, gender, or religion. 5. Prohibitive postings include the following: discussing or suggesting the intent to end one's life, moderating or actions made by the moderators, and/or revealing personal information (full names, address, phone number). Rule infraction may result in either a warning or ban, depending on the severity. Kindness matters.