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

jrblue

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Talk to an audiologist, not a bunch of amateur players who self-diagnose (unsuccessfully, since they already have hearing loss). IMO, it is stupid to put your hearing at risk, particularly if you are a musician. In fact, it's not a risk -- in your case, it's a reality, based on how you describe your recent experiences. Hearing loss is irreversible, thus far, and so by the time you notice worsening, things are already irreparably worse. So while common, playing until you can't really hear is an idiotic way to proceed. Plugs do work for me and my loss has been stabilized. If that changes, I would look into Paul Gilbert-style headphones or some other really serious protection.
 

loopfinding

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Has anyone with tinnitus had success with IEMs in a band that is loud on stage?

I’ve played techno and DJ gigs with headphones for monitoring. Blasting my cued stuff on top (necessary evil for mixing) probably made things worse than just hearing FOH from the booth. I’m not sure how IEMs are supposed to help tbh. Seems like double the assault.
 

SRHmusic

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I’ve played DJ and techno gigs with headphones for monitoring. Blasting my cued stuff on top (necessary evil) probably made things worse than just hearing FOH from the booth. I’m not sure how IEMs are supposed to help tbh.
The idea, as I understand it, is to have IEMs with >25dB attenuation to external sounds (like good earplugs), so you can play the mix of what you want to hear at a low enough level to not cause more damage. Some have built in limiters, as well.
 

loopfinding

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Caffiene can contribute too. And aspirin.
Yes - ALL NSAIDS can cause tinnitus - usually dosage related and usually reversible. But some studies show very high doses over an extended time can actually cause permanant hearing loss, but the jury is still out on that.

Alcohol’s correlation is tenuous (and in some cases improved symptoms in sufferers). Caffeine is little or no correlation, practically superstition, and abstinence has not shown to be effective. OTOH NSAIDs have been shown in some cases to have a legitimate ototoxic effect. Let’s keep within the realm of science before getting all home remedy.
 
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String Tree

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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.
No Conundrum, wear -32db foam ear plugs and be done with it.
Yeah, it isn't the same but, your Ears will think you after Practice is over.
 

985plowboy

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I’m right there with you.
Only you can decide and it doesn’t sound like you have to decide right away.
I’d keep going.
Suck it up and wear your earplugs, the -25db ones.
Try and point the Amp and monitor away from you a little bit.
If it’s truly making things worse….
Man I don’t know.
Honestly, I think the dang carpal-thritis will get me first.
 

stxrus

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Sounds like the earplugs aren’t working. Custom or not.
Any other loud noises in your life?

Full disclosure-I didn’t the entire thread. Yes, tonight I am THAT guy
 

markal

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I’m right there with you.
Only you can decide and it doesn’t sound like you have to decide right away.
I’d keep going.
Suck it up and wear your earplugs, the -25db ones.
Try and point the Amp and monitor away from you a little bit.
If it’s truly making things worse….
Man I don’t know.
Honestly, I think the dang carpal-thritis will get me first.

Save your ears. You're going to need them when your eyesight goes.
Ugh…been having so many conversations like this lately! It’s just amazing how everything starts to deteriorate as you get older. I’m certainly not “old” yet, but well into middle age and everything just requires more maintenance - my wrist on my fretting hand, my hips (too much biking and sitting over the years), my shoulder, my ears etc. And my warranty is long expired!
 

Matt Sarad

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My tinnitus is a result of a mt bike crash that screwed me up so terribly I had to give up my career as a teacher. I lost 65% of my hearing, having it replaced with tinnitus so loud I'm only relieved when I'm asleep.
Hearing aids mask it somewhat.
I play on stage left so my good right ear can hear the rest of the band.
I quit 3 bands I started to concentrate on the 4th.
The combination of hearing loss, tinnitus, writing songs, coordinating rehearsals and gigs became too much to handle.
Covid killed high paying gigs.
I rehearse once a week and we gig about once a month.
 

johnny k

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I was thinking about this : what if you were completely deaf, and had to jam with other people ? wouldn't a led metronome would do the trick ? I mean it could probably work for some easy stuffs ? Of course once you have messed up, it could be hard to get back in the right place.

So everyone follow the flashing led. And this way you get rid of that "what is feeling thing ?"
 

Happy Enchilada

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Got tinnitus several years ago. It's gotten a tad worse over the years. I have EARGO in-ear hearing aids that work for when I really WANT to listen to what people say (i.e., date night with wifey, doctor appointments, etc.), but I don't wear them when I'm playing guitar and most of the time actually.

There really isn't a "CURE" for tinnitus - and most folks have it to some extent. Like Boreas, I have spent more than my share on a shooting range, and without "ears" for the most part up until a few years ago (now they have ones that really work great - they muffle noise and you can hear for conversation just fine). Lots of loud amplifiers also didn't help, nor did a 6hp mower that I used to push around.

The trick is to know WHEN to put them in and when NOT TO. You want to hear what people say in certain situations so you can converse, but for the most part I have no alternative other than to JUST LIVE WITH IT. Do like the EARGOs, though - they are INVISIBLE. Here's a link:


Ted Nugent kept a plug in one ear from day one - wisht I had.

Rock On!!!
 

Happy Enchilada

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I was thinking about this : what if you were completely deaf, and had to jam with other people ? wouldn't a led metronome would do the trick ? I mean it could probably work for some easy stuffs ? Of course once you have messed up, it could be hard to get back in the right place.

So everyone follow the flashing led. And this way you get rid of that "what is feeling thing ?"

You could be founding a whole new genre:

DEAF METAL

Who cares about tempo, key, etc.?
Just as long as it's loud and you look bada$$.
 

Fiesta Red

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Texas
I’ve been dealing with tinnitus for 25 years.

It sucks.

I wear earplugs and keep on playing, because not playing sucks more.
 




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