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Tinitus anyone?
Old 17th May 2003
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Tinitus anyone?

Seen as mine has been going through a bad bout recently, I was just wondering how many people here have tinitus?

I got mine 3 years ago (21 now) from a really bad gig when I forgot my earplugs. Doesnt seem to cause me any problems -bar sleeping half the time.

Intreagued as to how widerspread it is among studio engineers. Casualty of the job with all the live guys I know.

best wishes,
Tom
Old 17th May 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've had it a few years - but I'm 50, not 21... Ouch!

Comes from playing in loud bands more than studio engineering, at least for me. Most of the the time i don't even hear (or at least notice) it, since it's pretty constant. However, it's the damage that is implied by having it that's more frightening to me than the phantom pitch symptoms.
Old 17th May 2003
  #3
About twice a week I get a quiet but worrysome very high pitched "TV wistle" ring in an ear, I dislike it and wait for it to subside, at present the episodes last for about 20-60 seconds.... it fades back to nothing.

I wear ear plugs at gigs and like silence or low volume TV... I feel silence is "good for me" because of "tinitus risk".

I still monitor too loud in the studio..

I seem to be interested in how rock music I work on 'hits
you' in the chest.. I cant seem to decide that at low volume.

Old 17th May 2003
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
psytechguy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Tinnitus? What's that?

Will someone answer the damn phone!!!!!

I've got a whopping case of tinnitus, mostly from all the loud live music I played in my 20's and 30's. (.....and large caliber guns at the range, and big block Chevy's, and motorcycles, and.....well, how come everything that's really fun is LOUD?)

I've worn plugs since about '85, but the damage was already done.
Too many Marshall stacks back in the early '70's.

My hearing is still good, but the ringing is constant and intrusive. Keeps me awake some nights. Still, at 49, I feel like I've gotten off pretty light considering the abuse of my earlier years.

Protect your ears! Don't kid yourself thinking that "It'll never happen to me!"
Old 18th May 2003
  #5
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Invest in hearing aid manufacture/research.

A good bet for your old age pension folks!
Old 18th May 2003
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I had a minor bout with tinitus about a year ago.. It was caused by flying on an airplane with a really bad head cold from Germany to Los Angeles. Combined with alergies, it was pretty annoying (what is that sympathetic vibration on the left side up at about 8-10K or so?)

Anyways, I went to an audiologist at the House Ear Institue (you know the folks with the free hearing tests at the LA AES and NAMM shows) and my doctor got me back to 100%. The cure was very simple. Alergy medication to clear my sinuses, etc... and Niacin tablets. The increased blood-flow from the flushing effect of Niacin increases the blood supply to the inner ear. This in turn helps the ear heal itself. I did 2 doses (enough to make me flush- roughly 150 mg) 2 times per day and it did wonders...

For those with a similar problem, it may pay to give it a go... The feeling of the flushing with Niacin sucks big time but it fixed me. The time-release tablets were useless, BTW.

--Ben
Old 19th May 2003
  #7
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I had Tinitus so bad I went to see a Harley Street Specialist. There are several factors involved.

1. Loud music over prolonged periods causes the same 'dip' in hearing, no matter what frequencies you are listening to, but mid range ones tend to most damage more quickly

2. The nerve endings in your ear get damaged therefore you have the ringing.

3. This is the most important part, and is largely to do with brain function.

I'm not saying you don't have ringing in your ears, so don't get me wrong, I've had it, it was driving me nuts. But I learned some stuff about the way your brain tries to amplify things that it's 'scared' of. Knowing this stuff doesn't make your tinitus go away, but for sure over time you can retrain your brain not to notice is so badly.

Again, for those of you with really bad problems don't think I'm waving a magic wand here, I'm not trying to tell you you haven't got it. Some damage is irreversible.

Anyway, the upshot of DEALING with this stuff is this:

You are involved with music. You are petrified of losing your hearing. Whenever you hear the tiniest whistle, hum or fizz in your ear your brain immediately hears it as a 'dangerous' thing, a bit like hearing a police car IMMEDIATELY gets you going, or when the phone rings you jump.

When you are under stress this also gets worse - not only 'cos you're stressed generally, but because these damn noises stress you out, so you listen out for them, so you amplify them, so you hear them more....till...till you can't hear anything else.

What can be a small amount of damage can be 'worried' to a higher overall level by your brain latching in and amplifying those sounds. You know what it's like when you're all alone in a dark deserted house and you suddenly hear a door creak 3 rooms away? It's that kind of listening I'm talking about.

And also, we do this for a living, and we're REALLY good at picking this stuff out. REALLY good!! In fact, most of the stuff we hear that we think is 'problematic' the rest of the world goes by never even noticing it.

My ears are starting to ring while I type this. It's wierd. Are yours...well, are they???? I bet they are.....

So anyway, after I'd had tests to prove that even though I had the normal 'too much loud stuff' dip in my hearing, my hearing was way beyond that of most people (Gearslutz hearing )I still had this stupid ringing.

First thing I did after these sessions was get earplugs. You know what?? Earplugs are funny things.....it's so quiet in there....YOUR BRAIN STARTS TURNING THE GAIN UP. I sometimes had as much ringing in my ears coming out of a gig as when I had them out.

So anyway, I started monitoring softer and going out to 'quieter' things for a while, just so that any 'personally' induced ringing wasn't there, because that's the start of the worry - you do something to make the ringing worse, then worry about it...and then it starts.

Then I read up on a lot of this 'panic warning' theory that this lady I was seeing was championing, and started to try and learn about the way the brain did this stuff.

And so I stopped listening to the ringing. And when it was there I just thought 'oh, there's that ringing' and tried to ignore it, ESPECIALLY when going to sleep.

I tried to become totally ambivalent to any wierd noises or ringing I could hear. After all, what good is listening to the damn stuff going to do? Nothing.

And you know what.

3 months later it had gone totally.

Ok, that's my rant. I had it bad, it went away. It doesn't work for everyone, but for some people there is hope.

I will now go onto the internet and try and dig up some articles by the lady I saw. If I can remember her name.

Bev
Old 19th May 2003
  #8
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Here is a link which you can download which is a 5 meg realplayer file of a seminar discussing new stuff about tinnitus, and the lady I went to see is on the panel (Jackie Sheldrake - her name came to me in a flash of inspiration and a high frequency burst of f#)

What is quite funny though is - they know all about hearing, but they couldn't organise a proper recording!!!! You'll need to 'enhance' their crap cassette in a room approach, but it's interesting listening, how appropriate.

So tom_c, if you want to see the main (wo)man about your tinnitus, go and see Jackie Sheldrake on Harley Street.


Here's a quote from the tinnitus uk web site to show you all what I'm on about, and then the link:
----------------------------------
Counselling in hyperacusis_



Where there is an irrational fear that normal environmental noises may be damaging, it is important to 'retrain' the auditory system both at a conscious and subconscious level to respond in a more appropriate manner. This involves the examination and discussion of the reasons behind the development for the hypersensitivity and the fears held by the individual, whether felt to be real or imaginary, about the effects of such noises and the strong emotions that they evoke.



The whole process of desensitisation can take quite a long time, commonly six months to a year, but is achievable in most cases.
----------------------------------------------

http://www.tinnitus.org.uk/information/hyperacusis.htm

-----------------------------------------------

Dr Jacqueline Sheldrake
Audiologist Clinic 32 Devonshire Place
London W1G 6JJ
Tel: (020 7487 2701)
Old 20th May 2003
  #9
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by fifthcircle

Anyways, I went to an audiologist at the House Ear Institue (you know the folks with the free hearing tests at the LA AES and NAMM shows) and my doctor got me back to 100%. The cure was very simple. Alergy medication to clear my sinuses, etc... and Niacin tablets. The increased blood-flow from the flushing effect of Niacin increases the blood supply to the inner ear. This in turn helps the ear heal itself. I did 2 doses (enough to make me flush- roughly 150 mg) 2 times per day and it did wonders...

For those with a similar problem, it may pay to give it a go... The feeling of the flushing with Niacin sucks big time but it fixed me. The time-release tablets were useless, BTW.

--Ben
I take TWO 500mg tablets of Niacin per day for an unrelated situation (high triglycerides). Unfortunately, it has done nothing to alleviate my tinnitus, so i guess it doesn't work on everybody.
Old 20th May 2003
  #10
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Many thanks for the great replies!
Most usefull info.

Nice to know were not alone...

all the best
Tom
Old 20th May 2003
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
JohnnyTooLoud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
About twice a week I get a quiet but worrysome very high pitched "TV wistle" ring in an ear, I dislike it and wait for it to subside, at present the episodes last for about 20-60 seconds.... it fades back to nothing.

I wear ear plugs at gigs and like silence or low volume TV... I feel silence is "good for me" because of "tinitus risk".

This is the same with me and has been for over ten years. Hasn't gotten better or worse, doesn't seem to coincide with gigs or loud music, and doesn't happen so often as to bother me but I wonder what will happen in the future.

And now that many of us have gone digital I imagine future AE gatherings to have many old, hunched over, near-deaf, bifocaled folks with carpal tunnel. YeeHaw!

--JTL
Old 21st May 2003
  #12
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
And so I stopped listening to the ringing. And when it was there I just thought 'oh, there's that ringing' and tried to ignore it, ESPECIALLY when going to sleep.
I got quite good at that with the ringing. But the 2-tone started driving me mad. It was like someone whisteling the same two notes through Cher's autotune.

I know exactly what you mean though about how your brain turns up the gain at night when you're tucked up in your bed. I went into one of the studios at work the next day, and the self-noise of the Genelecs was enough to drown it out.... I wouldnt have believed that the night before.

Thanks again for the input,
best wishes,
Tom
Old 21st May 2003
  #13
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Condensed version:

1. Don't get your ears ringing 'cos of loud music in the first place. If you're going to a gig, wear plugs. If you are going to listen to loud music, give your ears time to recover between bursts (as in DAYS)
2. If you do have ringing, ignore it as much as possible.
3. Don't worry about it, you can't damage your hearing more by worrying, but it doesn't help it go away if you do, and can make it appear worse than it is
4. This is probably self-induced ringing and not 'clinical' as in infection or disease, so don't get all medically clinical about it. You've grazed your knee, not caught Tuberculosis. Ok, you've been amputated. BUt it's not going to get worse over time if you don't listen to loud stuff. Apart from old age creeping in that is.
5. Headphones are the devil. You may as well strap two pneumatic drills to the side of your head judging by the levels most people use.
6. Find mid range thump by standing outside the control room or behind the speakers and any other means to avoid the 'crank' moment

You have so many chips per lifetime to spend on listening to loud music. When you run out,it's over. Be careful.

Like I'm not.
Old 11th June 2003
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
JohnnyTooLoud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by fifthcircle
I went to an audiologist at the House Ear Institue (you know the folks with the free hearing tests at the LA AES and NAMM shows) and my doctor got me back to 100%. The cure was very simple. Alergy medication to clear my sinuses, etc... and Niacin tablets. The increased blood-flow from the flushing effect of Niacin increases the blood supply to the inner ear. This in turn helps the ear heal itself. I did 2 doses (enough to make me flush- roughly 150 mg) 2 times per day and it did wonders...

For those with a similar problem, it may pay to give it a go... The feeling of the flushing with Niacin sucks big time but it fixed me. The time-release tablets were useless, BTW.

--Ben
OK - as I mentioned above I get the occasional high pitch ring for 30 to 60 seconds - and always at the same pitch. What I would imagine a dog whistle would sound like.

But yesterday I got a lingering high tone of a different pitch. I looked around, moved my head, took a walk just to see if it was something external or not. It was in my head - and that surprised me because I hadn't been exposed to any loud levels in a while (been working with a couple of acoustic acts). It lasted for a few hours and either it came and went in intensity or I lost focus of it at times. Had me worried. Then I tried some large, back of the throat yawns (the kind one might force when trying to clear the ears after a flight) and it went away - immediately - and hasn't been back.

Let me add also that I always have some sinus issues (airplanes kill me).

So I add this experience to the lot for what it is worth.

--JTL
Old 25th June 2003
  #15
Lives for gear
 
cashewcupcake's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
my ears are REALLY sensitive.

If I am around anything sort of loud- computer fan, driving, loud boombox, I can hear my ears ring in a silent room.

If I wear plugs all day though, I have no ringing.

The louder my environment during the day, the louder my ears ring at the end of it.
Old 25th June 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Midlandmorgan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have it...(I'm 48) mostly from several years in the military, firing a wide variety of weapons on almost a daily basis (instructor...) playing live music frequently back then didn't help...

There are (IMHO) 3 superb pieces of advice here:
1. Rest - it's really amazing that after a 'loud' day how much we don't hear ... give plenty of time to rest up (days was mentioned...) try a noise-free period sometimes...I like to watch TV with the mute button on, and just read closed captioning, just for the peace and queit...

2. Decongestants...believe it or not, I take Pamprin to reduce excess fluids (yeah yeah...I know...but it works like a champ for colds and congestion!) Ben mentioned Niacin - hadn't heard that but a dose of multivitamins daily wouldn't hurt anyway...

3. Relax - mild cases of tinnitus are by no means debilitating...my last hearing test (3 months back) showed that I am in better shape hearing wise than I was 5 years ago... Attention to small things can work wonders...

and remember, as people age, there is a naturally occuring degeneration of certain sensory detections....
Old 25th June 2003
  #17
hrn
Lives for gear
 
hrn's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have it too,
I know when I got it. It was on a rehearsal with a band. We used sampled loops in our music and this evening we put them through a guitar amp. The sound was VERY loud at the mid freqs...around 3000-4000 kHz....a loop sampled at 15kHz. I remember thinking it was almost painful listening to it. Before this, I never had felt anything against high levels. Today I have "the tone" in my head. Daytime when surrounded by the natural noise, it's actually not a problem. When it's quiet, for example when I go to bed, it's annoying. I try to not think about it, and it works ok for me. Today, I take care of my ears 'cause I know it can be worse.

Hans
Old 26th June 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Alécio Costa's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
hi

I sometimes have the feeling that my right ear is closed and it hurts right under ear.

went to a dentist and he said that I would have to use soemthing in mouth at sleep becauae my "maxilar" was not closing properly - it helped with the pain, but no cure.

It is not exactly tinitus, which only pops up for just a few nights after I go to a loud rave or work as crazy, something not happening lately.
lol
Old 28th June 2003
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Yep - count me in too... I'm 35 and remember it starting around 12, 13 yrs ago. I honestly think its cos I used to listen to my headphones too loud...

I'm a DJ so I am *really* careful with monitoring and always wear plugs or cotton wool in my ears if I'm in a club environment.
In my studio I like to monitor at fairly low levels anyway.

I had my hearing tested and my hearing is super sensitive... no problems, but the ringing is constant - worse after I've DJ'd (lasts for around 12 hours then it subsides to a general level that I've learnt to live with over the years)... I heard it drives some people nuts but I honestly don't pay much attention to it and try not to think about it... really helps.

I get the strange random whistle every once in a while - I think that's quite common - always subsides... far worse for my studio work is the levels of wax that build up in my right ear - I always have to get my ears syringed every 6-8 months... luckily its a nice feeling - like putting your head in a washing machine

Burt
Old 28th June 2003
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Alécio Costa's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I used to be adicted to cotton webs, which is awful for your hearing. Wax is there to protect.
I am 33. But look 29
lol
Old 28th June 2003
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
"Wax is there to protect"

yes, true - but I have an over-production of wax which runs in my family actually. It gets so bad that it covers my ear drum completely... leaving me almost deaf in my right ear... I have to do my mixes by watching the levels on my 888 whilst waiting for the ear drops to soften the wax (warm olive oil is also recommended - by my doctor anyway - pls don't sue me if you try it and fry your brain or something) until the wax is soft enough for the syringe technique to work.



Burt
Old 28th June 2003
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Alécio Costa's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Burt, If I keep several doing mixing over 85db, I get lots of wax also. don´t ya think it is related to loud spl monitoring?
Old 28th June 2003
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
I'm not sure there is a link with myself... I monitor low at my studio - and my mother and grandmother have the same problem... and you won't find them Djing down the local rave heh

Burt
Old 28th June 2003
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Alécio Costa's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
sure!!
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