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Does having tinnitus mean no more headphones?  

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
I noticed I had a slight hissing sound in my left ear around 17 days ago, so I went to the doctor and he told me to basically avoid all loud sounds and avoid using headphones, which is understandable.

So, for like the past (well 17 days) I have avoided all loud sounds, ain't even thought about touching my headphones and have been gaming using my samsung tv's awful speakers... at low volumes. The tinnitus seems to have gotten quieter and I can't even notice it when I'm up/walking around etc half the time unless I focus on it, which can only be a good thing.

I'm going to be going back to see my doc in like a week, but until then I guess I'm wondering if any of you guys here have tinnitus and still use headphones... does it make it worse or anything like that? I can handle not listening to music through headphones fine, but the reason I bought them in the first place was gaming... and with MW2 around the corner... well I can't imagine not using them for that game.

Cheers for any input, and I won't be touching the headphones until my doctor gives the go ahead anyways.
post #2 of 48
I have had tinnitus since before my loud band days, and I have never been told to not use headphones, by any of my doctors.
post #3 of 48
Thread Starter 
Do the headphones make it worsen at all, or have they?

I'm obviously going to be listening at levels a ****load lower than I used to, lol.

Thanks for the reply.
post #4 of 48
The headphones have no effect on me.
I use them at normal volumes, no loud (like live music) levels.
post #5 of 48
No it´s just SPL. You can as well get tinnitus from your speakers there is no difference. You will just have to be more careful with more high fidelity gear since it´s seldom obvious you are listening at to high levels.

Get a SPL metre if you are worried since it as mentioned can be quite hard to judge for yourself.
post #6 of 48
Thread Starter 
I've always tried to be careful when playing games, never anywhere near max volume but I got the Astro A40 Headset/Mixamp set and these are what caused it I believe, I was listening louder than I used to... my mistake I guess.

If I do go back to gaming w/ them, trust me when I say this... the volume is going WAAAAY down.
post #7 of 48
Headphones do not cause tinnitus/hearing damage, prolonged exposure to excessive volume does. When using headphones, good rule of thumb is that makes sure the average volume is not louder than normal speech volume. Another one is that when you use open headphones, if you can speak normally with someone while there is music playing through headphones, volume is most likely safe for extended listening time.

One thing that is destroying the ears of this iPod generation is using the buds while in car or bus. Buds do not isolate outside noise and they bump up the volume so they can hear music through the ambient noise. While it doesnt seem loud to ears there, eardrums still take all the same torture what they would on silent enviroment and listening loudly. That is probaply why some doctors warn against the use of headphones, they think you would do the same as it is so common.
post #8 of 48
Thread Starter 
I've never used earphones/headphones on the bus or in the car or anything like that, I always like hearing what's going on around me.

The only thing I'm going to need the headphones for is gaming really, so it's hard to judge as in multiplayer COD games for an example it can be really quiet then the sound can spike if someone hits you w/ a grenade launcher or something similar... I'm really not sure,
post #9 of 48
Oh yeah, if your ears have tinnitus because they are fatigued, then it is of course good to avoid headphones because listening them loud is so easy. Your doctor warned to avoid all noise afterall. My post was more about permanent hearing damage. It doesnt matter where the SPL comes, loud is loud and you shouldnt expose your ears to it for too long.
post #10 of 48
thing is with headphones is that for some reason we listen to music louder with them on that if we were using speakers (maybe it's b/c it's not bothering anyone), but whatever the reason...the problem is the volume, not so much the source (be it headphones or whatever). you might want to ask him what's too loud for you/too long and then get a db meter so you can make sure you're not overdoing it... good luck
post #11 of 48
I surely don´t. I checked with my SPL metre and I tend to want to cramp my speakers up for maximum impact I suppose. Still nothing ridiculous but easy to the 90 db levels. Since I guess I am missing the detail I get with my headphones lol But my speakers are quite neutral and "booring"

Before it was a fact since then I had speakers that would distort prior to reaching the SPL my new does. distortion means higher perceived loudness so I suppose for those that have crap speakers that is true

But if we take my brothers speakers you think they don´t play loud at all and then you are trying to speak to eachother.... WHAT!!! Did you say something if he cranks it up lol
post #12 of 48
I'd follow your doctor's advice if I were you rather than seeking it here. If your doubting it then seek a second medical opinion or request a referral to a hearing specialist.
post #13 of 48
I have permanent, very noticeable tinnitus in my right ear in a room with ambient noise below 50dB. I also have reduced hearing in the 4-8KHz range in my left ear. I have "violinist's ear" if you will. Years of spending 8 or more hours a day in a practice room with an instrument that emits 103+ dB to the ears.

Having said that, I still listen to headphones and find the experience enjoyable at all volumes, from 55dBA to 90dBA. I also have, in spite of the damage and tinnitus, enough acuteness left to distinguish between source upgrades and high end headphones, the difference between a stock and recabled HD650, etc...

If you notice ringing that wasn't there before and have been exposed to any form of loudness, whether from music or the environment, I'd take three days off from listening to music to let the ears rest. Get plenty of sleep, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, etc.

If you do get permanent tinnitus, it's not the end of the world; 90% of "tinnitus-free" people actually have some form of tinnitus which goes unnoticed unless in a quiet room. Just make sure to prevent further damage by listening at a quieter volume - conversation level or lower is best.
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geek View Post
I also have, in spite of the damage and tinnitus, enough acuteness left to distinguish...between a stock and recabled HD650
That is indeed acute hearing!
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaZa View Post
Headphones do not cause tinnitus/hearing damage, prolonged exposure to excessive volume does. When using headphones, good rule of thumb is that makes sure the average volume is not louder than normal speech volume. Another one is that when you use open headphones, if you can speak normally with someone while there is music playing through headphones, volume is most likely safe for extended listening time.

One thing that is destroying the ears of this iPod generation is using the buds while in car or bus. Buds do not isolate outside noise and they bump up the volume so they can hear music through the ambient noise. While it doesnt seem loud to ears there, eardrums still take all the same torture what they would on silent enviroment and listening loudly. That is probaply why some doctors warn against the use of headphones, they think you would do the same as it is so common.
I agree.Headphones have bad reputation because of these earbuds which are used at very high volumes by young people mostly.

I think that if you have a good pair of headphones and listen at normal volumes,there is no need to worry.

Rabidgamer,If you feel that you should not listen because of the tinnitus,then don't do it or listen to low volumes and not for many hours,and take some breaks,too.
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