• Admiralty

    Aly & Fila…
    A. You played here on your
    own, without your partner Aly, and some festival-goers have been heard
    to ask why he didn’t join you. I know the reason, but many still don’t,
    do you mind explaining again for our readers?

    F: Around 4 Years ago Aly
    suffered a severe ear defect while playing. We had to go to the
    Doctor’s office and they advised him to not be exposed to loud music or
    he will have to face losing complete hearing in his ear. We decided
    from then on, Aly makes music with me at a very low level in the studio
    so it doesn’t damage his ear, and I represent the brand on tour when

  • Pingback: Tinnitus Treatment Blog» Blog Archive » Tinnitus Volume Mayo Clinic()

  • DJay Flash

    I’ve read this article last year, but recently went to a hearing specialists and she concluded to tell me to take Lipoflavin oids. This medicine I found at CVS and it is used to rebuild the inner ear. Which will help will lowering Tinnitus.

  • Maarten

    Great article! I’m getting involved in DJ’ing and I hadn’t even thought about the possibility of this. Anyone have any tips as to how to help prevent it while performing outside of earplugs? (For me they are very uncomfortable, as I have strangely shaped ears, and they usually fall out).

  • The biggest thing missing from this article is the reminder to prevent tinnitus in the first place. Wear ear protection when you go to events as just a spectator, and invest the money in custom molded musicians’ earplugs for when you play. For less than $200 you can protect your hearing and avoid all of this.

  • Oz

    for “spiritually minded” …you may want to check some of these before you start treating your self too much http://tinyurl.com/pj8k3dw

  • Ryan

    Good article.
    I wanted to add though…
    Although over-exposure to loud music for long periods of time can cause tinnitus, it should be noted that there ARE other causes for tinnitus and I fear there might be some tinnitus-sufferers here that might misdiagnose there symptoms.

    I’ve dealt with some tinnitus this past year (thankfully it’s not chronic) and I know that my issue had to deal with me having bruxism while I sleep, meaning I clench and grind my teeth at night, definitely which is partly caused by stress.

    I know personally that I’ve woken up with tinnitus before that was moderately severe that lasted the a couple days, all because I knew the night before I was clenching my teeth uncontrollably in my sleep.

    So anyway, for those looking to diagnose their tinnitus, maybe try looking more into bruxism and sleep disorders.


    • You’re not incorrect that there can be other causes, Ryan. But on a site about DJing, full of people who expose themselves to incredibly loud music on a regular basis while not using ear protection, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one.

  • Gilani

    There is this as an option, i had to read through so much on the internet to come across this! Its very hard to find though I asked friends in Germany to look it up and even people I know who own chemists to check with their suppliers but no one was able to trace it! The mails didnt get replied to either.

    Maybe someone on here from Germany could help?


    • Gilani

      I have tinnitus, had it for a few years now…developed it due to lack of sleep and not eating properly for days, was on a work binge and had to attend a few really loud events…with extreme treble…killed my ears; i didnt realize it for a good while though till one day at night in bed i couldnt figure wth this sound was…i had read about it, so as soon as i covered my ears to check i knew what it was hahaha…its a pain having it.

  • orsidigital

    Many here talk about coffee and lack of sleep making it louder, also booze making it softer at first and then next day louder. Bottom line this really is all about blood pressure. Higher = louder; there is a logic to that I suppose.

  • Kerri K.

    Great article and I agree with Tonmeister Jones, alcohol, too much salt and I also notice when I have sugar it makes the tinnitus worse.

  • monjela

    In Traditional Chinese Medicine – tinnitus and hearing loss (I have
    had both for 10 yrs) is associated with impaired kidney function. A
    simple blood test will let you know how your kidneys are going.

    salt, meat (or animal protein), caffiene, alcohol, stress, worry and
    exhaustion all contribute to make your kidneys work harder, and when
    they are already taxed – adding these to the mix just makes it worse. Getting lots of sleep helps too, as does keeping hydrated.

    tinnitus changes tone sometimes – not sure why, but when it gets
    noticeably louder I know I need to take it easy and rest. I’ve found
    that acupuncture can offer some temporary relief and meditation helps
    (in many other areas of life too).

  • Kosho

    Why do people think they need to be in a social environment with music
    played at such a high volume that you cannot have a conversation? OK,
    that sounds like my grandmother. But good question nevertheless, maybe
    even the key question. So you want to dress up, go out, pay money,
    enter a room full of people, maybe dance but more likely sit or stand
    and drink and say very little (and when you do, have to shout)? I was a
    part of that scene for over 5 years as a dj and vj and frankly, I got
    bored. Now I’m into more acoustic music with great vocals and lots of
    nuance and I connect with way more interesting and talented people and
    basically have way more fun. Grow up! Too bad my hearing was damaged
    before I did.

  • Jack

    This article is just great and it’s good it’s on a dj blog, there are too many people suffering from this. I’m a supporter of audionotch too, better than nothing while waiting for a “true cure” :)

  • Barry Keate

    Despite the statement above that Ginkgo biloba has been definitively shown to be useless, there are many clinical trials that show efficacy. One such is an overview of 19 clinical studies on ginkgo for tinnitus reviewed by N. Holstein.

    Source: http://www.tinnitusformula.com/library/19-clinical-studies-on-ginkgo-for-tinnitus/

  • Armand Vemreulen

    Lying in my bed after I did a gig tonight, and my ears are ringing… sh!t

  • blattacker

    Articles like this give me hope. I’ve only been DJing for 4 years now, but I had the unfortunate luck to be born with tinnitus. I was halfway through elementary school before I found out that the ringing wasn’t normal. Since I’ve had it my whole life, I’d gotten really used to it, and it never really bothered me, but once I started doing music, and finding out that there is a chance that it could get even worse the longer I do this, the more nervous I get about it. I invested very early in a pair of attenuating ear plugs. Knowing that, in the future, this ringing that I’ve had my whole life might be something that I can get rid of is an amazing thought.

    • Weaver2

      I was born with it too, or developed it at an extremely early age. I first complained about it when I was about 6 years old.

      I think the loud music over the years has made it somewhat worse, but I’m kind of used to living with it to be honest.

      I’d love for a cure.

  • I have recently developed tinnitus. I have been DJing and going to clubs for years so that obviously hasn’t helped any, but…

    Last year I started wearing foam earplugs when I was sleeping sometimes as my girlfriend and I were on quite different schedules (me working nights and her getting up early). I then moved house to a much noisier area and started wearing them almost every night and started to notice that in the morning my ears would be ringing really bad. I thought this was just my ears adapting but it eventually got to the point where the ringing just never went away.

    I no longer wear earplugs to sleep at night and still have the ringing.

    I am can’t be certain but I am pretty sure that the condition was bought on by the frequent use of foam earplugs. Be careful.

    • Pardon?

      Weird, but that is a very similar situation to mine. The girlfriend suggested earplugs for sleeping, as I live in a noisy place. I now have tinnitus from regular use.

      One thing I would say however, is that my tinnitus really subsides if I keep well hydrated. So try drinking plenty of water every day and see if it works for you.

      Also, and this might seem like common sense, but I had a build up of wax due to the earplugs pushing the wax forming in the middle of the ear canal in against the eardrum. After clearing the wax, the tinnitus in that ear reduced by half almost overnight.

      Moral of the story, ear plugs (foam type) should never be used regularly for prolonged periods, as they push wax (which forms in everyone’s ears) in toward the eardrum.

      • What did you use for the cleaning? Or did you get it professionals done?

        • Pardon?

          I used Earex Advance, though I must stress that I had my ears checked to see that I hadn’t perforated my eardrums first as drops like this contain urea hydrogen peroxide, which aside from being really toxic, could be dangerous if your eardrums are perforated.

          The other options are syringing at the doctors surgery, which isn’t as it sounds, they basically gently wash your ears out with luke-warm water.

          Or, olive oil based ear drops, a couple of drops in the morning or evening, the wax eventually comes out, but really you should go and have your ears checked by a professional first, no matter what.

        • Sebastian Cavolina

          plain oxygenated water gets the job done.

  • BenAtWork

    As a producer / musician with tinnitus I just wanted to say I love the article and thanks for the scientificly researched round up amidst so much misinformation. I only got tinnitus about a year ago and coming to terms with the coping strategy’s has been a bit tough, but in a way I’m lucky I got it early (my hearings not actually that damaged, just the tone) and I’m still making music.

  • chris

    Tinnitus? wtf
    i have it, since my time at the army. (i forgot my ear protection for machine-gun-shooting as teacher at the stand)

    but this is not a problem, at the moment.
    There ar fine “tentakles” in the ear. they going broken.
    In the hospital they give me some infusion, that the blood is going to be thinner and rebuild this tentakles. – in blood are good stuff ;)

    and so i trink beer, that the blood is going to be thinner.
    (but no american beer)


    • chris

      always remain to be liquid



      by the way
      if you smoke, and be at a room and don’t went out
      you’re going to be stinking – inside and outside

      fresh air
      fresh water
      like a fish ;)


  • thejone

    An extremely pertinent article.
    Thanks guys!

  • leavesremix

    that Van Gogh always had his music too loud when he was at the canvas! he was told time and time again to turn it down.

  • Joe M

    There was a study by the Mayo Clinic suggesting that Magnesium may help with the relief of Tinnitus due to damage from exposure to high volume. There is a secondary study being wrapped up and the results are due for publication this December.

    There is anecdotal evidence from people who have tried Magnesium and have claimed it’s reduced the effect at least while they were taking it. The studies were looking at long term outcomes. It’s worth looking into as a cheap and simple possible reducer to try.

  • Paul

    Problem with Clonazepam is that it becomes useless pretty quick as your body adapt to it very rapidly. But it does relieve the sounds/or make you care less about it.

  • Adam Arthur

    Wonderful article, and its good to hear that there are some real treatments on the horizon, not just for tinnitus but hearing loss too. Would be amazing to not have to wear a big ol’ hearing aid when I’m 80 haha. My tinnitus started about 10 years ago and I can’t prove it, but for me it happened right when i started religiously taking sleeping pills (Tylenol Simply Sleep – which is now incorporated in Tylenol PM). I know late night music production with headphones on blasting and going to clubs definitely contributed to the problem as well, but I would expect that would be more a contribution to my hearing loss not the ringing in my ears. With that said I now notice the absolute BIGGEST relief to my tinnitus is when i get good sleep. The more sleep deprived I am the worse it gets. Granted it could be somewhat coincidental to what I am eating or drinking. I know also when I am really stressed it gets worse as well. My cousin has tinnitus as well and he cut out salt (to also lower blood pressure) and caffeine (can also be related to high blood pressure) which he said helped him quite a bit. Obviously all these things go hand in hand so I think the best recommendation for healthy ears is to live a healthy life style. Eat good, drink less, sleep well, meditate (which will also help with sleeping) and exercise. When i was on a healthy routine of going to bed at the same time each night, getting the same amount of sleep each day, eating healthy light meals and exercising and meditation to alleviate stress my tinnitus got so quiet I had to often actually listen to try and hear if my tinnitus was even there. So even though there is no cure, there is relief to be found.

    • scamo

      I noticed the same thing. The more sleepy I get and the more stressed I am, the worse it gets. If I am well rested and more relaxed, my tinitus subsides. Coffee also makes it worse, the more I drink.


  • Rod

    Tom: how many hours later or days is your tinnitus high after alcohol drinking? Im not sure in my case because JAck Daniels actually reduces the Tinnitus right after i take it but 1 day after comes louder, but I am not sure because i have cycles that last 4 or 5 days in which is low and high, but i have problems in correlating it with diet and drinking, so im looking for more data from people.

    • TonmeisterJones

      Hey man, on the rare occasion that I have more than a couple of drinks, I definitely notice my tinnitus a little bit less when the alcohol actually kicks in. I suspect it’s there just the same, just my perception of it isn’t as good. But the next day, the tinnitus will be worse. Or, I should say, it will seem worse. That usually lasts for about 48 hours before things settle back down to ‘normal’.

      • Peter Phua

        There have been a lot of anecdotal reports about alcohol changing tinnitus volume loudness. As I understand it the theory is that alcohol modifies the level of neural inhibition in the brain.

      • Rod

        Thank you!
        As Peter says, some people claim that alcohol acts as a neurodepressor and lowers the volume.
        I also started with intermitent T , on and off 1 year ago, and is now always there but with that rythm 2 days on 2 days low. Lots of people who have the high frequency Tinnitus like 12000Hz and up (like old TV hissing in a room) have the on-off or high volume – low volume cycle. Still nobody knows why theres some kind of chemical that varies in quantity somehow. Usually the tonal tinnitus or more keetle like is very often to see it constant.
        Anyway, one thing that i noticed tha really lowers the volume is white noise notched at Tinnitus frequency. I bought the mp3 from http://www.audionotch.com. If does not work they refund the bucks.

        Theres another therapy for people in the 2 week window since onset: hyperbaryc oxygen therapy. You go into a chamber and you breathe pure Oxygen at 15 mts simulated for 100 minutes. They say it repairs the cochlea cells damaged by trauma due to noise.

  • TonmeisterJones

    Great article. I’ve been DJing since 1991 and I’ve had tinnitus for twenty years. It wasn’t actually DJing that initially caused it (although it doubtless didn’t help), but I killed my ears at raves and in clubs back then. I’d always stand in the loudest place. Stupid, stupid, stupid. By the time I’d heard of the condition, it was too late. So it’s great that there are articles like this to educate younger DJs and music lovers that prevention is better than (no) cure.

    I now teach young people (8-18) how to DJ both in group workshops and 1on1 tuition. Whenever someone comes for their first time, I always talk about tinnitus and the dangers of being exposed to high volume for prolonged periods, not just while DJing but generally in life. I can see from the looks I get from different kids that they’re thinking “yeah right old man” but trust me – they get the message. For me, I’ve had it so long that I deal with it pretty comfortably despite it being quite severe.

    One other thing the article doesn’t mention is diet. I’m not saying that this would have the same effect for everyone, but speaking personally, alcohol and too much salt both make my tinnitus worse so I only have both in moderation. Which is probably a good thing whether your ears are ringing or not!

    Long time reader of DJTT, first time commenter. Keep up the great work.

    • Viciouss Hoffmann

      Thank you for sharing and for educating people on tinnitus…

    • messenger_boy

      Awesome comment man. It’s great to hear that you are taking it upon yourself to educate aspiring DJs to learn from your experience. I also have tinnitus from the various bands I was in growing up… (we didn’t have to fucking practice THAT loud). It’s a pretty mild case, mostly unnoticeable until I’m trying to fall asleep, but annoying none-the-less. Glad you are doing your part to educate the youth man. Rock on!!! (but at an appropriate volume!)

      • TonmeisterJones

        Thanks man, appreciate it. Just wish I could go back to ’86 and tell that skinny eleven-year-old kid at the back of the bus rocking Run DMC on his Walkman to TURN IT DOWN! I got addicted to LOUD right there. Another lesson for the youth: don’t buy shitty headphones!

        • Peter Phua

          It’s so hard to educate young people about protecting their hearing. There’s been a lot of studies on headphone usage and hearing loss, and the problem is basically endemic. I wrote a quick blog post on it here: http://www.audionotch.com/blog/hearing/music-from-headphones-is-causing-hearing-damage/

          Bottom line: teenagers seem to do their own thing, regardless of advice from adults (which sort of makes sense if you can recall what it was like to be a teenager).

    • David Achê

      Ok guys, help me out, I’ve been djing for about 8 years as a night club resident, playing on a frequent basis, and I started to have the ringing in my ears (even though it feels like it comes from the the top of my head) about a year ago, during a 6 month period that I was not attending parties or playing, but I was still using headphones to listen to music on my laptop. I noticed the ringing started when I began having sleep deprivation due to stress and worriness. There are days that I don’t hear the ringing at all, and there are days when I wake up and the ringing is intense (especially if I have had some drinks the night before). It’s been getting worse lately, to the point the it began to bother me, but I’ve been skeptical about if it is actually tinnitus or some neurological issue, not sure if I should go to an audiologist or a neurologist first. I would also like to know, normally how is tinnitus diagnosed?


      • Sebastian Cavolina

        If you go to an otolaryngologist and say you have a ringing in your head, probably they’ll automatically say is tinnitus. So i would suggest that you go to a psychologist. Even concentration issues can cause that kind of inside-of-your-head tones. I’ve had ADHD all my life and that has happened to me quite a few times. But even if it’s psychological some custom made earplugs can be a fate-changer for your ears, and i can say they are pretty comfortable so they aren’t a bad idea. A little of hearing protection never hurts.

        • David Achê

          Thanks for your input. Lately I feel like my ears are more sensitive to loud music, rather than having to turn the volume up to hear the music better, so I believe I’ve had no hearing loss. (did some tests online and went well on all of them, but still need to go to a doctor to make sure). I also wear these when I feel the music is too loud,


          they work well for mixing, and you can have a conversation with someone with no problem without taking them off.

          • Sebastian Cavolina

            yeah but custom made protectors could be your upgrade. they sound absolutely amazing, they lower the Db levels but dont sound muffled. these are cool http://www.etymotic.com/hp/erme.html

          • RuffintheJungle

            David. What you are describing sounds very much like tinnitus symptoms. Reading your second text about an increase in sensitivity removes all doubt for me. Now this is where things get a bit complicated. With hearing loss induced tinnitus, there is also a high probability for (hyperacusis) sound sensitivity . You re saying you still hear well – hearing loss doesnt mean you go deaf, it can be vague but the damage has been done and unfortunately it’s the most prevalent cause for tinnitus in youths today. Your story fits the description of many others.

            You tried acupuncture with good results. Thats great. you can go further with meditation, CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), Ginko Biloba (works for some). Good luck!

        • David Achê

          I also been practicing acupuncture for a few months, and had a session a few days ago, and I told the therapist about the ringing in the ears. He focused the needles on specific points on the ear and body, related to the inner ears, and I must say the intensity of the ringing lowered considerably.

  • Viciouss Hoffmann

    Awesome article! I will be sharing it to all my DJ and Producer friends…

  • 031999

    wow thank you so much!! this a problem which started for me about a year ago, and while it’s not constant. It comes and goes pretty often. I’m gonna try everything i can!

    • Peter Phua

      I’ve heard that it’s fairly common for people with intermittent tinnitus to have it progress to constant tinnitus IF they don’t adequately protect their hearing, and incur more hearing loss.

  • technicaltitch

    Great article, thanks. I know it is auxiliary to your point, and it is covered elsewhere, but I think it is worth recommending custom ear plugs for sufferers as a way of preventing it getting any worse. I would have had to give up DJing otherwise, and almost didn’t bother with them, as they’re expensive and the non-custom ones muffle the sound so much so I expected the same from custom ones. I feel a nod towards prevention of worsening is relevant to your post on cures.

    • Peter Phua

      Prevention is the best response to this issue. DJ Tech Tools has done a great job of publicizing tinnitus and why DJ’s should be wary of it. The article by Ean has over 120 comments right now, I think.