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Tinnitus

Old 11-06-18, 10:56 AM
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Tinnitus

Not surprisingly, after a lifetime in construction and the military, not to mention being a guitar player BITD, I have pretty bad tinnitus.(ringing in the ears)

Its one of those strange ailments that doesnt get much attention by medical professionals, so there is no real cure for it. There is even confusion as to what causes it. People who have never been around noise can also get it. I have now been away from most all noise in the last couple of years, and I'm very careful around noise, but it continues to worsen. My worry is how bad will it eventually get?

Anyone else dealing with this and does anyone have any home brew methods for lessening the ringing and turning down the decibals?
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Old 11-06-18, 11:10 AM
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What kinda-sorta ”works” for me is to get enough sleep.
When I get tired, it kicks up several notches.
Which incidentally makes it harder to get enough sleep.
Sometimes, an external noise will make it easier to ignore.
I consume a lot of semi-interesting podcasts at night.
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Old 11-06-18, 11:39 AM
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I also have Tinnitus, a constant very high pitched noise in my head. I've had it for about three years and it started after I was on some strong meds while in the hospital. It seems to modulate up and down thru out the day. Seems worse when I'm stressed. Sometimes it really bothers me and other times I can ignore it. The Tinnitus really decreases my quality of life, that's for sure. As dabac stated, I find that having the radio or TV on helps. I guess my brain can only process one thing at a time! Also I find that If i'm busy mentally I'm less aware of it.

We don't know the blessing we have been given until we loose them!
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Old 11-06-18, 11:40 AM
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My sleep is good, 7-8 hours most nights which is good for 59.

When things are really quiet is when it is the worst, or at least most noticeable, so white noise kinda-sorta works for me as well, but its nothing to write home about. Caffeine definitely kicks it up a notch, but a life without caffeine is no life at all! LOL

Funny how the medical field pretty much ignores this wide-spread problem.
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Old 11-06-18, 01:19 PM
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Ok, So I am a Jazz guitarist and also repair guitars for a living. I have tinnitus and have had it as long as I can remember a high pitch ringing in my left ear, maybe my even my right now. I am completely used to this and the only thing I would like to know is if that could be the reason for being uncoordinated. I am not the most balanced person and always seem to be tripping over my own feet. Does not bother me as far as the bike. It does not effect my guitar playing at least too much that I can tell. I have pretty good relative pitch, not perfect pitch but good relative pitch.

To the OP what is your main guitar?
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Old 11-06-18, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
Ok, So I am a Jazz guitarist and also repair guitars for a living. I have tinnitus and have had it as long as I can remember a high pitch ringing in my left ear, maybe my even my right now. I am completely used to this and the only thing I would like to know is if that could be the reason for being uncoordinated. I am not the most balanced person and always seem to be tripping over my own feet. Does not bother me as far as the bike. It does not effect my guitar playing at least too much that I can tell. I have pretty good relative pitch, not perfect pitch but good relative pitch.

To the OP what is your main guitar?
These days I play a Gibson Blueshawk, but I don't play like I used to. I have a couple of Aria Pro's from the 70's that really can rock. Would love to do jazz these days, as I recently discovered John Pizzerelli. Woh!

Anyway, Im no doctor, but I believe that your balance problem can be from your equilibrium being off due to the tinnitus. Every once in awhile, when I worked construction the dust would get into my sweaty ear and clog it and it definitely would throw my balance off. Even make me dizzy. Peroxide would help bring the dirt out and then I was fine, but it did nothing for my tinnitus. Maybe your ear is clogged?
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Old 11-06-18, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
These days I play a Gibson Blueshawk, but I don't play like I used to. I have a couple of Aria Pro's from the 70's that really can rock. Would love to do jazz these days, as I recently discovered John Pizzerelli. Woh!

Anyway, Im no doctor, but I believe that your balance problem can be from your equilibrium being off due to the tinnitus. Every once in awhile, when I worked construction the dust would get into my sweaty ear and clog it and it definitely would throw my balance off. Even make me dizzy. Peroxide would help bring the dirt out and then I was fine, but it did nothing for my tinnitus. Maybe your ear is clogged?
I play a Hollenbeck archtop I used to work for the late Bill Hollenbeck he did the famous Blue guitar collection. I also have a couple of D'angelico s I have owned for over 30 years. Today I need to refret a customers Les Paul and hopefully the ears will not ring too much.

My balance issues surface more lately as I am a long distance runner and sometimes I just feel like I am not striding and landing on my feet correct. .
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Old 11-07-18, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
I play a Hollenbeck archtop I used to work for the late Bill Hollenbeck he did the famous Blue guitar collection. I also have a couple of D'angelico s I have owned for over 30 years. Today I need to refret a customers Les Paul and hopefully the ears will not ring too much.

My balance issues surface more lately as I am a long distance runner and sometimes I just feel like I am not striding and landing on my feet correct. .
Nice guitars for sure! Nice career as well.

I think age is a factor in balance. At 59, in spite of being in decent shape, I am not as well coordinated nor balanced as I was as a young man. For instance, I find walking over rough and uneven ground causes me to stumble a bit and I just don't seem quite as steady on my feet like I used to be. Just part of the aging process I guess...
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Old 11-07-18, 04:32 AM
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Been dealing with it for decades. Constant crickets. Have you been checked for hearing aids? When I got mine, it seemed like the tinnitus is less obtrusive, I guess because you're hearing more real stuff.
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Old 11-07-18, 05:00 AM
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I once passed a construction site where the men working had no eye, nose, or ear protection. I finally stopped on day and asked one of those gentleman to look at his arm (it was covered with construction dust). I told him that if that much dust is on your arm, imagine what you're breathing in. I hoped they got the hint, but I doubt it. You can't turn back your hearing but you can protect what you have left. Take care of yourself.

BTW, have you talked to a doctor about this? We have our eyes checked regularly but most people never get their ears/hearing checked, and take it completely for granted. I had mine checked once in my life. Hearing loss is the # 1 disability for veterans, but I do recall hearing about medication that helps with tinnitus.
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Old 11-07-18, 09:06 AM
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I have been checked by 3 doctors in the past 5 or 6 years, and 1 was the VA. All said there is nothing to cure tinnitus and they also can't tell me if it will get worse or not. I am borderline for hearing aids, so if I want them, the VA will give them to me. I may soon take them up on there offer.

I actually protected myself pretty well, but there were just times you had to get things done and you didn't have your hearing protection with you. In those days, nobody was going to wait for you to get your ear plugs, it was just go, go, go! Today it is very different. And playing guitar BITD with ear plugs just wasn't happening!
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Old 11-07-18, 09:15 AM
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Old 11-08-18, 09:55 AM
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I have experienced tinnitus for decades. Fortunately I tune it out and it doesn't bother me. As soon as someone mentions it (or I read a post like this) the ringing jumps to the foreground. I recently got new Resound hearing aids at Costco. The technician mentioned that there is a tinnitus setting that plays gentle nature sounds or something that allows some users to block the tinnitus. I opted not to use it since I don't want to swap a background noise that might bother me for one that doesn't.
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Old 11-08-18, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
What kinda-sorta ”works” for me is to get enough sleep.
When I get tired, it kicks up several notches.


This seems to be one of my triggers, as well.

Two others I've noticed:

Too much caffeine. It didn't really click until after my heart attack, but when the rehab ladies told me to stay away from caffeine, the tinnitus let up. (Strangely enough my cardiologist says drink all the caffeine you want. He does.)

Wind noise seems to crank up the tinnitus for the next day or two. I stopped at a cotton field last weekend and found a full boll in the already-picked field, separated out the seeds, and put the resulting cotton balls in my ears. No tinnitus that night. (I understand some people may have to prepare and procure cotton balls ahead of time -- it's one of the benefits to living in the south!)

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Old 11-08-18, 10:43 AM
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I have other Audio I listen to,
rather than only have the infinite number of crickets,
all going non stop, to hear.
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Old 11-08-18, 03:15 PM
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About 5 or 6 years ago I had a nasty head cold. I suspect some bacteria got in the ears and damaged them as ever since then I have had tinnitus. Most days it is OK to deal with, however some days it is really loud! I do find that a quiet room is best for me, and loud noise is troubling. There is nothing a doc can do about it, so why bother telling them?
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Old 11-08-18, 04:30 PM
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Why do people keep saying these things? Health is not just about the physical, its mental as well. I have chronic back and shoulder pain and its not just debilitating, but affects all aspects of my psychological well-being. Treating it means combining medical, physical, and mental treatments.
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Old 11-08-18, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Why do people keep saying these things? Health is not just about the physical, its mental as well. I have chronic back and shoulder pain and its not just debilitating, but affects all aspects of my psychological well-being. Treating it means combining medical, physical, and mental treatments.
I think we say these things about tinnitus because there is no medical or physical treatment at all. Its not like you can take a drug and go to physical therepy for this. And the only psychological treatment I know of is white noise, which is pretty weak.

When you tell a doctor, even a hearing specialist, the answer is about 10 seconds long. There is no dialogue or treatment to discuss at all as there are for most ailments.
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Old 11-09-18, 09:07 AM
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I've had tinnitus for years now. I'm 63 years young, it is bothersome at times. I can't even hear crickets because of the ringing and as you learn to tune it out, you'll also be tuning out other noises and conversations also.
I've been told hearing loss social wise is worse than vision loss, because you lose the ability to to interact socially. As someone who has had both problems, my cateracts were removed and new multi-focal lenses installed. I miss hearing conversations and do feel left out in large groups of people as you can only say pardon me/what so many times....... Anyway take care of what you have left, it means a lot........
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Old 11-09-18, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Why do people keep saying these things? Health is not just about the physical, its mental as well. I have chronic back and shoulder pain and its not just debilitating, but affects all aspects of my psychological well-being. Treating it means combining medical, physical, and mental treatments.
Kinda odd, isn't it? Over the years, so much has been made of how a good mental well being can help you healthier and heal better. Yea ... maybe. But everyone forgets the obvious .. that pain and physical difficulties can really screw up your psychological well-being. They truly are all connected.

Hell, I might have tinnitus. Sitting here in silence, I can hear a high frequency noise in the background. But I only hear it if I notice it. If I'm busy with anything else at all, it disappears.
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Old 11-09-18, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Kinda odd, isn't it? Over the years, so much has been made of how a good mental well being can help you healthier and heal better. Yea ... maybe. But everyone forgets the obvious .. that pain and physical difficulties can really screw up your psychological well-being. They truly are all connected.

Hell, I might have tinnitus. Sitting here in silence, I can hear a high frequency noise in the background. But I only hear it if I notice it. If I'm busy with anything else at all, it disappears.
The medical profession is recognizing more and more how much these two are connected and related. Pills and potions don't always fix everything; and in cases like these where they can't help at all, the best we can do is deal with the psychological aspects as best you can. The mental health therapy does helps in many cases, but I can personally state that the quality of life is still reduced significant nonetheless.

Last edited by KraneXL; 11-18-18 at 10:13 AM. Reason: sp
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Old 11-12-18, 04:43 PM
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My tinnitus goes from loud to louder, 24/7/365. Too many years exposed to jet engines at full power, gunfire, etc..........
sleep averages about 5-6 hours of hour or so naps, not good. Having planes flying around the world puts me on call 24/7, not a good scenario for decent sleep. Constant high pitch whine for I forget how many years. Good part is it is close to my wife’s voice pitch, gives me an excuse................LOL
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Old 11-18-18, 09:19 AM
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Almost constant ring

I am 66 and have had tinnitus for years. It has gotten worse as I age. I was bartender for many years and worked in loud bars/nightclubs, worked construction jobs off and on, did a lot of hunting/shooting and listened to my own loud music a lot. I did not start wearing ear protection until the mid nineties when my ears had already started to hurt from loud noise. Most of the time the tinnitus does not bother me much. However, there are occasions when it really bugs me, like now typing this response, at night when trying to fall back to sleep. I also have chronic back and shoulder pain that increases the tinnitus when the pain really flares up, like this morning cleaning house. I think some of that just comes from the mind having more focus on the pain. When I can keep my head occupied both the pain and the tinnitus are less severe. I am getting ready to go for a bike ride and that usually helps. Indoor riding does not help, I think I actually just notice the noise more from lack of distraction. Bicycling has been been, and continues to be, a large part of both my mental and physical well being. I certainly agree that all aspects of ones health are tied together. Chronic pain can, and does, have a huge effect on my well being, and being mentally/emotionally down definitely increase my awareness of physical pain. I don't much complain to others about my issues, but I have a lot of times when I am discontent in my own thoughts.
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Old 11-19-18, 05:50 AM
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Something I have never had happen happened Friday.........had to remove a screen frame on our back porch to get a hot tub out. Would not budge, so I used a rubber mallet and a 2x4, 2x4 on the screen frame and strike with the mallet. It let off a weird noise that instantly felt like an ice pick had been shoved in my ears, head felt stuffed all evening and when I spoke had an echo in my ears........Saturday morning all back to normal. Never in a million years would Ihave thought just striking a metal fram with a piece of wood would do that!
delbiker1, I also have chronic back pain and bad right shoulder. Going to pay attention and see if when they flare up if my ears gets worse...................
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