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Garebo's avatar

I now have tinuitis, anybody share the anoyance?

Asked by Garebo (3173points) May 1st, 2010

My son gave me his zune and I have been listening to music a lot, maybe to loud. I think I have f’d up my great hearing as a result. Anybody experienced the same and got there ears back. I welcome positive feedback.

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17 Answers

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

My god, I would give anything to have the high pitch ringing in my ears subside. I’m only in my twenties & I always thought I took care of my ears, although I do listen to music/watch movies with in-ear buds or with a pair of circumaural headphones. I have stopped with the heavy listening of music. Which, I used to listen to about 2–3 hours of music a day with ear buds. I now limit it to just 20 or so minutes, at a soft volume. Not sure if it will ever go away, but every now & then, maybe once a week, that stupid ringing will kick in & I just want to Van Gogh on my ears. It’s not as high pitched or frequent as it used to be, so I’m hoping as time goes by, it will occur less & less.

ers2007's avatar

I have tinnitus also. I am only 21. I woke up one day with my left ear ringing and have been to the ENT multiple times. They are not sure what it is – they thought it could be fluid in my ears but I took water pills and that didn’t do anything. I am now just used to it – it is still a nuisance but I sleep with a fan on in the room at all times so I don’t have to hear my ear ringing when I fall asleep. I am hoping it will eventually go away too.

ZAGWRITER's avatar

Bono is said to have it. He has done pretty well for himself living with the effects.

Garebo's avatar

Thanks for the info, but did you listen to an MP3 with ear buds, or whatever.

Garebo's avatar

After reading my Q, I regret insinuating my son has anything to do with it, it is my own damn fault.

Cruiser's avatar

If you do think it is strictly from loud music, it should subside over time if you back off using the earbuds/headphones and keep the volume below 11. If the ringing is particularly bothersome white noise generators work very well at “masking” the ringing noise. There are hearing aids that will provide the white noise and you can dial it in to provide the relief you are seeking. Again stay off the loud stuff for a while and you should “hear” improvement.

hearkat's avatar

Hello, I am an Audiologist, and I have also had ringing tinnitus my whole life. I remember being put down for naps as a very young child and laying there listening to the ringing in my ears and watching the floaters in my eyes move across the white ceiling. I assumed everyone had it, until I first took a Speech & Hearing course in college. Ever since then, I’ve wondered what silence sounds like.

Loud sound damages the microscopic hair cells in the ear where sound is transferred from a mechanical vibration to an neuro-electrical signal. The numbers of these hair cells are so great that we can sustain some damage but maintain normal hearing sensitivity. So if you go to a loud rock concert, your ears might ring for a day and the hearing may seem slightly muffled, and it progressively returns to what you perceive as normal; however, the damage that was done is permanent. To simplify, say you have 10,000 hair cells and you’ve destroyed 100… you will still be able to hear normally, but now you only have 9,900 hair cells. The next time you do similar damage, there will be 9,800… etc. These numbers are arbitray, but I am using them to show that the effects of noise damage to the ears is cumulative.

Also, we need to be mindful that it is not just how loud the sound is, but also how long we’re exposed to it. People who work construction or around machinery are required to use hearing protection. However, things that don’t cause noise damage to the casual user (e.g. vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, sewing machines, dental drills) can do damage from prolonged exposure to those who use them in their work.

In addition, some people’s ears are more resilient than others, whether through genetic factors or other health influences. People with high blood pressure or diabetes are at greater risk for hearing loss and tinnitus. As are those who smoke. Certain medications can be damaging to the ears, as well – and again there seem to be different sensitivities among individuals.

Typically, noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus are fairly equal in both ears; as is the case with loss and tinnitus from aging or associated medical causes. Asymmetrical hearing loss or tinnitus, as @ers2007 reports, is atypical and should be checked by a physician.

@ers2007: “Water pills” is what most people use to describe diuretics – a class of medications used to reduce fluids in the body that cause swelling. That is very different from the fluid that can build up behind the eardrum, which is usually treated with antibiotics and/or decongestants. There is a specific condition, Meniere’s Disease, that can cause unilateral tinnitus, but also has hearing loss and vertigo (spinning dizziness) associated with it. Some people’s symptoms are improved with low sodium diets and some take ‘water pills’ as well as they effect potassium levels. I am just curious about your case because from your limited details it doesn’t quite add up.

As @ers2007 also noted, many people find relief from their tinnitus by “masking” it – meaning using other sounds to distract from it. For years, I also ran a fan at night. Now I use a noisemaker that plays the sounds of the rainforest. There are several options for that… mine is an iPhone App. The masking phenomenon is also why most people complain that their tinnitus seems louder at night – it isn’t… the world and your mind are just quieter, so the noise in your head is louder on relative terms.

Custom fit maskers and hearing aids are available. There are also therapies that use progressive sound levels to retrain the patient to ignore the tinnitus more effectively.

Some people find relief when taking gingko biloba supplements, and that is the only substance that has been independently proven to bring tinnitus relief to a significant number of people. However, ginko biloba is a blood thinner, so people should check with their physicians and pharmacists prior to starting a ginko biloba (or any supplimental) regimen. Also, dietary supplements are NOT regulated, so you can not know if what is in the bottle is what is on the label. ‘Arches Tinnitus Formula’ was developed by an ENT Doctor, and they claim to maintain stringent standards so the dosage will be consistent. Consistency is the key… this is an ongoing therapy that must be maintained on a very regular basis to provide consistent relief.

Not every treatment works for every patient. There are so many variables that influence how each person deals with their symptoms. The degree of hearing loss (if any) associated with the tinnitus is a major factor. A comprehensive Audiological evaluation should be performed on anyone who is complaining of tinnitus – especially before beginning any treatment.

Garebo's avatar

@Cruiser: that is just what I wanted to hear and choose to believe-temporary.
@hearkat: I take gingko for Raynauds and now for this, I also hear Hydergine and one other that escapes me at the moment does wonders. I hope it is just the effect of accidentally listening to my JVC ear buds with too loud a volume. And I pray it is like after a loud concert, but when you are older you become concerned you just may not heal your ears. I choose to believe they will heal just not as fast as when I was younger.
I also think if one is to listen to an MP player, it is worth it to go buy high quality buds-Bose, etc.

hearkat's avatar

@Garebo: As noted in my first response… even if it is a temporary tinnitus from noise exposure and your ringing subsides, the damage that has been done is permanent and you are even more susceptible to future damage. It doesn’t matter how “high quality” the headphones are… it’s simply a matter of volume.

The earphones that block more ambient noise – whether with circumaural cups or with insert plugs – can help because you are less inclined to turn up the volume in order to ‘drown-out’ the other noises in the environment. On the other hand, that can be a safety detriment, since you are less aware of what is happening around you.

Garebo's avatar

@hearkat: So, even if permanent damage has occurred, then what is the probability that the ringing will subside in you estimation.
Like I say, I have been here before but the ringing always stopped. Despite this I still can hear stuff well-pheasants outside, neighbors,etc.
I can’t believe with all the people listening to mp’s that most are responsible with the volume; it may seem like a pleasant listening experience, but actually damage is occurring because pleasant. is a subjective thing
My crude estimate is that 10–20% of people that listen to music with mp’s and ear buds will eventually create hearing damage.
I can’t believe there isn’t more warnings. or limiters on these devices, maybe there is, and I am just ignorant to it since I just started using one.

hearkat's avatar

@Garebo: There is no way for me to estimate, because damage is cumulative, so all the times you had temporary ringing in the past, you had done permanent damage to the delicate hearing mechanisms. The more damage you do, the longer it takes for the ringing to subside, and eventually it will not subside.

They make earbuds for kids that have an output limiter, the Apple Store carries them. I agree that there should be a better way to protect ourselves from excessive noise. However, it seems that the population just becomes more and more accustomed to it, and grows even louder as a result… this is most notable in restaurants in our area where the patrons seem to talk so loud, I don’t even know why they bother playing background music.

Garebo's avatar

Never had ringing before, just recently, but I still can hear my turkeys, trumpeter swans, loons and cats crying to come in when the coyotes are out. I just don’t like the ringing background sound. I will overcome it, I always do, and I will.

Pandora's avatar

I had a conversation today with my mom and it turned to the subject of tinnitus. She said she had it bad in both ears for a couple of months and it was driving her nuts. She said she finally found a doctor who perscribed strong doses of vitamin A and B. She said it had to be perscribed. She said that the ringing stopped and it never returned after that and that was a few years ago. Maybe this is something worth looking into. I know I also had tinnitus at one time. The doctors told me there was nothing they could do. I found that it hasn’t returned for me but I did try ginko and have also changed my diet.
I’m a firm believer that we don’t usually eat as well as we should and our bodies are quick to let us know when we aren’t eating what we need for all our organs to work well.
And yes, loud noises can damage our ears but I don’t believe that we should just throw our arms up in the air everytime a doctor saids something is not repairable. There are constantly new discoveries about the human body and not everyones body responds to the same things the exact same way. Scientists don’t know everything. If they did than what would be the point in research.

Garebo's avatar

I like your remark that we shouldn’t throw our arms up anytime a doctor says it is not repairable. We’ve all heard many occurrences of the opposite. And I am a firm believer that the mind can control or reverse a lot of disease under the right conditions .I take a lot of B’s and I eat well. The ratio and quality of B’s is important.
@Pandora, It would be very helpful, and appreciated, to know exactly what your mother was prescribed in detail. Meaning, the type of B vitamin, ( ie., B5— Pantothenic Acid or Pantethine-big difference), and mg per B, because there can be a significant level of efficacy depending on the quality and quanity ingested, or administered. Usually, store bought B’s are inferior, and not readily available to the body and the bulk of them end up as waste by the body.

Pandora's avatar

@Garebo My mom only remembers the amount in the vitamin A she was perscribed. It was 4500IU and she was told it was perscribed because you can’t get the same quality or even that high of an amount over the counter. She said she also had to had her blood drawn and monitered. She really doesn’t remember which vitamin B. She thinks it may have been Vitamin B1 but she can’t really swear to it. It was some years ago and my mom is 88. I believe her on the Vitamin A. If she feels she has to pay more for something than what it cost over the counter she won’t unless she has no choice. LOL

Garebo's avatar

@Pandora, thanks for the info, sounds like you have a frugal mom.

Pandora's avatar

@Garebo Yes, frugal, thats the word. LOL

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