Do you suffer from tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ulf_kurt, Nov 9, 2000.

  1. ulf_kurt


    Feb 10, 2000
    Umea, Sweden
    I have some questions in a really awful but nonetheless important subject! I'm making a schoolproject on Tinnitus. If you dont already know what tinnitus is, a simple explanaition would be "constant ringing(or other type of irritating sound)in the ears caused(probably) by loud music without wearing earprotection. I am a bassplayer myself, and thought it would be interesting to hear your version of the problem.

    1. Describe your tinnitus. How/when does it appear?
    2. When did you first notice it?
    3. Do you know what caused it?
    4. Have you visited a doctor etc. to get treatment?
    5. If so what kind of treatment was recommended?
    6. Has the problem increased/decreased?
    7. How do you protect your hearing?
    8. Do you have friends/family who also suffer from tinnitus?

    All input's welcome!

    cheers Ulf/

    [Edited by ulf_kurt on 11-09-2000 at 07:43 AM]
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Pardon...what did you say? Can't hear for all this ringing!

    I let off a "Mega AirBomb" the other day which didn't get very far off the ground for some reason and really left my ears ringing! Guy Fawkes and all you know! ;)
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    1. It's there all the time, usually it's not noticeable because it's not too bad yet. I can hear it clearly when it's very quiet (like when trying to go to sleep).

    2. Well, I've had ringing in my ears after loud shows (playing or listening) for years, that's common. Probably noticed about five years ago that it didn't go away the next day or the day after.

    3. Being around loud music without earplugs.

    4. No

    5, 6. N/A

    7. I use generic earplugs when gigging, going to shows, mowing the lawn, etc.

    8. The fiddler in a folk band I play in has it very bad. He's also an audiophile and nuts about high quality audio. Sort of a sick joke on him, unfortunately. Not sure how he got it, he has never played in electric bands. He has it very badly, just playing his fiddle at home he has to wear earplugs. I suspect he will have to give up fiddling in a year or two.
  4. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    1. Describe your tinnitus. How/when does it appear? I used to have a steady, yet very mild ringing in my ears until I started wearing earplugs.

    2. When did you first notice it? After an Iron Maiden show in 1988

    3. Do you know what caused it? See #2, plus played drums with no earplugs for years

    4. Have you visited a doctor etc. to get treatment? never

    5. If so what kind of treatment was recommended?

    6. Has the problem increased/decreased? gone

    7. How do you protect your hearing? wear earplugs when jamming, concerts

    8. Do you have frinds/family who also suffer from tinnitus?
    Talk Basser "Willie Dizon" has it, seriously. Ask him, but speak loudly! :D
  5. You gotta type in ALL CAPS when talking to him! :)
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Seriously - I 've noticed that distorted sounds and more specifically, those that are high pitched and harsh, hurt my ears a lot - like distorted guitars. But I can take any volume of distortion-free bassy sounds with no discomfort.

    I think most people have experienced some residue noise in their ears after a loud concert, but this usually passes after a few days. I find that as I get older it takes longer for the "ringing" to pass and I am left with a very quiet buzzing, that I can hear when there is silence, but doesn't cause me any problems at all.

    I just don't go to loud concerts any more - usually I just go to Jazz gigs where there is an "acoustic" level. The band I am in have all agreed that we don't want to hurt our ears anymore and try to keep volume as low as possible on stage or at rehearsals.

    I have never used earplugs though, and in my youth went to some of the loudest gigs ever - like Led Zep at Earl's Court and sought out the loudest places. I also have been a frequenter of Grand Prix racing and Airshows, where the volume is - I can promise you - far louder than any concert - and I relished the volume. As an example, I was in the pits at Brands Hatch for the World Sportscar Championship, when two 7-litre Jaguars started up - you've never heard volume like that in a confined space! And I was the only one without ear defenders. :(

    I think I have probably been very lucky and I won't take any more chances with my hearing, but it does make me wonder why some people seem very susceptible to this and others not? :confused:
  7. lowfreqguy


    Oct 18, 2000
  8. 1) Very high pitched tone, constantly present. Sometimes more than one frequency can be apparent. Exposure to loud music makes it worse for a while. It's intensity varys from day to day.

    2) I first noticed that it didn't go away any more maybe 8 years ago or so.

    3) Loud metal concerts and standing a few feet from crash cymbals at head level during rehearsals for years.

    4) I visited an audiologist and had a complete hearing exam and we determined that my actual hearing loss is minimal, but the tinnitus is there and it's there to stay.

    5) I talked to my audiologist about possible treatments and basically, there is no proven treatment. I've heard that your diet can affect it. Certain drugs can increase or even cause it. A friend of mine was perscribed various drugs to treat it, such as specific steroids or muscle relaxers. I don't know if it ever did him any good.

    6) It's been pretty steady. Being more conscious of the problem and being more protective of my hearing has helped it from getting any worse.

    7) I have custom made musician's ear plugs.

    8) I mentioned my friend in #5. His realization about his tinnitus led me to understand my own problem with it. My father in law has tinnitus along with some hearing loss as a result of guns and artillary shells blasting and **** like that while in the military.

    My advice: to avoid it, use hearing protection all the time. It only takes one good dose of damage to make it permanent. I have it as a result of being exposed to loud music over many, many years. But I'm convinced it could happen overnight.

    There are several theories about what tinnitus actually is and it is highly debated. Medical science today as far as I know still doesn't really understand it. The best explanation of it that I have heard, which I tend to agree with, is that certain cilia(sp?) in your inner ear which are responsible for the specific frequency of hearing (which correlates to the frequency of the ringing you hear) have become damaged in some way and are basically "stuck on". What I mean is that normally that particular cell only sends info to your brain when its corresponding "hair" is stimulated by its assigned frequency, but this cell or its "hair" is damaged and as a result, it is sending that info all the time, which is perceived by the brain as sound.
  9. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    You know, research on this area says that sounds that you generally feel uncomfortable with are more likely to damage your hearing than sounds you like to hear. Perhaps you simply don't like guitars, but love bass! Seriously! :)

    Add to that, that the ear is more sensitive to certain frequencies than others, e.g. the area around 2000 Hz (nasal guitar area) is more likely to cause you problems than the area around 50 (bass area) or even 10.000 Hz. Also, sudden, surprising attacks of loud noise is more damaging than even noise, increasing in volume over time. If you go from total silence and something suddenly says BAM at 100 dB, you'd be more hurt than, over a period time, getting used to the same sound at, let's say, 110 dB.

    Makes sense?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I am! :cool:

    And, BTW, my dad has tinnitus (which to some degree is hereditary), so I am very cautious with my hearing. There is NO reason to NOT use earplugs and EVERY reason to do so!
  10. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    Interesting discussion. Thinking back, I've apparently had Tinnitus for several years now... well before I ever started playing music or even listening to alot. If anything, it was caused for me by sitting too close to the television. =)

    It is constantly present, most notable when there's some measure of silence around... which may explain why I don't sleep well without some kind of low droning sound (like a floor fan) to focus in on. It's not too bad right now and mostly exists in upper registers. I normally don't notice the effect, since I guess my brain is being distracted by thinking of something else or possibly by hearing other sounds.

    I play fairly regularly, but the sound is never very loud (I mostly play in a high school jazz band while standing behind the horns, so the drums are the only loud things around as my amp volume is never all that high), so I don't wear earplugs. And since the problem showed up a while before I started playing music, that's probably not the cause. Still, maybe I should start wearing earplugs one certain special occasions...
  11. Huh?
    That's what I get for standing by Acacia's drums!!!

    I don't have tinnitus,I always do warm up excersises before I play.My wrists,forearms,and hands feel fine.
    Oh,you said TINNITUS.

    Seriously,I've worn earplugs for years and most of my hering is still intact.I don't want to end up like Pete Townsend,Ted Nugent and Jeff Beck. To my recollection,Beethoven was the most famous and prolific of all the deaf musicians/composers to ever live.Did you see Immortal Beloved?Check it out.
  12. I have almost never played in loud bands but my nephews dog put her muzzle against my ear and barked loud instant tinnitus. Now I wear ear plugs if the drummer is loud and use caution around animals.

  13. 1. Describe your tinnitus. How/when does it appear?
    It first appeared about 7 years ago. It is constant but is most noticeable when i'm say at a pub and there's a band/dj playing - i find it incredibly difficult to make out conversations with my friends - the sounds tend to blur together and words become indistinguishable.

    2. When did you first notice it?
    I don't really remember a specific date - it would have been after a concert (where you usually get ringing) that didn't go away like it used to

    3. Do you know what caused it?
    No doubt - loud music. I've only been playing live for 3 years but have regularly gone to see live bands from the time i was about 13. Always used to get as close to the speakers as possible (you know the story - 6ft tall and bulletproof!!)

    4. Have you visited a doctor etc. to get treatment?

    5. If so what kind of treatment was recommended?

    6. Has the problem increased/decreased?
    Possibly a slight increase - not by much though

    7. How do you protect your hearing?
    Stand close to the back of a room at gigs (away from speakers) and i'm going to get some earplugs in the very near future as i hope to be gigging again soon

    8. Do you have friends/family who also suffer from tinnitus?
    A couple of my friends who also play music have the same kind of thing going on
  14. ulf_kurt


    Feb 10, 2000
    Umea, Sweden
    Thank you all for your replies, they've all been very helpful! :)

    thanks a lot
    cheers ulf/
  15. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Very high fevers can cause tinnitis and I think I began to first suffer from the disorder twenty years ago when I caught Dengue Fever in the Philippines. That is a mosquito born disease similar to malaria in symptoms. The tinnitus was permanent after that, but was made far worse (by that I mean...the endless ringing is louder, more intrusive) from the years I spent in a metal/hip hop band playing beside two guitarists with Marshall stacks turned up "to eleven" and a drummer who beat the heck out of his cymbols and smare. And, yes, I wore earplugs, but at those volumes, even the best are only palliative.

    I hear the ringing when it is quiet, so I try to always keep some background "noise" going like a fan at night or music playing or the TV on so I don't have to listen to my head. Honestly, the high frequency ringing can get on your nerves and I have read that some people had it so bad they killed themselves. I'm not that bad, thank God, but it does get to me sometimes.

    It sounds like a high frequency tone you sometimes hear on radio stations that are practcing the required government alarm test, but I have a friend who says hers sounds like water running all the time. Hers was so bad she had to take antidepressants to help her deal with the disorder. Hers was NOT noise related, but instead was caused by a bad reaction to some very strong antibiotics.

    Jason Oldsted
  16. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    My symptoms are the pretty much the same as others described. (Excuse me, Honey, WILL YOU GET THE PHONE?!). For help, link to or, (dammit, THERE'S THE PHONE AGAIN!), They helped me out. Gotta go, the #x%@*&ing phone won't stop.

    This message brought to you courtesy of Eminence and Celestion speakers.