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Questions for tinnitus sufferers

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Marc Morfei, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    How does it affect your perception of sound? I have had tinnitus for the past year or so. A constant high-pitched ring that is always there, and never varies. Most of the time I don't notice it. But it's there.

    Lately the past couple months I have noticed all my guitars sound ****ty. Really everything sounds bad to me. I have tried every adjustment I can make on every guitar, but I cannot dial out this unpleasant sound I am hearing. Hard to describe, but it is a faint thin nasally squeak or something. Piercing, but in a way that has nothing to do with EQ.

    So now I'm thinking it's not the instruments, it's me.
    Has anyone experienced anything like this?
     
  2. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    It hasn’t gotten so bad that I perceive sound differently when I’m playing.

    It’s more when I’m sitting quietly or lying in bed at night that it will be really noticeable.
     
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  3. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    I have it. Years as a DJ and not wearing headphones all night is what did most of the damage. Playing guitar hasn't helped. However, since switching to using in-ear monitors with my band and some cheap, studio cans to practice at home has made playing a LOT more enjoyable. In the band situation, my stereo mix sounds like a CD of our band. It's perfectly mixed to my liking. And no ringing in the ears, post-practice. We can work on covers by The Who and Black Sabbath on a weeknight, and I can get to sleep by 11. And as for home playing, my headphone rig (same as I use live) is a perfect solution to hearing cranked tube amps at a volume level that my family and myself can deal with.

    FWIW, I also find that I prefer to keep it bright.
     
  4. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    In short...Yes. I've had tinnitus for decades. Lately, it has taken a turn for the worse...some days being very piercing instead of a steady state like I've experienced in the past. On those days, nothing really sounds right or good. I also am experiencing an increased hearing loss in my right ear. So, some days I just do not try to play or sing:oops:.

    Take this for what it is worth...I've had tinnitus for a long time and stayed at many HI Express h(m)otels. I see an accomplished ENT at least once a year...he's married to Mrs' cousin, so wth at discount rates;). He has been tracking me for about ten years. About two months ago, he recommended adding a regimen of Lipo Flavonoid, just to see if it helped---some days it might, maybe. On my follow-up, he asked "do you have hearing aids?"..."No, do I need them?". "Yes". He explained that I need them bc of my increasing hearing loss, but also bc many wearers report a decrease in their tinnitus while wearing hearing aids.

    All that to say, go see your doctor...or straight to a specialist if your insurance allows. Find out what is really going on---there are some other health issues that could exacerbate your tinnitus. Cheers.
     
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  5. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Mine has gotten a lot worse in the last couple weeks. Starting to really bug me; I really should get in to see the doc...
     
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  6. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree with @stormsedge, see a doctor. Tinnitus alone shouldn't make your guitars sound bad.
     
  7. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, it sound like tinnitus was the first symptom, but now you have frequency loss - likely due to conduction problems in the ear apparatus. Until you have an evaluation, you are only guessing.
     
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  8. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Tinnitus can be a symptom of drug toxicity or side effects - notably aspirin. Best to get it checked out.
     
  9. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I have it and have for the past few years. The cicada sounds.
    Weed eaters, chainsaws, tractors, lawnmowers, guns, guitars, bands, NSAID pain reliever to combat the aches associated with most of the preceding.
    Plus I’m 52.
    I think I’m stuck living with it.


    I’ve sold all my electric guitars except my Tele and try to play it low volume.
    But they still sound good.
     
  10. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's

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    Yes. There's the ringing which has been going on for years along with noticeable high frequency loss (can't hear cymbals and high hats so great any more) but about a month ago certain sounds started taking on a really annoying character e.g. crinkling paper or tin foil, splashing water in the shower, clanking dishes and silverware. Going to the audiologist next week.
     
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  11. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  12. teleman1

    teleman1 Friend of Leo's

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    general Loud>> big T ramps up
    Yells, bangs, Wife shreiks> Big T ramps up.
    Restaurants busy with no carpets>>run
    If you are subjected to all of the above, even driving at 70 with the window down? They all get you. If you must be subject to all that, I recommend custom ear plugs. Otherwise, always have the cheapies on you, in your car, at home. I even have cheap Harbor freight ear covers hanging with my capo on a hook. 80db & up is no longer your friend. Get an db measure ap on your phone. Caffeine>>>Big T ramps up. My loudest amp is a PRRI & Champs, all still too loud if you want to abuse. I have an extensive pedal board to get GOD sound at low volume.
     
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  13. teleman1

    teleman1 Friend of Leo's

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    BTW, mine came abruptly about 10 years ago or so. Marshall tube stack, testing a pedal. DUMBASS sales kid turns it on, it was on 10. When the tubes warmed up, the 747 landed on my head. Long story short.
     
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  14. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    For those of you who shoot. One round fired from a .357 magnum pistol registers 165db and is the equivalent of forty hours working in a noisy work place environment.
     
  15. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I’m a tinnitus sufferer. I hope this helps. Regarding your guitars not sounding so good, maybe it’s high frequency hearing loss. Have your hearing checked. Tinnitus has two common causes. One, of course, is chronic exposure to loudness. Neither rock music, jack hammers, nor war are good for your hearing and it is possible for the same chronic exposure to cause both high frequency hearing loss and tinnitus. The other common cause of tinnitus is statin medications. Mine started when my doc doubled my dose of Lipitor when he changed one of my diabetes meds. Alpha lipoic acid and Co-Q10 have helped. Ginkgo biloba may also provide some relief. Do yourself a favor and have your hearing checked and review your meds with your primary care physician. I’m living perfectly well now with what at one time was nearly intolerable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  16. Diytelecaster

    Diytelecaster Tele-Meister

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    I've had tinnitus since I was a child. No rhyme or reason as to why it appeared but I notice it more when it goes away briefly.
    It has never changed my perception of how things sound luckily. My hearing is still very good but have lost the upper registers due to my age.
     
  17. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Afflicted

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    Mine gets worse with booze, or in the quiet of the night when I notice it more. I also have visual snow syndrome, the visual equivalent of tinnitus. The two together can be exhausting sometimes, leaving me edgy and intolerant.
     
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  18. knockeduptele

    knockeduptele Tele-Holic

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    I have had tinnitus for years and it is now severe, around a year ago I got hearing aids to deal with mainly high freq loss all due to a thoroughly enjoyable misspent youth on the road. Listening to music my brain seems to compensate and it all sounds like I remember it.

    But

    I find I am now cranking so much low end on amps (bass up to 9 from 4 on a DR) and it still sounds a bit tinny - this seems backwards unless the whistling in my ears is now starting to track my playing

    (or maybe its the voices in my head)
     
  19. Greg70

    Greg70 Tele-Meister

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    I have it in the left ear and it started about a year and a half ago. It comes and goes and will be gone for several days and then come back again. It's just a dull high pitched ringing but when it first started I had a little trouble hearing in that ear when talking to my wife on the phone in the morning. We commute to our jobs at the same time and spend the time talking on our car phones every morning. If the volume was up too high, my left ear would distort just a bit. This was the only time that it affected my actual perceived hearing. My regular doctor said it is just age related and reminded me to protect my ears so they don't get any worse. I wear hearing protection when using power lawn equipment and even put on earmuffs when I open up the Marshall halfstack.

    Getting back to the OP, I haven't noticed that my guitar/amp sounds any worse because of it. The guitar doesn't seem to aggravate it as long as I keep the volume down or use hearing protection. I will say though that when it's really bad I don't want to play guitar as much.

    Like other have said, there's many other health conditions that can cause it so it's best to get it checked out. My father actually had an acoustic neuroma that first manifested as distorted hearing. I'll save you the google search and tell you that it is a non-malignant tumor that grows on the sheath covering the audio nerve (like the insulation of your guitar cable). At first it compresses the nerve and messes with the hearing. Eventually it grows large enough to put pressure on the brain stem and can become lethal. Dad had his surgically removed. He completely lost the hearing in that ear but is otherwise completely fine now. These are very rare so don't freak out that that's what you might have!
     
  20. Tele22

    Tele22 Tele-Meister

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    A friend had tinnitus followed by a severe hearing loss. Take it seriously and see a doctor ASAP.
     
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