Tinnitus & Hearing Loss

I think there’s a real problem with damage to our hearing caused by some of our favourite pastimes. Whether you’re a DJ or a punter, not many that I’ve ever noticed, wear ear protection. I’d say it’s almost impossible to get people to wear any, until they start experiencing issues. Perhaps things are different now but I rarely saw anyone at Plastic People for example, with ear defenders. And that rig was loud.

Presumably, for a lot of you fellow disco-codgers, that mildly annoying ringing noise we’d experience as a souvenir of a big night out when we were younger, eventually failed to subside. Personally, I prefer to not talk about it too much, as the attention I give to it, only makes it worse. I’ve yet to have problems getting to sleep but I definitely listen to less music at home as a result.

Any of you found the wonder-cure or at least a favoured way to take your mind off it?

Not that cheery a topic but it’s a legit concern for all. I think I was initially inspired to say something about this, after seeing the ‘What are you listening to now, I mean right now in this moment?’ thread.

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My girlfriend spent much of her early life with her head in a bassbin and is a tinnitus sufferer. She has to sleep with a fan or some kind of white noise on.

Think you can get various therapies for it but there’s no cure as such.

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I remember Ewan Pearson writing a blog about this years ago. Around the same time I heard from Lil Tony that he had serious issues with this after playing in a Berlin club where the sound engineer had been up for days and fell asleep on the mixing desk and had pushed the volume up too high. So I started wearing some quality ear plugs. They take a bit of time to adjust your hearing (maybe 15 minutes after putting into your ears in a club) but then the music does sound fine and loud enough. I’d recommend for anyone going out regularly.

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I’d be interested to see the blog you mention. Google not turning much up for me.

Does that mean you have to sleep with a fan on too or do you sleep in different rooms? What about one of those wave machines. Do they work?

I bought myself several pairs of earplugs after reading a thread about this on RA a while back. I’ve been a drummer since I was 8 (31 now) and played enough in loud situations to know it can hurt, but as a teenager never did anything about it. When I started DJing and going to a lot of parties, same thing happened, until I went to my first party with earplugs and realized I didn’t have to go to sleep with ears ringing ever again. Never got the balls to shell out the dough for specially made ones, but these have served me well, as well as the Alpine models which are similar. Until the pandemic started I had them on my house keys.

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I didn’t choose the fan life, the fan life chose me. I’ve gotten used to it

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It used to be on Ewan’s website, he used to have a blog on there. Doesn’t seem to do it any longer.

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could it possibly be this one?

https://web.archive.org/web/20081219200541/http://www.ewanpearson.com/enthusiasm/2008/05/groove-column-2.html

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Yes! Your Google skills are better than mine.

After djing jungle dnb for many years usually with a couple of those naaaasty jbl pa horns cranked up, funnily enough, the thing that killed 16% of hearing on left side was holding my daughter while crying. Baby harpy. Also, the older I got, the better sound systems I was exposed to. Usually now Catch me bubbling at the back near the sound guy / bar haha

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I’ve told myself for years to get some of the proper moulded ear defenders but I’ve never gotten around to it, and I definitely do now have mild tinnitus. It’s so important to wear some kind of ear protection.

An ex DJ pal of mine Simon Baker suffered badly with it and went for Craniosacral Therapy; he had such a positive experience through it that’s he re-trained as a therapist himself and now offers holistic treatment for tinnitus - Simon Baker Holistic Health - Simon Baker Holistic Health - Craniosacral Therapy & Reflexology

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I’ve got tinnitus in both ears, and hyperacusis in my left ear, which is often associated with tinnitus (sounds are loud but there’s frequency loss in the mid-range…so there’s no volume loss but I can’t perceive all the sonic detail in certain sounds). It’s all from playing indie clubs in my 20s, sound engineers not managing the volume properly.

It doesn’t go away but listening to music at a lower volume absolutely mitigates the symptoms over time.

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I should add: there’s also a kind of voodoo behind it…it’s noticeably worse when I’m stressed out. No audiologist understands why or how this happens.

Also, sometimes the muscles around my eardrum twitch in my left ear. Feels like my eardrum is fluttering. Tinnitus sucks.

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Carl Craig did a compilation of music he uses to calm his tinnitus after gigs. True fact.

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pardon…

:joy:

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I haven’t been out in years but i’d deffo be wearing protection now.

Iggy and The Stooges at ATP 2010 did some damage. I was almost deaf for a few hours after.

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Beat me to it @phil

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It is interesting that you mention Plastic People. I went to a number of dubstep and grime nights there, which had a younger crowd, and a lot of them were wearing hi-spec hearing protection.

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I have tinnitus. Years spent playing a Rickenbacker through a Marshall Lead and Bass 50 valve amp. Plus producing and DJing here and there, but mainly producing for hours on end with headphones. Plus of course loads of loud gigs and partying (still can’t let myself say Raving, it was always ‘parties’ for us :joy:)

Key event was April 2013. I messed around with a tape delay unit through a Marshall and it went into self oscillation/feedback right next to my head.

That night I went to a Northern Soul do and spent all night with my head next to a monitor. The ringing never went away.

Have had MRI scans, hearing tests and have been prescribed with hearing aids (I don’t wear them).

I sleep with audio books and occasionally white or pink noise generator apps. The only thing that helps is acceptance. It’s a tough moment in life when you realise that you’ll never hear ‘silence’ again (although the hearing specialist said to me that everyone has a different silence, and we all still hear our own electrical frequency from the body).

Acceptance is the key. I doubt there will ever be a cure in the traditional sense, as so many individual factors are involved. I use the Headspace app for Mindfulness (MBCT) when it gets too much. I have ACS custom moulded ear plugs which I got a hefty discount for through the Musicians Union. They are brilliant.

Some people have reported good results with the Flare Audio Calmer ear plugs. They didn’t do anything for me but YMMV

I’m slightly deaf, have a high pitched wheeeeeeeeeeeeee 24/7 and sometimes it makes me really fucking angry that nobody ever suggested ear plugs might be a good idea back in the day, but it is what it is. If you suffer you have my utmost sympathy.

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