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Somewhat off topic: Tinnitus


kerk

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I have a mild dose of tinnitus (but because it is completely internal there is no way for me to compare the degree of affliction) brought on by a chronic childhood ear infection that ate away my left eardrum. (I had the eardrum replaced about 30 years ago like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tympanoplasty )

 

To me it sounds like rain on a tiled roof - same sort of hissing sound (but slightly different in each ear), similar volume level. It does not affect my day to day life as far as I'm concerned, but others (in particular my adult girl child who gabbles) say I'm deaf and need to get it fixed. I have no trouble using a phone, I don't have to have the TV turned up etc etc. The only thing that gives me trouble is background noise - I find it hard to follow a conversation in a noisy environment. I have lost quite a bit of hearing in the higher frequencies, and this seems to make it harder for me to follow some conversations eg I might not be able to tell whether my daughter is saying 'theme' or 'seem'. However, I am at the age where is it permissible to have selective deafness.

 

I sometimes use Hearos at LOUD rehearsals because the guitars play too loud and it's painful. Our drummer always wears industrial earmuffs for the same reason.

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I hear mosquitoes all the time. And if someone crumples up a plastic shopping bag, it totally obliterates what they are saying at the time. I can't hold a conversation in a bar; it's painful. I've been told that when you lose some frequencies, the others get proportionately louder. Maybe that explains why I prefer the TV quieter than my wife, unless the faucet is running (or something else....); then I need it louder.

 

I use foam earplugs all the time now when using any two-stroke motor, the lawnmower, or the hedge trimmer. I have Sonic II rubber ear plugs; they do nothing. I keep a pair of foam earplugs in that little watch pocket in your blue jeans; I put them in when the music/bandstand gets too loud. I pull them out just a little bit to adjust the volume as needed, which means that the ear closer to the drummer doesn't get pulled out since snare drum hits hurt. Ouch... Ouch... Ouch... Sometimes I hate the goddamn 2 and 4. And I hate that the earplugs immediately kill the nuance that makes music cool.

 

The foam earplugs get kinda gross after awhile, but they clean up real nice if you leave them in the wash. They end up falling out of the watch pocket, but they're clean and back to their original bright orange when the cycle is done.

 

My father was right. That bastard.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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I have a mild dose of tinnitus (but because it is completely internal there is no way for me to compare the degree of affliction) brought on by a chronic childhood ear infection that ate away my left eardrum. (I had the eardrum replaced about 30 years ago like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tympanoplasty )

 

To me it sounds like rain on a tiled roof - same sort of hissing sound (but slightly different in each ear), similar volume level. It does not affect my day to day life as far as I'm concerned, but others (in particular my adult girl child who gabbles) say I'm deaf and need to get it fixed. I have no trouble using a phone, I don't have to have the TV turned up etc etc. The only thing that gives me trouble is background noise - I find it hard to follow a conversation in a noisy environment. I have lost quite a bit of hearing in the higher frequencies, and this seems to make it harder for me to follow some conversations eg I might not be able to tell whether my daughter is saying 'theme' or 'seem'. However, I am at the age where is it permissible to have selective deafness.

 

I sometimes use Hearos at LOUD rehearsals because the gits play too loud and it's painful. Our drummer always wears industrial earmuffs for the same reason.

 

Slow, you described my symptoms to a T, except mine is a constant ring, but not really a 'ring', it's like holding a constant note on a synthesizer in the key of E. I don't know what this key of E is officially called, but if you play with a slide on a guitar, it is the E that you'll hit half way between the bridge and the 12th fret on the high E string.

 

Been living with it for years, but lately have been wondering how nice it would be to have it gone. I always sleep with some form of white noise to cover it up.

 

Lately I've heard some claims on the radio about something called 'Quitus'? (SP) Waiting to see some reviews on it.

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I have hearing loss from many years of loud environments, but Tinnitus is different. Mine came after 16 weeks of chemotheropy. It is a constant high pitch rininging in the ears. It is only bothersome in a quiet environment, like trying to go to sleep. I usually keep a radio or TV on just enough to drown out the noise. I have friends that have horrible Tinnitus and there is no cure. The only thing you can do is have competing noise to drown it out.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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I have had tinnitus ever since Feb 1970 when I attended a Who concert in a gigantic high school gymnasium outside Frankfurt, Germany. I got there way early and installed myself standing against the center of the stage (elbows resting on the stage). There were no seats at this concert. There was no security preventing fans from standing up against the stage.

 

For an hour and a half my unguarded ear drums were bombarded with the loudest music I have ever heard; especially Keith Moon's bass drum which was 8 feet in front of me and level with my ears.

 

My tinitus sounds like listening to a seashell. The noise is constant but sometimes gets louder for a day or two for no apparent reason. I've just gotten used to it over the years.

 

Is the tinitus worth the concert experience I had? Hell yes!

 

"99 And 1/2 Just Won't Do"
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I have had tinnitus ever since Feb 1970 when I attended a Who concert in a gigantic high school gymnasium outside Frankfurt, Germany. I got there way early and installed myself standing against the center of the stage (elbows resting on the stage). There were no seats at this concert. There was no security preventing fans from standing up against the stage.

 

For an hour and a half my unguarded ear drums were bombarded with the loudest music I have ever heard; especially Keith Moon's bass drum which was 8 feet in front of me and level with my ears.

 

My tinitus sounds like listening to a seashell. The noise is constant but sometimes gets louder for a day or two for no apparent reason. I've just gotten used to it over the years.

 

Is the tinitus worth the concert experience I had? Hell yes!

 

I know what you mean. 72, The Who, Deutschess Museum, Munich, 4th row center.

 

I'm suprised Townshend can still hear at all.

 

But what a show.

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Ay?

 

I'm surprised that I hear as well as I do. I can hear a mouse pissing on a cotton ball a mile away. I have to sleep with the TV on because I'll wake up if I hear the slightest noise and then, due to my insomnia, I won't be able to fall back asleep. The TV allows my brain to register most other noises as just the TV. The only time I have difficulty is when someone is yelling in my ear at a very loud place. If they talk normally and away from my ear a bit I'm much better off but alcohol consumption limits people's ability to talk like that.

 

 

If you think my playing is bad, you should hear me sing!
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I have a very slight ringing in my ears. The only time I notice it though is when it's completely quiet. otherwise my high frequency hearing is normal. I do seem to have a bit of trouble with certain midrange frequencys though. I suppose I need to get my hearing tested to know for sure.

My guitar player has tinitus and was given this medication for it that unfortunatly caused him to lose potassium. To a pretty dangerous level. Screwed him up pretty badly and put the band out of commission for a bit. He's better now but I don't know what he's doing for his tinitus.

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Most of us, who love loud music, are probably not aware of how bad our hearing might be. I was not until I had a hearing test. I have only 60% in the right ear and 70% in the left. Most of the loss is high frequencies. I can't hear anything above 11,000 hz. I do get tired of my wife saying, "your turn signals are still on"

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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Most of us, who love loud music, are probably not aware of how bad our hearing might be. I was not until I had a hearing test. I have only 60% in the right ear and 70% in the left. Most of the loss is high frequencies. I can't hear anything above 11,000 hz. I do get tired of my wife saying, "your turn signals are still on"

Rocky

 

I'm probably 50/50 with the turn signals, but I have gotten an elbow to the ribs from my wife a couple times in the past for playing with the change in my pocket at church. Can't hear it at all.

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I hear things sometimes, mostly like a whisper. Specially when it says "DON't go buy that bass/cab/etc...". But I try not to listen.

 

For some time I played keyboards with a platinum-winning popular local artist. The $&%$$& used to run a HUGE sound system both on PA and onstage, and my keyboards rig always stood right besides a HUGE Cervin-Vega sidefill system. From the 3rd gig on (and this lasted a nice couple years), I ALWAYS wore rubber plugs from backstage onward.

 

I used to play somewhat loud as a guitar player, fortunately with a small amp, so "care awareness" always made me turn it down before it cracked. Then I learned the delights of playing softer, but with a nice, powerful and well defined sound. I still carry with me all the time at least a pair of foam plugs, and on certain recording situations I use those isolation things that look like headphones to protect me from certain SPL levels. Also, onstage I am mmore and more frequently wearing in-ear monitors, which I like to set at a VERY low volume. This way I use them as ear plugs, thus filtering most of the stage sound, and then I complement with the receiver's volume control. Some times the gig gets real, damaging loud.

 

A guitar player I know is on his second year off due to tinnitus. He got it real bad. Another guitar playing friend, and also a former recording engineer, was totally unable to mix his own record, having to rely on another guy to do so, due to some tinnitus and hearing loss, even before reaching 40. I use headphones at the office, for several hours a day, and try to be very aware of volume and ear-resting time. Still, it scares me so...

 

 

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My hearing loss is mainly in my left ear (ride cymbal, early 80's). I have a constant ringing in that ear also. I originally went to the doctor because of vertigo problems and the advice of the specialist was to wear ear plugs in loud situations and I used to wear one in my left ear while playing.

The vertigo went away, the ringing didn't. If the music is way loud I will cut 1/3 off of an ear plug. That keeps that the bad noise out but still lets me hear. Noises at work can cause hearing loss too.

 

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Most of my hearing loss in my left ear, also. And at least partitially for the same reason as jlrush mentioned. But I have tinnitus in both ears caused not only by loud bands, but also 30+ years of working in the construction industry and too many live fire situations in the military.

 

From the time I started to realize what was happening, I've worn hearing protection religiously. But it was too late to save my high frequency hearing. My right ear can still hear most of what's up there. My left ear is much worse, so I have trouble pinpointing the direction high frequencies are coming from. (Makes it a real bee-atch to find my phone sometimes.)

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Your hearing slowly degrades over time. The hair folicles in your ears get worn. The brain is very clever and as the folicles get worn, it 'turns up' the amplification to compensate. This is why you don't notice it and why it is so dangerous. Eventually the folicles are so worn and it can't turn up the amplification any more and all you are left with is the hissing.

 

The problem is in a quiet environment you are left listening to the hissing/ringing, it becomes more noticable and you focus on it and so it gets louder. You can learn to tune it out by not worrying about it, the brain will then 'turn down' the amplification, forget about trying to listen for it and the hissing/ringing will become less.

 

The more you worry over it the worse it will become.

 

It's a bit like living next to a train track or a busy road. When you first move in your brain recognises the trains/cars as a new and alien sound, after a while your brain learns that its just normal background noise and you don't hear it. Its still there but you don't hear it because you're not listening for it.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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Your hearing is the first sense to get dulled by Alcohol, your hearing is affected even well before your balance, both are centred around your ear follicles. Ever wondered why people shout when they are drunk? Another reason why drinking and playing is not a good idea.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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Great posts, "Number 6", thanks!

 

Thanks. Well spotted. That's a hangover from the old forum where they showed our member numbers under our avatars. Not many people have spotted it.

 

Rocky, one of the guitarists I play with got tinnitus last year. In the UK we all use the NHS, but some of us have private healthcare insurance as as well. They paid for him to have a 2 hour session with the top hearing doctor in the UK. He can now talk for England on the subject which must be quite boring if you are not a musician. ;) But fascinating if you are a knowledge sponge like me.

 

He also goes into explanations how people who work in anechoic chambers often experience it because there is no sound and no echoes and their brain goes loopy trying to hear something that is not there, but as soon as they leave the chamber everything is back to normal.

 

I believe he is coping well with the psychological exercises she gave him, I'll report back when I see him next.

 

Rocky stay well.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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Its not perfect and I think we may be stepping into the 'political' no-no on this forum. All I will say is that it has taken 60 years to build up to the position we are in now. Almost everybody alive today was born with the help of the NHS, from pre natal scans to birth and after care. I know that the cost of this in the States would be huge, we pay for it from our taxes.

 

The way I look at it you either pay for your healthcare through private health insurance (if your employer pays, this means you get less wages), or you pay through state insurance via taxes (and you still get less wages). Nothing really is for free. The bonus of a state funded NHS is that everybody gets the treatment they need, and those who can afford more and pay extra to private healthcare can get treated quicker in nicer hospitals, or like my friend pay for specialist treatment.

 

All of your cancer treatment (scans, hospital stays, medicines etc) would have been 'free at the point of delivery' apart from any secondary medicines that you would take home like paracetamol. We pay around £6 ($12) for each prescription no matter what the prescription was worth.

 

Like any huge system it can be open to abuse and people slip through the net. These cases are quite rare and always make the news.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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Thanks, I was just curious if you were comfortable with it. We know it can always stand improvement. My daughter-in-law is a Geeral Surgeon in nothern Minnisota. She operates about 6 times per day. She said over 75% of her patients come in from Canada where they cannot get the service needed.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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Back to Tinnitus, I am assuming that this problem does not only result from loud environments but could be medical problems within the body. I have several styles of earplugs, none seem to make a big difference.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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tinnitus can be either in the ear or in the brain itself.. the part that processes sound, I would guess. I just caught the last part of a show on it.. and apparently there is a treatment for it that can completely remove some types, by using some sort of ultrasound device placed against the bone behind the ear. It looked pretty cool... from what I could determine, it was used to cure the kind that is actually from inside the brain, but I didn't catch the whole segment so my info is sketchy. Since I suffer from tinnitus as well as hearing loss, I am definitely going to research this further... I'll post what I find out as soon as I do.

 

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