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Old 15th September 2011
Lives for gear
dualflip's Avatar

Its really impressive to read and find out about the insane amount of people in this business with tinnitus. Yet, to be fair, only few of them actually care about it, and even fewer even notice it.

So, recently ive had this high pitched sound (10-12KHz), which seems to appear at sometimes and disappear at others, its very subtle, but its also oscillating its level, meaning its volume its not constant, it will fluctuate randomly so that makes it more noticeable, as opposed to a steady tone.

I always wear earplugs in concerts or loud noise places, but when im in the studio sometimes i get carried away and i raise the volume more than i should, and most recently, longer than i should....

So first i went to an otorhinolaryngologist who said that both my throat and my nose were very irritated and congested and had me take a CAT scan. He also sent me to an audiologyst who performed 2 audiometric exams on me, the standard tone exam, and a second (and weird) audiometric exam, which consisted of playing some kind of weird and somehow distorded syllables, while i had to speak out loud what i was hearing.

The theory is that the tone audiometric exam tells that you can hear the frequency but it doesnt tell anything about HOW you hear it or how your brain interprets it, so thats what the second exam is for.

Anyway, i passed both exams with excellent results, the audiologist even told me i had "very fine hearing", still he told me that the tinnitus was noise induced tinnitus, and that the only thing i could do is try to focus mentally on dissappearing it or ignoring it, or just waiting and hoping till it goes away.

Im still waiting for the CAT scan results, but im pretty sure they wont be very nice, i constantly have respiratory illness, and seem to never get over it.

On top of that, when i was little i used to have something called bronchospasms which is like an accute asma, i also used to smoke 2-3 packs of Marlboro red every day (yeah you read right, 2 or 3 packs) during 13 years, plus I live in Mexico city which is probably one of the most air polluted cities in the world, which combined with its altitude of 7500 feet above sea level, makes a total recipe for respiratory disaster.

Anyway, around 2-3 years ago since i read a very good article about hearing, i started taking a lot of things which cientifics claim to protect the ear or to alleviate tinnitus, a combination of E vitamin, B complex, Alpha-lipoic acid, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and recently Ginkgo Biloba and Vinpocetin to alleviate tinnitus.

To be fair, my tinnitus is extremely subtle and Its still too early to tell if the Ginkgo and Vinpocetine will work (along with the rest of the cocktail), but i cant tell you this, good sleeping and good rest work WONDERS on reducing tinnitus.

Too bad im a very anxious person and i have insomnia, in fact i have a medical condition, i take anti-depressants and Klonopin, if i dont, i wont be able to sleep very well, or sleep at all, ill wake up at 7 am feeling like when i was younger and i was late to go to school. Stress is killing us people!

I decided to buy this homeopathic remedy, which i read on several reviews that it does work, in fact theres a guy in the PSW forums who said it worked for him, its called T-gone, if anyone wants to check it out.

The residual inhibition therapy (white noise pulses and such) does seem to work for me although it only works for very short periods of time, and honestly i dont want to become an addict on that thing, so that is out of the question.

I think this was a wake up call for me, i havent really damaged anything, but i just got a taste of what can happen if i go down the loud volume path, and let me tell you it tastes like ****! Now, i keep my spl meter ON and next to me AT ALL TIMES, making sure it doesnt go over 82dB for too long, i no longer care if theres a rock star or john doe sitting next to me, if you want to raise the volume, youll have to wait for me to plug in my ear plugs, and while i have them plugged, every thing they ask me to do, will be done with ear plugs, unless of course they let me lower back the volume.

I realized that becoming a famous engineer, sought after, profitable, etc... cant compete with 2 of the most precious human organs, when you put things on a balance, EARS always win. And to be honest, if the only consequence of listening to loud music were loss of hearing, i wouldnt worry that much about it, i mean i would definitely take precautions, but at least for me, the real killer is tinnitus, to me its the worst torture ever.

I guess that what im trying to say is, sometimes i find myself raising the volume because i want to make sure it sounds exactly right, or because the artist asked for more volume and he is "famous" or important so i should just do it, but in the end your ears are the ones suffering, so no more, no excuses, if you raise the level, protect yourself, no matter how people may look at you, in fact they may respect you even more since you take so much care of your hearing.

P.S. Apparently theres already an experimental drug called AM-101 which cures tinnitus, althou it sounds rather extreme since it involves injecting a substance in the ear, directly piercing the ear-drum... more info here:

Long post!, peace!