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Dead Rooms and Tinnitus
Old 17th October 2019
Gear Nut

Dead Rooms and Tinnitus

So I've had "Sudden Onset Tinnitus" since about 15 years old (I'm 23) stemming from angsty guitar sessions in my room as a teenager. Almost exclusively high pitched coming out of nowhere lasting 1-7 seconds in only ONE ear at a time. At times very loud and painful. I recently noticed a low hum in my right ear from mixing a bass heavy song which brings me to making this thread and some questions.

I mix in a very very dead vocal booth. Its a long room so its no closet but when normal people walk in and don't make noise they feel weird/uncomfortable because its so dead. It does feel as though there is a certain "pressure" so to speak on your ears as opposed to a normal room.

My question is working in this environment for hours, in a dead room mixing, can this cause tinnitus to get worse? Is there actually and stress or pressure put on the ears in extremely quiet environments?
Old 21st October 2019
According to at least one ent I’ve spoken to, the whole “sudden tinnitus, dying down in a few seconds” thing isn’t related to noise damage and just happens for most people at some points (I’ve had it too)...
Old 21st October 2019
Lives for gear

I get the sudden tinnitus thing - then it quickly dies away - really quickly if you focus in on the ring itself .... try it next time it happens.

Which is a interesting thing.

Last year I was in an narrow brick alley to check a drainage pipe configuration and someone helping dropped the drain plate back onto the metal casting .... in an alley!

F*ck .... to me it was like a gun going off and I literally got percussive shock and instant tinnitus.

The odd thing was the other guy didn't have an issue - and after apologising said he didn't think it was that loud.

The tinnitus went on for a few weeks and I started to get very worried (which makes tinnitus worse apparently) so I phoned
the UK Tinnitus Society and told them the story and how the other guy was fine and how I was a musician etc.

To my surprise the lady said relax your brain need to re-set and start filtering out your permanent tinnitus.

So basically she told me I have permanent tinnitus and my brain has got very good at masking it but if something loud
throws the masking system out then my brain has to re-set the process which only happens when I relax and forget about it.

She helped me relax about it and two days later it was gone.

Though now I am aware I do have a very slight constant tinnitus that normally I never think about - though I can hear
it a bit now as I type because I'm thinking about it.

I can rehearse at fairly loud volumes and I'm ok - because I'm enjoying the sound!

Tinnitus is a very complex subject!
Old 25th October 2019
Gear Nut

Yeah its a weird situation especially trying to figure out the severity in which we have it when its such a subjective/complex condition. I can say with confidence the resting phantom noise in my head is maybe a db bit louder then probably normal so I think I have constant tinnitus to a slight degree, but the random rings in one hear is definitely what worries me time to time. As for the low hum in my right ear which was very scary, I've lowered my right speaker and laid off the heavy bass songs when mixing. Anyway I hope my dead room isn't worsening the issue too much.
Old 25th October 2019
Lives for gear

i've read stories about people with tinnitus entering an anechoic chamber and almost going crazy as there was no way of masking noise anymore...

HOWEVER, an audio engineer friend of mine says it's exactly those places (non really anechoic but rather dead rooms) which help him to relax and forget about his tinnitus...

and yes, the effects you describe (sudden onset in just one ear, lasting for a couple of seconds) seem familiar: relax, breath, drink some water, cool down, divert your attention to something nice... - has been a re-occuring phenomen for dozens of years (and although i heavily depend on my ears for my work, i never bothered to ask a doctor).
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