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#968131 - 10/20/01 05:25 AM Tinnitus... "Ringing Ears" -- Got Any Good Professional Or Personal Knowledge To Shar
AudioMaverick Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/19/01
Posts: 1794
Loc: Outskirts of Big Bear, CA,UNIT...
In the Learning Forum, I think there should be time for tinnitus awareness. This affliction will easily hinder any engineer's attempts to do their job. It could end their profession. So, here's my story, and feel free to add your valuable experience and knowledge...

About 12 years ago, I stupidly took way too much Ibuprofen thinking they were for pain, not inflammation. The result was a mild high-frequency tinnitus in both ears, above 16kHz. It only became a problem in really loud venues, such as THX movie theatres ans big production stage events. So, I learned to carry ear plugs and avoid massive amplification in my own gear.

After all these years of avoiding the loud volume scene, I still got hit with nasty high-volume ear ringing... just as I am about to launch my recording venture. maybe it was bad timing, but maybe it was a sign my ears aren't quite qualified for prime time.

I am currently going through my HMO to find out why I've suddenly got this condition. The first doctor seemed actually mystified that I actually hear these high-pitched frequencies. I mean, he tried to explain to me how I was having hearing loss and really couldn't. So, today, I get hooked up with another doctor. My condition had gotten worse, and sleep was beginning to elude me, as well as equilibrium.

I am on a one week regiment of medication for a possible inner ear canal infection. But, is the damage done? I tried to work with the HMO, and nearly 4 weeks have past. I have found a few web sites of interest, with not too much encouragement. And, I've scoured the MP forum to find a few threads, and I've even posted in one.

How do you guys who have it live with it? How do those of you who work to avoid it do so? Here's the few things I've collected...
- http://www.ata.org -- the American Tinnitus Organization
- http://www.anausa.org -- Acoustic Neuroma Association
- Nutritional Supplements:
- Ginkgo Biloba - increases blood flow to the brain
- Niacin - more increases blood flow
- Lipoflavinoids - Supposed to help rejuvenate nerves, but can't find it
- High Blood Pressure - just plain bad
- High Cholesterol - Got a DAW? Remember to walk or jog.
- Below 90dB SPLs - Avoid loud amplification
- Low Stress & Tension levels -- Relax. Stiff neck & jaw muscles?

Supposedly, listening to a "somewhat pure" tone for extended periods could possibly cause that range of your hearing to become affected. I heard computers, all day. User workstations and server rooms with whining hard drives and fans all spin from 3kHz to 15kHz.


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#968132 - 10/23/01 12:07 AM Re: Tinnitus... "Ringing Ears" -- Got Any Good Professional Or Personal Knowledge To Shar
bdbklyn Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 04/04/01
Posts: 1035
Loc: Los Angeles,CA,UNITED STATES
Mav,

Look for sound medical advice here, is probably as foolish as asking us for advice with women.....

You need to see a specialist that can help with your problem. Most doctors that deal with hearing loss are used to dealing with people whose hearing is really dramatically compromised. Try someone at the House Ear Institute.

The tinnitus you got from OD'ing on ibuprofen should go away with time, but it may not. The most common ibuprofen abuse problem is kidney failure, so consider yourself lucky. It certainly could be an infection, as your equilibrium is affected and hopefully that's all it is.

I got an infection in my left Eustachian tube a few years ago that caused me to hear buzzing out of the left side of every set of monitors I listened to from a certain level on up. It was really scary as I couldn't find a doctor that had a medical reason for it. After I stopped doing coke everyday it went away....go figure......

Bill

ps Stay away from the Niacin and Ginko Biloba if you're doing it and try regular Ginseng
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#968133 - 10/23/01 06:51 PM Re: Tinnitus... "Ringing Ears" -- Got Any Good Professional Or Personal Knowledge To Shar
AudioMaverick Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/19/01
Posts: 1794
Loc: Outskirts of Big Bear, CA,UNIT...
Thanks for the reply. I think this second doctor has a handle on my condition. I guess I was looking to see what other people do to try and maintain some sort of "control" over the problem once they get hit. Kind of like the staying away from recreationals or picking up a particular "healthy thing" to do.

Man, I had just about gone wacky with this problem. In less than 5 weeks, I was listening to a forest of crickets and bad brakes. When I wrote this, late Friday night, I was just starting a heavy medical regiment. The second doctor I saw was aware of what was going on -- some sort of inner ear canal infection. Not messing around, since I had this for some weeks, he gave me steroid nasal spray, a steroid pill regimen, a list of herbals (including Niacin & Gingko Biloba). The medication began kicking in some time Saturday, and as the canals began to open, I began a bad condition of nausea, headaches and vertigo. I am still going through it, but I can tell I'm recovering. So, now I'm waiting to see how much of the ringing is going away, but it is already noticeably better. I think I may have inherited a 3kHz tone, but time will tell.

Thanks for the tip on the Gensing... I'll follow up with that. Acupuncture is on my agenda, so I'll see what the practitioner thinks. I'd be interested in hearing what you think are reasons to avoid the Niacin & Gingko Biloba. Fell free to drop an e-mail. You'll notice an icon, above.
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#968134 - 10/26/01 02:50 AM Re: Tinnitus... "Ringing Ears" -- Got Any Good Professional Or Personal Knowledge To Shar
blas Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 03/06/01
Posts: 519
Loc: St. Louis, MO. USA
AM, Bummer man, I can only slightly relate as about 4 years ago while doing my radio show, I got an ear infection that knocked out the right channel in the cans.....it made my work scary! So weird when you depend on stereo hearing, and it's mono coming from one side. Luckily I wasn't recording anyone in the studio or mixing for several weeks. With med's the problem went away. I hope you can claim the same!
By the way...I changed my email address (old provider decided to increase their rates, so I decided to part company with them. So here 'tis:
blasaudioprod@brick.net
Good luck AM, keep me posted.
Blas

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#968135 - 10/26/01 03:34 AM Re: Tinnitus... "Ringing Ears" -- Got Any Good Professional Or Personal Knowledge To Shar
Imagine Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 07/10/01
Posts: 1591
Loc: North Hollywood, CA USA
AM,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Do you know in what area (Hrz) you've lost some of your hearing?

I thought taking Gingko Biloba was a remedy to stop the "Ringing". I've been doing a little research for a friend of mine.

Here's something you might want to look into.

http://www.tinnituscure.tv/

Hope you feel better.

Imagine
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#968136 - 10/26/01 07:25 AM Re: Tinnitus... "Ringing Ears" -- Got Any Good Professional Or Personal Knowledge To Shar
Master Zap Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 12/22/00
Posts: 698
Loc: -,,SWEDEN
Yeah I think a realy whiny harddrive to my right gave me light tinnitus on my right ear.

However, I have a theory. My theory is that ALL "hearing loss" is tinnitus. However, if you hear a sound long enough you stop hearing it. Sort of.

Like for example my parents had a ticking kitchen clock on the wall. It was relatively loud but you were so "used" to the sound you had to make a conscious effort to "hear" it tick, your brain filtered it out.

I think (personal theory) everybody who has upper range hearing loss in actuality has tinnitus, and the "apparent loss" in hearing is simply the masking effect of the tinnitus sounds.

I have a mild beeping and kinda a "pink background noise" in my ears, and tho I still consider the hearing itself to be "perfect" (from my pure sound-engineer point-of-view), sometimes at low level the in-ear 'noise' masks out another sound, i.e. someone said something in another room and I didnt quite catch it because, not of me not hearing it per se, but it being slightly "drowned" in the in-ear background noise.

Of course you have bloodflow in the ears that if you really listen you can actually *hear*. (press your fingers in your hear you'll hear it).

Anyway the harddrive incident made my much more clearly consider the noise environment in which I work... so I killed that drive and replaced it with a silent one, put sound booths over all my PC's... (helps the studio environment a lot). I *got* to do something about my airconditioning unit too which makes a shitload of noise.

Since ditching the harddrive the condition has improved. I have intentionally stayed away from really loud shit too.

Because I also noticed the flip-side of tinnitus - over-sensitivity. I got over-sensitive to the 3k range and felt actual *pain* from clinking silverware, and probably made my mixes duller as a result \:\)

I am in no way "badly affected" by this at all, its really mild, but however, with hearing problems rampant in the family on all sides it's not a promising world unfortunately \:\(

/Z

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#968137 - 10/26/01 11:37 AM Re: Tinnitus... "Ringing Ears" -- Got Any Good Professional Or Personal Knowledge To Shar
sparksongs Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/06/01
Posts: 144
Loc: Rolling Meadows,IL,USA
I've had ringing in my ears ever since I can remember, so I always thought it was normal. It's not really been all that bad or intrusive, but it's been there. Coupled with the ringing was a certain amount of hering loss, which I also thought was normal. I'm also very sensitive to certain loud frequencies (which is called Hyperacusis), which is somewhat bizarre considering it usually happens to people who have some hearing loss. I've played in bands/worked in studios for over 30 years, obviously exposing myself to a lot of loud music. Over time, my hearing has gotten a worse. Last year, I went to have my hearing checked, and the Audiologist told me I was a good candidate for hearing aids (which caused the same reaction in me as when my eye doctor said I needed bi-focals....); actually, I knew it was coming. Interestingly enough, the Audiologist also told me that my hearing loss didn't fit the pattern as being caused by loud noise, which was somewhat of a surprise. So, being the vain individual that I am, I opted for programmable, completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids, which will work if your hearing loss isn't that bad), and believe me....it's a whole new (and noisy) world out there (I had never heard my bones creak before...). They're really pricy, but it was definitely time for me to do it. The upside is that since the ringing is basically from "in my head", my Tinnitus is almost non-existent, since the outside world is now louder, plus I'm not as sensitive to loudness as I was before. So what am I getting at? Well, I'm still playing, recording, mixing (although I do lose shakers in mixes with the hearing aids in, so I do most final mixes with them out), and the songs are sounding better than ever (at least I like to think so). It all becomes a matter of what you can get used to (sort of like which monitors to use...). There's no cure for Tinnitus as of yet, but if you decide to work with it and talk about it with a professional, life can be pretty normal. I can only suggest that you go to an Audiologist (preferably one who works with Tinnitus), get a hearing test, and then discuss your options. Hope this helps.

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#968138 - 10/27/01 02:32 AM Re: Tinnitus... "Ringing Ears" -- Got Any Good Professional Or Personal Knowledge To Shar
ljp Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 63
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Contrary to popular belief, one of the symptoms of tinnitus CAN be hearing sensivity in frequencies not effected by the loss.

I suffer from it (Mickey Hart REALLY can bang LOUD on those damn drums! so can all those drummers I've been crammed next to on stages smaller than a noodle), and can't STAND loud sounds any more (except good music, for brief periods of time)
Vacuums REALLY annoy the hell out of me! Even the constant whirrr of my scsi hard drives annoys me sometimes.

Go to another Doctor if he doesn't know about the over sensitive symptoms of some kinds hearing loss.

That said, OD'ing hearing loss may in fact be temporary. I don't know if nerves actually get damaged, but I know nerves can take a LONG time to heal. I once hit my 'funny bone' on the edge of a Ford Econoline Van unloading heavy equipment for a sound gig. My forearm was pretty numb, although usable. Man was it weird playing bass and not feeling my pinky and ring finger very much. The feeling in my pinky only got back to almost normal in a year.

good luck-

ljp
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#968139 - 10/27/01 05:27 AM Re: Tinnitus... "Ringing Ears" -- Got Any Good Professional Or Personal Knowledge To Shar
AudioMaverick Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/19/01
Posts: 1794
Loc: Outskirts of Big Bear, CA,UNIT...
Those are some good posts.. y'all! This is good for me, and others... I'm sure. I know I'll be seeking some professional help on this.

Imagine - I checked out the site. Right now, I have just finished taking medication addressing "Estaucian" tube blockage. I definitely have noise induced tinnitus. And, I'm on cholesterol medication (numbers are good right now). Hypercaucus sounds like where I was at -- driving to work with my earplugs in to quiet the suddenly loud road noise.

I recently (in the last 4 weeks) had my only fake tooth (a non-gold crown) begin conducting current! It felt like a battery. I read that jaw muscles and dental issues could be a cause of tinnitus. So, I went to the dentist and the 12-year-old tooth got removed -- I get a shinny new $800 tooth on Monday. I have a temporary in and my ears still ring.

MasterZap/sparksongs - I can relate to your environments. My main job is in an IT department. All those computers with fans and drives with dry bearings! I can hear a 2 year old Seagate Cheeta drive from 100 feet -- 10kHz annoying rotational speed. I've always spent minimal time in the noisy areas. But, these last few weeks, I've noticed those office noises that match up with the tones I now hear, and it makes me wonder if it is coincidence. The 3kHz tone is new for me. I've had the 16kHz and above tones for about 13 years, but used to be barely audible. I get the "blood flow' thing once in a while, but only for a few seconds. 2 weeks ago, I started getting this 800Hz tone that would fire up and fade out in about a minute.

llornkcor2 - I'm in my early fourties. Good old Dad doesn't like to talk about family genetics. But, I have found out about some nice health issues that run in the family tree. Hearing loss is there, but Dad won't adminit to hearing sounds. I've tried to avoid the loud rock concerts. But, LA/Orange County traffic is just as bad. In this first year of getting the muti-track running and recording, I've encountered 2 drummers who seemed to be trying to saturate my mics. The decibels were unbelievable. I carry plugs, but sometimes I can't seem to get to them fast enough. Now, I have "cans" for those types. I've tried the earplugs in all or most of the day, and found that it really doesn't help the tinnitus level. I think it made the level worse just as I was crawling into bed. There are some articles on using amplification to overcome and drown the noise.

After readingthrough all these posts, I think I'll be sitting in the audiologists office pretty soon. Something tells me the soon the better. I can say I don't feel so alone, anymore. It is awkwardly comforting to find I'm not unique. Hope there are others out there reading these posts and kicking their butts over to the audiologist. I can't imagine letting vanity take away my hearing.

Thanks all for your posts and support...
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#968140 - 10/27/01 11:03 AM Re: Tinnitus... "Ringing Ears" -- Got Any Good Professional Or Personal Knowledge To Shar
artnoiser Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/02/00
Posts: 333
Loc: Asuncion, PARAGUAY
I don't know whether I got hearing loss or not. But I am usually annoyed by cell phones ringing, not pissed, just annoyed...and suddenly, when I listen to msuic at about 80dB in the studio (most of the times when listening to cd's), I am under the impression that a cell phone is ringing. It happens every so often. Pretty freaky.

I do have a cell phone.

When I get up in the morning, I think everything is ok until I press against my nostrils, close my mouth and exhale, you know, like what you do when you get off a plane, so your ears open up. The difference is astounding in high frequencies.

Sometimes I put in a test cd with tones on to see how high I can hear and when it comes to 16k, I can't hear shite, until I do the "get off the plane" routine, and then I can hear it. The thing is, I don't always think about my ears not hearing the full range that they really are capable of.

What is interesting when my ears do "open up" is all the outside noise I am able to hear...a/c's, computers, busses (they are SO loud here in Paraguay), etc etc etc...

It's a loud world.

art

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#968141 - 10/27/01 07:25 PM Re: Tinnitus... "Ringing Ears" -- Got Any Good Professional Or Personal Knowledge To Shar
Imagine Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 07/10/01
Posts: 1591
Loc: North Hollywood, CA USA
30 Million people in the States alone have Tinnitus...

I have an engineer friend who recently started hearing the "ringing" in his ears. It was a hard week to deal with...

My question to all of you who posted, "Can you still mix with your loss of hearing and Tinnitus"?

Imagine
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#968142 - 10/28/01 02:52 PM Re: Tinnitus... "Ringing Ears" -- Got Any Good Professional Or Personal Knowledge To Shar
AudioMaverick Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/19/01
Posts: 1794
Loc: Outskirts of Big Bear, CA,UNIT...
I haven't done aproject for w few months. So, I am really curious how well I'll do. I'm going to to try and rope a friend into the next session and see he notices anything that I'm 'blowing' that might be attributed the ear problems.

Sparksongs has me in the hopeful arena that once I adjust, I'll be able to do my stuff.

Artnoiser - I'm in a similar dilema with the environmental noise issue. I stopped going to COMDEX (BIG Las Vegas computer industry expo) about 3 years ago. Now, I am carrying extra earplugs whever I go. I feel like my ears are bruised, sometimes. Any loud noise can be frustrating. This morning, the church piano was too loud -- it was amplified. Ido the ear pressure thing, too. My sinuses are always getting full and plugging... hummm.

Here's one to toss out. Anyone have really tight jaw muscles? I read this in a Tinitus flier from ATA.ORG. My jaw muscles have painful spots in them, thet are so tight. I press on these spots, and one of them feels like I'm stabbing my right ear drum! I'm seeing my dentest, tomorrow, anyway. This will by a priority topic. Let y'all know what I find...
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#968143 - 10/30/01 06:57 PM Re: Tinnitus... "Ringing Ears" -- Got Any Good Professional Or Personal Knowledge To Shar
AudioMaverick Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/19/01
Posts: 1794
Loc: Outskirts of Big Bear, CA,UNIT...
Anyone heard of "TMD" or "TMJ"? It is called, "Temporomandibular (Joint) Disorders" I found out is a problem with the jaw muscles and sometimes the joint. It results in tight jaw muscles... and subsequently jaw problems, teeth grinding, facial muscle pain, headaches, and various tinnitus related hearing issues.

It seems I might have this condition. The dentist was somewhat reserved about diagnosing me with it. But, I have most of the symptoms. Muscle relax ation and jaw excercises are already helping.

If anyone want s quick reference on this subject, here are a couple of things I found on "webmd"...
TMD Explained
Mysteries of TMD

I am on my way to recovery. Hope this helps others...
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#968144 - 10/30/01 11:48 PM Re: Tinnitus... "Ringing Ears" -- Got Any Good Professional Or Personal Knowledge To Shar
ljp Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 63
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Thats really interesting. I have heard about that.
I have a friend that has something similiar involving his jaw and hearing.
Thats great that it may be temporary.

About the question about mixing-
ya, I mix fine. Tinnitus only effects certain frequencies, usually. Not the whole bandwidth like deafness. I keep the levels down most of the time, and only listen to it loud when I need too.

ljp
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