page

Dealing with tinnitus

19 posts in this topic

Hi all,
i couldn't find a specific thread about this topic, so please excuse me if there is one. I don't have tinnitus myself, or at least I don't think so. My left ear sometimes hurts and I think that did start when a friend shouted in my ear during a concert, but it could be caused by colds which I do have regularly. I have been really careful. I have been wearing custom made earplugs for a couple of years and I wear them when I'll have to perform (especially with a big band) but also when I go to a concert myself. My eartubes are really small but they were just big enough to make me custom made earplugs which I'm really happy with. I could recommend it to anyone, especially musicans since you can use them during performing and still hear the nuances of the music to be able to play the way you want.

I have a friend though who has tinnitus. He has told me it first started in 1986, so that's for a long time. Not really caused by going to concerts he thinks, since he hasn't really done loud ones. Lately it has gotten really bad and it seems to get worse. The sounds he hears are getting louder. It is causing him a lot of pain. He has been to doctors and apparently nothing can be done about it.
He isn't a professional musican, but he does play the piano, loves to play. Now even that sound is too much and he has to play his keyboard. He always has music on when I'm there and he says he does that to try to not just hear that awful sound in his head.
My question: if you have tinnitus too, how are you dealing with it? Is there something you can do to relieve the pain a bit. How do you manage to keep playing? I feel awful for my friend and really want to help him when I can.
Thank you for your time reading and any suggestions you might have.
Kind regards, page

Edited by page

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have some slight high frequency tinnitus, led a samba group at some time with two many agogo bells and no ear protection ( young and foolish that I was). It is not that loud, so it won't bother me, sometimes I forget about it completely.

If it was louder I would consider acupuncture - it helps in some cases. A stress-free life and relaxation helps, too. Get enough sleep. But the damage to the ear is considered to be irreversible, that's true.

Protect your ears, folks, even in loud concerts - there are great earplugs for sale that just cut off the extreme loud impulses which are the real threat (mine was worsened when my former partner emitted a loud cry of pain into my left impaired ear during childbirth labor, another moment where I cursed myself for not wearing earplugs) , and do not impair the whole requency range. The best are the anatomically adjusted ones you can get at the shops that sell hearing aids.

Threre are reports that a therapy with exposition to the exact frequency of the tinnitus, or slightly beneath it, might help, but I don't have details - an old friend that I rarely see anymore who once worked in an audiology laboratory mentioned this.

Try any alternative treatment you might find. It's the attitude that counts the most - once you find it bothering, it's hard to change that attitude.

Edited by mikeweil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Music Safe SonicSet Pro

MusicSafe-Pro-Gehoerschutz-fuer-Musiker-


Sonic Defenders

Sonic-Defenders-mit-geschlossenem-FilterSonic-Defenders-EP3-2.jpg


There a many more at specialist shops. If you wear them for longer periods of time, consider otoplasts, which are molded to your ear.

Once you have tinnitus it is important, use protection, each new exposition to heavy impulses can make it worse, like a re-traumatization.

There are test questionnaires on the web to help you judge the intensity of the problem and how you cope with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been dealing with what my Doctor calls Eustacian Tube Dysfunction in my left ear since October of last year. It causes white noise (tinnitus) in my left ear (sometimes faint and sometimes loud) and my ears "click" whenever I swallow. It is very annoying especially at night when things get quieter. Since I'm a musician, I went out and bought some expensive ear protectors which do help protect them when I play in loud situations. I've also found that staying away from caffeine also helps with the symptons. Some days are better than others and sometimes it almost seems like it goes away only to return. So far the Doctor I've been seeing has not been very helpful so I may try someone else. Not sure what caused it but it's been very annoying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My tinnitus is not too bad, just sort of have that frequency in my right ear as if a CRT television is on in the same room. It's a bit like breathing: most of the time i dont notice it but if i become conscious of it it becomes a thing. Thankfully it's at a level that i can live with, but i am paranoid about it getting worse and do everything i can to limit potential further damage.

Things that make it worse in my experience: caffiene, alcohol, being over-tired, stress, generally being unwell (cold / flu / headache / food poisoning etc).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys. This is all very helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading this thread makes me glad that I've never enjoyed overly loud music and have tried to stay clear of it. I guess that musicians, especially these days, don't have that luxury.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've avoided volume for years - barely ever gig - and yet have recently developed some serious hearing problems, and resultant dizziness.

it's a somewhat scary prospect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never listened to music particularly loud but I did get a lot of colds and one day the sound didn't go away. At first, I thought I was going to go out of my mind but over time, it both subsided a little bit and I got used to it so it's more like background noise for the most part. I don't hear as well as I used to, however.

It seems to get worse when a new weather pressure system comes in, which also results in headaches (which seem to be a by product of tinnitus).

Definitely avoid alcohol when you can, particularly when it's really bothering you. Otherwise, I drink in the same quantity as before.

The best piece of advice is try to not to focus on it. When I first got it, my boss told me that his father had it as a result of being in WW II but that it became background noise over time. That was the best piece of news I had heard and so I pass it onto you in the hope that it helps a little bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moderate and sudden onset due to high frequency hearing loss resulting from chemotherapy. Doc says it is an artifact of my brain dealing with the missing information nothing particular to do or worry about? Has gotten less difficult over time. Better to be above ground so no complaints...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had tinnitus for 10 years, but in my case, it started due to a *bad* side effect of an antibiotic. I had a severe ear infection and kept hearing high-frequency sounds that I thought (at times) were being made by my cell phone's ringer. It was my ears.

Mine has subsided quite a bit, but I notice it more during the winter months, and at any time that I am experiencing congestion/pressure in my ears and sinuses. I am able to live with it, but, for instance, today it is kind of bad (likely due to an approaching low pressure front) and I am more aware of it now that I'm thinking about it. Often I find that yawning or swallowing helps a bit, just as you do on a plane or when making a drive up a steep slope or mountain.

I wish I could suggest something to help your friend, page. It sounds like his case is particularly bad.

I also wear ear protection whenever I'm playing, though at home, I can tone down my djembe's loudest/highest frequency sounds by putting a t-shirt on top of the head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reactions to antibiotics is possible as it was one of my contributing causes.

I also recommend wearing ear muffs or other protective covering in extremely cold weather.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies all. Sorry to hear more people have these problems! Happy to hear all of your advice.

Paul, what surprises me is that I still so many musicians don't wear any ear protection. The conductor of the big band I was in had the same custom made ones I had but after some time he stopped wearing them since he'd rather do without.

Allen, dizziness does have to do with your vestibular system which is situated in the inner ear, so I'm not really surprised that that can be a side effect too. As someone who has to deal with motion sickness I've always had trouble with my ears at those times too.

Edited by page

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brad, thanks. While this thread is about the troubles of my friend, I do recognize the effect of colds. Right now I have a touch of flu and my left ear really hurts.

My friend knows it is best not to focus on it and that is what he has been trying to do so far. Of course some days that is going better than other days.

Seeline, nice to see you here! Sorry to hear you do suffer tinnitus as well. I'll make sure to tell my friend about the yawning, I should have thought of that myself. 2 years ago I got operated on my sinuses and then I did notice that everything in your face is really so tight connected, it does influence the way you feel instantly when something is wrong with just a small part. Thanks for the sympathy.

Apparently this week there is special attention for this subject in my country, I didn't know that, but they named a week after it to call attention to this problem which so many people suffer from. I saw a program with a doctor from Belgium who has helped a few people with some kind of machine placed in the body. The idea is to mislead braincells which he says produce a sound since they are bored because of a hearing loss. A bit like feeling an itch on a leg or fingers that have been amputed. I'll have to think of how to tell you all and translate correctly, so I need a bit of time for that. The method is not proofed to be succesful yet so health insurance companies won't pay for the costs. it has shown effectiv for some people though. I'll let you know what I will find out and try to translate it.

Edited by page

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I've been looking at how to translate the method I saw at that program. Since it has all kinds of medical terms I've decided that it would be best to look for an English written website in which this is explained.
Here it is explained. The doctor who has been using this method is situated in Belgium. http://www.braininnovations.nl/engels.php


I ran into another method as well. Last year a dj explained how he was helped by wearing some kind of noise hearing aid. He was helped in Belgium as well, although it was at another hospital. The above method is used in Antwerp; this last is used in Gent. I'll look whether I can find a link to that one as well so you all can read about it.
Hope this will help some of you. My friend and I are going to visit some seminars if we are going to be able to get in as indivuals. (Sometimes it is just for doctors and professionals of course).
Thanks all for telling your personal stories and info.
Kind regards, page

Edited by page

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

page, does white noise help your friend at all? There should be small white noise machines available over there, I'm sure.

I know that one reason I notice my problem more during the winter months is that it's too cold to have open windows, and the air conditioning isn't running. That means that the ambient noise level is very low, compared to the warmer months. Mine really isn't very bad, but I know other musicians who suffer from tinnitus and they have a much more difficult time than I do.

Any/all good information is very welcome, and I want to thank page for the links.

There is some good info. available here: http://www.headphone.com/pages/hearing-101

Scroll down for links.

Edited by seeline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi seeline, he says not, but he's looking into the other options. That one doc in Belgium has a few methods which helped people. Looking at your link I think there is a whole generation growing up right now who will get tinnitus for sure because of those head phones. Also this dance music hype can't do any good to young people regarding their ears.
Thanks for the link.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that most music - even acoustic music today - is pushed far too much re. volume. I don't know why that is, other than maybe the people on the sound boards having significant hearing losses (j/k, but not really - it's a distinct possibility).

And acoustics can certainly have an effect. I once went to a free string orchestra concert in the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress in D.C. The Coolidge is ideal for small ensembles and soloists, because it's very small, but putting an entire (small) string orchestra in there was far too much of a good thing. I ended up having to leave, as the volume and overwhelming brightness of the sound was literally hurting my ears.

Edited by seeline

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.