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Any tinnitus sufferers?

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
Any tinnitus sufferers in this forum? I've had tinnitus much of my life, most probable because I've been around musician's a good part of my early life.


I've noticed over the past few weeks, after I play the sax for approx. a half and hour to an hour
my tinnitus appears to be more prominent when I put it down. I'm actually thinking of giving it up (sax) because it appears to be getting worse. My tinnitus is in the form of a high pitch 'steam' sound. It's quite annoying, as anyone with tinnitus understands. I was diagnosed with the problem many years and it seemed to remain status quo until recently when I started to practice again.


If there are any here who are afflicted with it, what do you do to not make it worse? I'm not a loud player and I really don't want to use ear plugs. I think if it does to continually get worse I will stop playing altogether. I've done it for years at a time, only now I have a physical situation presenting itself. I was enjoying playing it again but not at this cost.


Any thoughts?
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
Any tinnitus sufferers in this forum?
Yes I've suffered with it for years

M
y tinnitus is in the form of a high pitch 'steam' sound.
Mine is more a continual whistle/peep probably brought on by many years of blasting without the correct hearing protection.

If there are any here who are afflicted with it, what do you do to not make it worse?Any thoughts?
Its at times like this, you know when i am talking about it that makes me notice it more i like to have at least a moderate background noise to make me not notice it to much, i think the worst thing you can do is pack up, keep making noise, you don't notice it!
 

O.C.V.

Member
Messages
113
Sorry to hear abut your tinnitus, Mike. I know only too well how annoying it can be. I have it as a side effect of Menieres disease and am also exremely deaf. I have hearing aids which are programmed not only to aid my hearing, but also to minimise the tinnitus which they do to a fair extent. Whether you could be supplied with aids which would just mask the tinnitus I don't know, but it could be worth looking in to. I have never noticed that playing the sax makes it worse. If anything it becomes less noticeable, possibly because I am concentrating on something else.
Best of luck, I do hope you find a way of carrying on playing.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
Mike
Well I've had tinnitus for only about the last 5 years - when I was in my late '50s and before I started to play sax or anything musical again seriously (ie after about 30 years). It came on very suddenly, just noticed it one day, and mine is exactly like the high pitched steam escaping that you say yours is. Most people talk about a ringing sound, but I don't get that. I also notice a lower pitched noise when everything externally is very quiet : the first time I noticed it was on waking up in the middle of the night and I thought something electrical had been left on so I wandered around the house looking until I realised what it was!

Hospital tests showed that my external hearing starts to roll off at about 8KHz, which is not bad for my age apparently, but I think my tinnitus is higher than that. Dynamic range is not bad either. They were surprised how good I was at picking out a tone from amongst white noise until I told them that as a radio amateur I was used to picking out Morse code from all sorts of noises!

My tinnitus gets more noticeable in late afternoon (now) and evening, which is again typical and whether I have done one and a half hour's practice, as today, or not, doesn't seem to matter. It doesn't affect me playing in a sax ensemble either. The only thing that really seems to make it worse is loud and partially unstructured noise, like a heavy disco with lots of people talking/shouting at a party (I could never go clubbing, but then have no wish to.....).

I guess it depends on how bad it is generally, how much you can tolerate and what makes it worse. Listening to music I like and playing music doesn't seem to effect me and generally I just live with it and block it out mentally unless someone mentions it, when I can say "yes, it's there now as usual".

That doesn't really help you Mike, but it describes how I get it. It would be a great shame if you felt it was so bad you had to give up playing. While there is no cure as such, I've heard of psychotherapeutic help (Tom M may know more) and there is physical conditioning using noise generators in each ear but this sounds quite invasive treatment (certainly for a musician) and is at least medium term. Have you looked at http://www.tinnitus.org.uk/ ?

At least you know there's another sufferer on here!
YC.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,281
I am a fellow sufferer,had it for about ten years,side effect to some of the tablets i had to take for my back problem,but i am fortunate that i have no problem dealing with it,maybe because it hasn't got any worse over the ten years.

I am sorry Mike that yours has got worse,hope you find some answers and some relief in the near future.

Brian
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Hi Mike,

I’m profoundly deaf and suffer with severe tinnitus. Like O.C.V I have programmable hearing aids that help settle my tinnitus down or supposed too. When I started playing the sax I was fine for about eight months then my tinnitus got so bad that I couldn’t hear a thing! I stopped playing but nothing changed – I since found out I suffered from a block Eustachian tube. I’m still having minor issues with the blockage but I can hear most days’ albeit with tinnitus. I would recommend wearing ear plugs at least when practicing. I’ve taken up the clarinet for this very reason. It’s so much quieter. On bad days I play the piano or just compose. Life without music, without being able to play an instrument would be no life. Well, for me anyhow!

I completely understand how you feel and know how it can drive you mad. Just ask anyone who knows me. On a bad day I can be very moody (putting it mildly). However, for me I can’t stop, music is everything to me but I have moved to composing more and more as it’s a quieter endeavour. My main instrument is the piano (digital) as I can adjust the volume to suit me on a given day!

At the end of the day, you have to do what’s right for you.

All the best,

Paul
 

Dave McLaughlin

Sesquipedalian
Subscriber
Messages
305
I've had tinnitus only for a few months (and I'm hoping it's nothing to do with taking up tenor sax a few months earlier). In my case it's a high-pitched tone, and not too debilitating. I've taken to wearing earplugs when practising.
 

QWales

Senior Member
Messages
722
Yes, I started to notice a high pitched whistle a few years back, it's the same noise you get after coming out of a loud concert. For the most part it's very subtle and I don't notice it that much, although it can get loud for short periods. I've never tried to work out what brings it on as I find that usualy it disappears quite quickly when I don't think about it. I would say I only spot it a couple of times a week and not for too long fortunately. Again, not much help I'm afraid, bar the fact of knowing you have company.
 

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
Hey, thanks everyone for sharing your own experiences and I truly feel for all of you.
Presently, it's not profoundly bad that I have to stop playing. The thing that I'm concerned about is lately right after I play I really hear the 'steam-like' sound more prominently then ever before.
If it does begin to get progressively worse, and it's a result of my playing, then yes, it's just a saxophone and I do play the guitar(beginner) and write music. I would prefer to always have the option of picking up my horn and play when inspired like anyone else. At this point I'm still going to play and just see what happens.


Sure, while I play I don't notice it. It's when I put it down I could easily hear that I could have made it worse. Maybe I should stay away from playing in the altissimo register?


It's like a residual echo of what just transpired. Before I began to noctice the unrelentlessness of this annoyance, I always had it but it wasn't really noticeable anymore. I grew into it. But now I hear it all the time and it doesn't let me forget or have it blend back into my consciousness.


Years ago I was diagnosed at the Ears, Eyes, Throat Hospital in NYC. They told me the good news was that they knew what it was and the bad news was that I had it for life. They also told me that I wouldn't go jumping out of any windows....I appreciated his bedside manner.


Maybe I should start to concentrate on this sound and see if there is some logic within it's continuity.
Logic within the chaos....lol. Unfortunately, everything we choose to listen to has to have this annoying 'harmony' implemented into anything we choose to listen to. It's become our own signature as we inadvertently collaborate with everyone and everything, our own drone of a whistle/peep/steam, or whatever it is we have the unpleasure of listening to.


As Paul wisely stated.....at the end of the day we always have to make decisions that are right for us.


Ya know, awhile ago I was once told by someone that my music was the work of the devil. Oh yes, it was sincere! I'm sure if that same individual knew of my strife they would assure me that justice was done fairly and proportionately....lol


As Young Col mentioned, I now know there are others here who suffer from this. It doesn't make me feel better that I share with others this annoyance, because you too are annoyed by it as well.
However, there is consolation in knowing I'm not alone and it's a apparently a common fact of life when dealing with loud sounds over a period of time. It's just our ears giving under the law of entropy.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and advice into this highly annoying affliction. My sincere compassion!
 

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
I figured that playing with ear plugs would deaden my sound so much so that
why would I even bother. Years ago I tried them and didn't like them at all and that experience stuck in my head. My memory of my past experience was a dead sound. Paul Inglis and Dave McLaughlin suggested that I try. Well, I'm older now and more open minded..........
So......I did........I played with them for approx a half an hour and I was pleasantly surprised that they really didn't hinder how I heard myself playing. In fact, I think I could get used to playing and recording with them with no problem.


When I stopped playing it appeared that the ringing wasn't as intense as when I played without them afterwards.
It could be my imagination, but I don't think so. Even still, with ear plugs I feel I won't be creating further damage, as a result of playing my horn.


I'm truly glad I started this thread because through my own ignorance/past experience, I may not have attempted to try again. I was surprised that the sound wasn't really all that compromised. My main issue in playing the saxophone is to record my work. I can live with recording with ear plugs. I know it may have sounded drastic to give up playing because of tinnitus, but not really. I've given it up just out of being bored playing it. I may stop, or pause, playing again at some point in time but now I feel it won't be because of having tinnitus.


After I got off the forum I thought about what Paul and Dave said.
I'm glad I took heed of their advice!


Thanks guys!.......................I think I'm going to play some more....
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,658
I have had Tinnitus for about 15 years. It has been helped considerably by Arches Tinnitus Formula. Basically Ginko Biloba garlic and zinc.

Their site is a wealth of info on Tinnitus, the latest research and all. From what I can determine the cause is still unknown

Mine is a constant piano level tone plus overtones at a sligthly sharp pitch of C#6
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Mine comes and goes. Doesn't seem to be affected by playing. Sound cancelling headphones can reduce the sax volume considerably and I used them a lot at first in preference to ear plugs, cos of the change in sound. Then I got the volume under control and didn't bothe any more.
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,030
I've had tinnitus for about 10 years now - years of biking without ear plugs (crash helmet noise) was the main cause for me I think. I have some musician's earplugs and they are quite good as you can still hear quite well, but I forget to use them! I just try very hard to not to let it bother me! :thumb: (easier said than done I know!)
 

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
I have had Tinnitus for about 15 years. It has been helped considerably by Arches Tinnitus Formula. Basically Ginko Biloba garlic and zinc.

Their site is a wealth of info on Tinnitus, the latest research and all. From what I can determine the cause is still unknown

Mine is a constant piano level tone plus overtones at a sligthly sharp pitch of C#6
Do they sell this in Drug stores? My wife is going to look for it, or something similar, (asking pharmacist) but I really don't know if it will do any good being that the cilia cannot regenerate after they are damaged. This can occur by both loud sounds as well as age. I may have two strikes against me.
However, it's still a healthy combination in any event, so it's not a risk to try. The sound my tinnitus is creating is all over the place. I simply cannot determine the tones involved. You probably have a better ear than I do, and I mean that both literally and figuratively! Or mine is ridiculously harmonically dense!


It's a shame we can't all upload our tinnitus induced sounds, as they actually occur, and create some kind of dissonant tapestry......Possible technological evolved apparatus that's a free download in years to come?.....lol
Along with being able to video record our dreams, which is something I wish I had today and I feel will actually become a reality some day. I'm a dreamer.....lol




Thanks Jazzaferri!
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,658
Health food stores more likely have it or you could order arches tinnitus formula from them. He tells you whats in it as far as dosage goes If i recall correctly 200 mg Ginko 15mg zinc and dried garlic twice daily. Lots of studies on it. Tinnitus isn't thought to be in the cilia but is often related to hearing loss. Can be caused by trauma, antibiotics (thats the likely cause of mine) and others. Diet, caffeine, processed foods all seem to have some impact on it.

Some think it a malfunction of the auditory nerve, others some disconnect in the brain. There may be a number of causes. Do check out Arches site as there are lots of articles by Dr. Michael Seidman who is one of the worlds leading Tinnitus researchers and synopses of his research get posted there by him.

This world would not be worth living in if it weren't for dreamers IMO :)
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,658
I forgot to add I also take a bunch of vitamins and again for tinnitus. 500 mg GABA twice daily.

My tinnitus is usually about a third of what it was unless I eat something with glutamate in it then it goes up until the next does of supplements takes effect

Imdo drink A coffee every morning as one doesn't seem to impact
 

Rock Lobster

Member
Messages
124
Mike,

Sorry to read about your problem. In cases like this the Doc is always the first person to contact. However, as a safety officer in a past life, here's some info for what it is worth.

Sound is a change in air pressure, louder the sound the bigger the pressure. This air pressure goes in your ear, hits your ear drum which pushes 3 bones that impact on your cochlear. Think of this as a tube filled with liquid with cells similar to blades of grass sticking up. The sound pressure pushing the bones impact on one end of the cochlear and these er...........vibrations compress/bend the cells, which is how we hear. If we are subjected to loud sound pressure for a few hours, (go and see the Who live), we come out with a ringing in our ears. This is a temporary threshold shift. Eventually this goes away as the cells recover. Do this too many times and the cells snap and go off in your blood stream. This reduces your abiility to hear. The bad news is you cant grow the cells back so you operate with slightly worse hearing. Keep doing it and along comes our old friend tinnitus, (I have it myself). Only thing to do is stop letting sound pressure go down your ear, use ear plugs, (buy really good ones that cover the sound range you play at). Don't stop playing as life is too short, what is life without rock and roll?

Sorry if this is stating the bleeding obvious.
 
Saxholder Pro

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