A fun new band, I have tinnitus, what to do?

Would you play in a new band if you already have tinnitus?

  • Yes, this is how I make my living

    Votes: 5 8.2%
  • Sure, you only live once

    Votes: 50 82.0%
  • Nah, I’d just play at home

    Votes: 5 8.2%
  • I’d sell my gear and take up gardening

    Votes: 1 1.6%

  • Total voters
    61

markal

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Would you join a band if you already had tinnitus? I’ve had mild tinnitus for about a year. I had my ears tested and got a couple of pairs of custom fit earplugs. I keep 15 dB filters in one set and 25 dB filters in the other. But despite the earplugs, my tinnitus is noticeably worse after just a few jams. I guess my ears are just sensitive. We’re not that loud, tough I think we were louder last night.

Mind you, this is a hobby for me. It’s a hobby I am very passionate about, but I don’t make my living this way, so I don’t have to play out at all.

But I really enjoy playing in a group. I write lots of songs and with this new group we started to work on one of my songs and it was super fun. And overall I like the vibe of the group. But I’m pretty certain playing in a band will only make my tinnitus worse and I would HATE to have severe tinnitus.

It’s quite a conundrum and I don’t know what to do.
 

Boreas

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I have had it for probably close to 50 years. Gets worse when either my blood pressure or blood glucose goes high. I used to shoot some as a teen without protection (how many teens use protection??;)) and that could have started it. But I believe if you live long enough, it is eventual - like cataracts. But there are wide ranges of severity, and not easily corrected like cataracts.

Tinnitus is not likely to go away for good, but it shouldn't ruin your life or ability to make a living or have fun unless it is SEVERE. And tinnitus often is not a result of anything you did to damage your hearing. It can be caused by medications and diseases - even hypertension. See an audiologist for proper evaluation and ear protection for YOUR specific problem. Then rock-on! Or find a good string quartet...
 
Last edited:

Si G X

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England
I've had it for years. Loss of highs, some ringing, but not bad most of the time. I keep playing and it doesn't seem to be getting worse though. Cant deal with things in my ears...

yup, I've had it for at least 20 years, my amp is always too trebley (according to band mates) and I can't sleep without some background music or a podcast.

.. you get used to it, it doesn't really bother me any more, it's been there for so long it seems 'normal'
 

Gardo

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19694E12-3A93-4642-9CBB-73EE17692FC6.jpeg
Sometimes I cut the strings off.
Washable and reusable
 

DavidP

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... I've lived with it for years, still playing in a band, and gigs were mainly clubs with front of house sound so stage volume was tolerable. The worst part of tinnitus for me is at night when its quiet except for that nagging hiss -- no choice but to live with it.
 

schmee

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Custom fit ear plugs made to fit your ears are surprisingly cheap. I know several musicians that use them.
When I was still working the work health insurance would pay for them.
 

markal

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Sometimes I cut the strings off.
Washable and reusable

Custom fit ear plugs made to fit your ears are surprisingly cheap. I know several musicians that use them.
When I was still working the work health insurance would pay for them.

As state in my post above, I have two pairs of custom fit earplugs (which are much better than the standard stuff).
 

markal

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Talk to your audiologist. I've had work related tinnitus for years and it's a drag. If you can't protect your hearing adequately with hearing protection, you should probably find a different way to express your musical abilities.

I have seen an audiologist and had my hearing tested. I now have two pairs of custom fit earplugs.
 

OmegaWoods

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I have seen an audiologist and had my hearing tested. I now have two pairs of custom fit earplugs.
Yes, I read that. I was suggesting you go back and describe your current situation since the plugs you have don't seem to be working adequately according to your description of the problem.
 

SRHmusic

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Would you join a band if you already had tinnitus? I’ve had mild tinnitus for about a year. I had my ears tested and got a couple of pairs of custom fit earplugs. I keep 15 dB filters in one set and 25 dB filters in the other. But despite the earplugs, my tinnitus is noticeably worse after just a few jams. I guess my ears are just sensitive. We’re not that loud, tough I think we were louder last night.

Mind you, this is a hobby for me. It’s a hobby I am very passionate about, but I don’t make my living this way, so I don’t have to play out at all.

But I really enjoy playing in a group. I write lots of songs and with this new group we started to work on one of my songs and it was super fun. And overall I like the vibe of the group. But I’m pretty certain playing in a band will only make my tinnitus worse and I would HATE to have severe tinnitus.

It’s quite a conundrum and I don’t know what to do.
If you're actually okay using the ear plugs and your tinnitus was not getting worse then that would be easy.

Could good in ear monitors can be a solution? Ideally they'd block external sound (>25 or 30dB attenuation), and then be usable with custom mix, perhaps with a stage or house mic mixed in for some of the other sounds. I'm not sure the rest of the band will get on with doing anything similar.

There's a very good bass player I played with for a while that had to outright stop due to worsening damage. So this is not to be messed around with.

I'm in exactly the same boat, further on the journey with a loud band, with worsening tinnitus, trying to sort it out, too. PM me if you want to compare notes in more detail. (IIRC we have the same amp, too.)
 

Boreas

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Yes, I read that. I was suggesting you go back and describe your current situation since the plugs you have don't seem to be working adequately according to your description of the problem.
Indeed. Sometimes "hearing" becomes more acute for a short period of time after wearing attenuators (plugs). Wearing protection sometimes "updials" the sensory system to compensate for the attenuation - just like prolonged exposure to loud noises tends to down-regulate the system because of over-stimulation. Both usually re-set in a matter of minutes though.
 

CV Jee Beez

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This is happening to me as well. I have two sets of earplugs. One to attenuate some strident stuff (earrasers) and some more heavy duty (hearos). I'll make an appointment with the doctor to get better guidance however, I'm going for it with a new band next Friday.
 




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