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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm talking long term, not the ringing you get in your ears after a loud gig that stops after a day or so.
The reason I'm asking is that I've had mine for 6 months now and it doesn't seem to be has bad has when it started, but I don't know if I'm just getting used to it.

I have seen a doctor, he couldn't see anything wrong but he did refer me to an audiologist when I said I was a musician.
I haven't taken an appointment, from what I understand there isn't much that can be done for tinnitus.
My case is fairly mild compared to the horror stories I've read.
It sounds more like tape hiss than ringing (anyone here remember tape hiss :bluewink:) and I forget about it for most of the day. I only really notice it when I wake up in the morning or when I meditate.
It's more common than I thought, I asked my saxophonist friends and practically all of them have it.
 

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When mine first appeared, it lasted about a month, maybe six weeks, then it faded. It was the "million crickets" sound. About six months after that, it came back permanently (two years and counting). It cycles up and down, from really just barely audible to quite annoyingly loud. I've read it will sometimes just go away in a small percentage of people-still waiting! And yep, one of the common threads I've found talking to folks with it and researching it is they played band type instruments at some point.
 

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I've had it for many years, more than i can remember, constantly, not really a buzz and not a whistle but like starsax said above the million crickets sound is a very good way to describe it! I think once you have it you just have to learn to adjust to it as it just aint going to go away, i'm just getting over a bout of flu and that really intensified it, the only way i can control it is to do something noisy like playing music etc, but the main thing is to keep your mind occupied..
 

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Mine comes and goes.
Sometimes it is barely annoying, and most of the time it is just a 'noise in the background', probably similar to what you describe as a 'tape hiss'. Those were the days.
And sometimes it is gone for months. Not that I'd miss it.

I'd guess it is more of a malfunction of the frequency filter in our brains than an actual issue with the 'ear' sending the signal to the brain.
As long as I drink enough over the course of the day it seems to be less strong.

Everybody in the family has or had it as far as I know. And all friends, musicians or not, do have or had it too.
 

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I did a lot of research on tinnitus, and it appears the best treatment for it is to put it out of your mind as much as possible. Nothing can really be done, and it does sometimes go away. But the more you think about it or pay attention to it, the louder it seems to be.

I tortured over whether to keep playing, as even one horn exceeds the supposed 85 decibel limit tinnitus sufferers are recommended to observe, as well as the vibrations through the teeth and skull from the mouthpiece. I just said to hell with it, and am still playing. Let the chips fall where they may (wait...I'M the chips!).
 

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I forget about it until someone starts one of these tinnnitus threads.
Ditto here. I was cool 'til i saw this thread then..."Oh yeah, the crickets." ...except the volume is constant rather than the sine wave of 10,000 crickets in and out of phase. I developed the continual form of it somewhere in the last 13 yrs as a bass player in a 7 piece R&B band. 2+ gigs a month.

Side Bar of Ignorance:
As a child, I used to think a "Tin Ear" was exemplified by those geezers in cartoons with the "Tin Horn" hearing aid in their ear...not realizing it was short for "Tinnitus".

GPD
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
... Physical activity like jogging can improve it. .
When I finish a run, immediately after I seem to hear it even more.
It's like the increased blood flow amplifies it, but after a while it settles back to it's usual level.
 

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I've had tinnitus for I guess about a couple of years now. But I was only really conscious of it being a condition called tinnitus the past 1.5 years or so. Thankfully, I only have mild tinnitus and it hasn't gotten worse from what I observed so far. I only really notice it when it's really quiet, like times before sleeping when it's particularly quiet or whenever I'm inside a car with the engine turned off. For a time, I was really paranoid about my hearing and making it worse. But eventually, like the advice of most people here, you just have to deal with it. The less you mind it, the less loud it will be. At this point, there seems to be not much we can do about it but to just continue to protect our hearing. I guess the good thing from this is that I take care of my hearing better now. I got myself earplugs and use it whenever I'm in loud situations. I also try my best to avoid unnecessarily loud situations. (Unfortunately, in 2 really loud situations I had this year, I left my earplugs :( ) But I'm more mindful of the sound levels now and so far the tinnitus hasn't gotten worse. It's a good idea to get your hearing checked at least annually also. After all, as musicians, our hearing is our most important tool.
 

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about 4 years ago after a gig my ears rang for about two weeks, at times it was exrtremely painful, and incredibly loud. Turned out allergies exacerbated the situation. Some Nasonex helped that, I went to an audiologist, found I have a bit of noise induced hearing loss, and I got custom musician ear plugs I use now whenever I gig. Once your hearing is damaged, it's damaged and can only get worse unless you mitigate future damage (ear plugs). Thinking about it now I hear the hiss, but most times you learn to push it to the rear of your consciousness, but it will rise to the surface now and again.

I keep a set of Etymotic ready-fit Er20's on my key chain, and use the custom Er 15's when I play. Bottom line:

PROTECT YOUR HEARING!!!
 

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Unfortunately no, I've got the million crickets noise too in both ears. But, in the last 5 years the night time mosquito type noise has quit. So it's just crickets full time. I just treat it as "white noise' and it only bothers me at my annual company medical when I do the hearing test. My hearing hasn't deteriorated in the last 10 years, so that's a good thing.
 

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I struggled with tinnitus earlier this year, and a few times in the past. Something about having a few weeks off of touring and then coming back to it (big band) seemed to give it a kickstart. I talked to my family and they have all had it for some time, even the non-musicians. I believe it's something that everyone has to some extent but musicians with our keenly developed listening sense seem to notice it more. And yes you do get that little ring after playing or going to a loud concert but that is just your ears being adjusted to a louder noise level, suddenly coming to a softer one and taking time to calm down.

Did you ever notice at night in your room by yourself and everyone's asleep, you turn the TV way down. And then when you get in your car and turn the radio on it's REAL loud? "Somebody broke in here and turned my stereo up!" as George Carlin would've said. :) That has to do with atmospheric sounds affecting what you are doing and when the atmosphere changes it's jarring: car radio seems too loud at first, or "how was I watching a movie that quiet??" when you turn on the TV the next day when things are happening outside. It's why at night when going to sleep we all hear the tinnitus more.

I think our brains do something similar, and that is why we experience this background noise that's actually always there a little more strongly: when things louder than it are happening, our brains have a way of tuning it out. And of course with age and the years of noise exposure, not just our ears but everything is going to deteriorate a little bit. So tinnitus isn't just going to disappear.

What I finally did was just make a conscious effort to really put it out of my mind and think about other stuff. I REALLY had trouble sleeping from January to March of this year, and it was all because I was super focused on the tinnitus. As musicians we are more prone because of our finely tuned ears, it's the downside to hearing things so well and having good listening and discernment skills.

So! Tips that have done the trick for me:

- learn to accept the tinnitus as a fact of life and don't worry about it or fixate on it so much. it's easier to deal with things once you accept them, applies to the rest of life why shouldn't it apply to our silly ears?
- sleep with a fan or other "white noise" type object running. By focusing on that sound you can mask the tinnitus and sort of meditate yourself to sleep on the fan sound.
- listen to white, pink or brown noise, you can download free files off the internet. For me brown noise covers up the tinnitus mostly and it's just relaxing. I'll put it in for a few minutes before I go to sleep, makes me think I'm at the edge of a huuuge waterfall!
- don't put your headphones so loud, and don't use earbuds. Real heaphones ftw!
- practice in a room where it isn't too loud or there isn't so much sound reflection. My bedroom is good for this since it has 3 windows, shag carpet and a bunch of clothes everywhere. Whereas when I practice in the basement with the cement walls and floor and lack of windows it can get pretty LOUD.

Hope that helps. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
.....- learn to accept the tinnitus as a fact of life and don't worry about it or fixate on it so much. it's easier to deal with things once you accept them, applies to the rest of life why shouldn't it apply to our silly ears?....
That has been my take on it lately. I think I can attribute the perception that my tinnitus is diminishing to that acceptance. I did feel depressed about it for the first few weeks that I had it, but now I don't worry about it so much.

Still.....I went cross country skiing this morning and I came upon this very quiet wooded area. I used to really appreciate silence in the woods during winter, you hear the tree branches cracking in the cold air. It's a special kind of silence you don't experience at any other time of the year but this time around it was accompanied by this hissing in my left ear :cry:

I'm still hoping there will be some kind of treatment for this in the future.
 

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Wow --
I have been here & done this for about 20 years. All I have done is, "learn to live with it." Been to many specialists to no avail. Some days are worse than others, but usually, "just live with it." Good luck. Don't let it change what you do. I went back to the sax about 2 years ago, and haven't let this bother/worry me. No difference after playing. Just love playing.
 

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Used to have tinnitus, it went away after a year or so, and I don't take chances anymore with my hearing. These are cheap, and they work.
 

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My pleasure

Make sure you do not play live without the hearos, otherwise you'll just aggravate the condition. Initially I got lazy a couple of times just in rehearsal studios and I really knew about it afterward.
 
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