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Tinnitus


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Several weeks ago I went out to a local club in Raleigh, NC one that is usually very loud. The next day I woke up with my right ear ringing. Nothing unusual there, it's happened before. Thing is, over two weeks later my ear is still ringing. I had recently had surgery to replace a tube in that ear and thought maybe the ringing could have been brought on by fluid buildup (the reason for the tube to start with). The only thing is, the ringing didn't start until that night at the bar so I figured that was probably the cause. After a hearing test (that was already planned as a followup for the tube surgery) and an examination by my ear doctor today, I was told that I have tinnitus. My doctor prescribed prednisdone and suggested I cut back on my salt and caffeine intake. None of those things will cure me of tinnitus and he didn't guarantee me that they would. That's the bad part, there is no cure. I have friends that always wear earplugs to shows but I've never really thought anything of it. I have been attending rock concerts since I was 14 or so years old and have experienced my ears ringing on many occasions before but it has always gone away. Not this time. I never thought there was anything wrong with wearing earplugs but I have also never done it. Even though it's too late, now I will just to preserve what hearing I have left. The most frustrating thing has been sharing this with friends. They listen and empathize but still don't wear earplugs. Well, there's really nothing I can do about that but I will say this is a condition that's preventable. I wish now that I had been wearing earplugs all along. If I had, I wouldn't have to be experiencing the hell on earth that is the constant ringing in my right ear that I'm told may never go away. Please take it from me and please start wearing earplugs to shows if you care anything at all about losing your hearing. Believe me, you don't want to end up like me with the constant ringing that may never go away.

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Well, sorry to hear that. I can't imagine how godawful it must be. Personally, whenever I'm playing drums I put cotton balls in my ears or wear headphones, I don't go to a hell of a lot of concerts, but I've seen people wearing ear plugs as well, but I don't really get any ringing or any loss of hearing after concerts. The only ones were my first two, and since then there hasn't even been temporary loss. I don't think this is a good thing though, I think I might invest in some specially made ear plugs since I'm going to be playing in a band more often now.

Not wearing ear protection can affect the sound quality too, I believe. The little hairs on the inside of your ear canal (the cochlea) can get removed from long exposure to extremely loud sound, and this lessens your ability to hear very high and low frequencies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereocilia_(inner_ear)

Amazingly enough I learned that in grade 11 physics and not biology, they don't grow back as well, so when they're gone you're screwed.

Edited by Jarlaxle 56
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Aw, that sucks.

FWIW, my dad has tinnitus as well... his ear ringing developed from taking scheduled doses of aspirin daily for years. That kind of nerve damage is also permanent. He doesn't take aspirin anymore except the low-dose stuff for cardiac reasons and the rare excedrin. The good news (for him, anyway) is that it doesn't stay constantly loud. He'll have periods where it's noticeable, sometimes annoyingly so, but he also has periods where it kinda gets in the background where he doesn't really notice it.

The hearing protection is a good idea... and not just at concerts, but also with weedeaters, certain kinds of power tools, etc.

Getting older does have its' drawbacks physically but I reckon it beats the alternative.

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Hi Jahfin,

Sorry about your tinnitis. Do you take asprin on a daily basis? A side effect of asprin toxicity is tinnitis. Asprin is in alot of products and you may not know it. The prednisone will calm any inflammation of the vestibulochoclear nerve and may help reduce the ringing. The nerve may have become inflammed by the loud music.

That is a good recommendation for all attending rock concerts. My sons were in the fourth row of a Metallica concert recently and I was concerned about their hearing.

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I'm sorry to hear about this. My old guitar teacher had a thing similar to this, everything he heard had a tinny sound to it.

I've only been to one concert, and it wasn't too loud. When I saw TSRTS in theaters it was much loud than Robert and Alison in concert. I will start wearing ear protection though, I don't want this to happen to me.

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Hey LoS haven't seen you around in a while, I agree wear hearing protection when ever you can.

When I first went to work full time I was a pipe fitter/welder and working in a very large ship yard. Hearing protection was required. Those little soft disposible type work just fine plus they would keep the sparks out of my ears lol.

I wish that I had worn them at Rock concerts I've attended. I did always try to position myself away from a direct line with the sound system and when I wear my iPod buds, I

try to keep the volume lower.

Just like eyes, you only have two of them. :)

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Hey jahfin, sorry to hear about that. just keep taking care and sometimes time can help out. my mom had an ear problem which persisted for yrs and it finally got better. my friend suffered hearing loss from listening to loud music without even knowing it, was only until he couldnt pass a hearing test to get a job, when he found out.

In regards to live music, the few shows that i've been to over the last several yrs have seemed to be quieter from the shows i went to in the early 90s. i know the bar bands can get real loud in smaller places and without sound people setting things up right, had the worst ringing in the ears for days from smaller venues.

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It's painfully obvious now but I began to suffer from hearing loss beginning with my first concert (and/or cranking up the stereo all those many times over the years). Every time I left a show and my ears rang it meant some damage had been done. It accumulated over the years to the point where, when I attended that loud club show recently it reached a threshold and caused a ringing that may never go away. In the meantime I'm following my ear doctor's suggestions. I have another hearing test scheduled in just a few more weeks. Hopefully the results will be even better then. Thanks to everyone for your advice and well wishes. I will definitely be wearing earplugs from now on.

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Jahfin,

Sorry to "hear" about that. I had some bad ringing about 10 years ago(it lasted for a couple of days) and started wearing ear plugs to small venues. I don't really go to many shows anymore, especially not at small loud venues. I'm fortunate that I still can hear a pin drop.

Happy Holidays,

JT

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I started to devolp it when I was only 20 after a few loud gigs(I really didnt go to that many) and have tended to limate myself to outdoor shows/festivals since then. I would say though that in my expereience and in alot of what I'v heard from others a large part of the problem is mental. For the first year or two it really drove me crazy focusing on it and regreting going to the concerts that caused it but over time I just started naturally phasing it out, like living infront of a noisy road.

It certainly made me question the wisdom of the quick frankly stupid volume the majority of bands play at in small venues.

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It certainly made me question the wisdom of the quick frankly stupid volume the majority of bands play at in small venues.

The club I went to where the tinnitus kicked in is always way too loud. Knowing that, that's where I should have been more responsible for protecting my own hearing. As hard as it is to do, I can't really blame the club. "Loud" goes with rock n' roll and bands have always seen how hard they can push the threshold.

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Jahfin - if I'm not mistaken, isn't tinnitus what Pete Townsend has?

Few rock musician's don't have it. It probably drove Jeff Beck out of the Yardbirds.

By some miracle, Jimmy Page doesn't have it, or at least he says he still has most of his hearing.

Musicians are usually very reluctant to admit to this, because their entire profession is built on their ears.

Edited by mos6507
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