If you’ve been to a few too many loud DJ gigs, you might have started noticing that familiar-yet-terrifying ringing in your ears that plagues DJs and music lovers around the world. How can people who suffer from tinnitus start to treat it? Today, Peter Phua (M.D.) takes a look at the top options available for treating tinnitus – there’s no cure yet, but learn about the promising options inside!
Tinnitus is a medical condition that every DJ should be aware of. It is the perception of sound in the absence of any external auditory input, and anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that DJs are at high risk. Although there are many possible causes, the most common cause is noise induced hearing loss. Due to noise exposure, hearing loss is overwhelmingly the cause of tinnitus among DJ’s. Most commonly, it’s described as a “ringing” in the ears that never goes away. There are many variations of tinnitus tones and the volume of one’s tinnitus tone can vary dramatically.
Disclaimer: Although this article is written by an M.D., it does not constitute medical advice. Speak to your doctor about your tinnitus and tinnitus treatment.
LOSING YOUR HEARING (AND MIND)
Why should DJ’s care about tinnitus? Simply put, the condition can have severely debilitating consequences for a person’s quality of life – and even ability to perform ( louder tones drown out the perception of other audio, and also correlate to hearing loss). Having a constant, inescapable noise in your head can cause serious psychological distress. Tinnitus has been associated with anxiety, depression, and a reduction in short-term memory – thus many patients are keen on seeking treatments for it. A famous anecdote claims Van Gogh attempted to cut his ear off due to tinnitus, and if you have it, you probably know why.
Want to learn ways to prevent tinnitus from happening? Read Ean’s article here.
Here’s the first thing you need to know about the state of tinnitus treatment: there is no scientifically accepted cure. What does this mean, specifically? Basically, the medical community has evaluated the literature on scientific experiments on tinnitus treatment, and has ruled that there is insufficient evidence to definitively point to any particular treatment as being effective in completely eliminating tinnitus. What there are, however, are some promising therapies that could work, but more research needs to be done to make a definitive conclusion.
One very important thing to take into consideration when evaluating medical claims is the hierarchy of evidence: where findings from stronger studies are accorded more weight than findings from weaker studies (for example, a grouped analysis of many experiments on a particular treatment is held in higher regard than any single one of those experiments).
The tinnitus treatment space is flooded with scams or treatments that are based on little to no evidence. These include ebooks claiming to hold natural cures, sprays, and “homeopathic” regimes (which are nothing more than diluted water). The remainder of tinnitus treatments are based on a varying amount of scientific evidence, with varying degrees of strength.
The following treatments are treatments for sensorineural tinnitus (tinnitus caused by hearing loss, or a deprivation of sensory input from damaged hearing cells). Another important qualification: not all of these treatments lower the volume of your tinnitus – some just reduce the distress associated with it.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
The purpose of tinnitus retraining therapy, or TRT, as it is widely known, is to enhance the brain’s habituation response to the tinnitus tone. Basically, habituation is a process whereby your brain “gets used to” a perception, and becomes minimally affected by it. TRT is intended to help this process along, and reduce the psychological consequences of tinnitus. It uses a combination of counselling sessions and usage of a low-level background noise generator, which is meant to “train your brain” to ignore sounds that are constantly present. This therapy typically requires that one goes through an audiology clinic, and can cost several thousands of dollars.
Effectiveness: It does not lower the volume of your tinnitus, and has generally been found to be moderately effective in decreasing the psychological harm of tinnitus.
Tinnitus masking is similar to TRT, however relies exclusively on the usage of background noise to “mask” or “hide” the tinnitus tone. Tinnitus masking, like TRT, has been shown to have efficacy in reducing the psychological harm from tinnitus, but similarly, does not reduce the volume of the tinnitus tone. Tinnitus masking can actually be done relatively safely by yourself, in that you can simply listen to free masking sounds downloaded from the internet through any MP3 playing capable device.
Effectiveness: It’s been shown to be moderately effective.
Meditation has been an under-publicized treatment option for tinnitus since the research on it is relatively new. A variant of meditation known as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction has shown good efficacy in one experiment in reducing the distress associated with tinnitus. It’s definitely something worth trying out, given that it’s something one can do entirely on their own (meditation has a host of other health benefits and has been shown to cause beneficial changes in the brain that reduce anxiety and stress).
Currently, there is not enough evidence to recommend any specific drug as a medication to lower the volume of tinnitus. There is some promising evidence that a benzodiazepene class drug, Clonazepam, may have some efficacy in lowering the volume of your tinnitus, but more research needs to be done. A popular “natural” remedy called Gingko Biloba has been definitively shown to be useless. The other medications used to treat tinnitus are primarily meant to alleviate the effects of tinnitus without lowering the tinnitus tone’s volume. An older class of antidepressants referred to as tricylics has not shown significant benefit in treating tinnitus associated distress.
Sound therapies are forms of treatment that claim to reduce the volume of your tinnitus tone with specialized sounds, usually customized for the individual patient. The problem is that nearly all of the studies in this space have been funded by the same people who are trying to sell them. Those that haven’t been funded by companies have often been developed with the eventual aim of commercializing the particular sound therapy, so it’s not clear how much of this research has been purely academic. For similar reasons, scientists view drug studies funded by drug companies with suspicion (because it’s an obvious conflict of interest from a scientific perspective).
For example, all the evidence in favor of the efficacy of Neuromonics, a sound therapy proprietor, appears to have been funded by the company itself. Some studies have shown promise, including a sound therapy called Acoustic Modulated Reset Therapy, and another sound therapy referred to as S-Tones.
The common thread behind the aforementioned treatments is that they generally have a high cost (neuromonics costs thousands of dollars) and require a proprietary device (which appears to be nothing more than a proprietary audio player, a way of inflating the cost of treatment).
Some studies have shown that Notched Music and Notched White Noise may have some efficacy in lowering the volume of one’s tinnitus tones. The Notched Music studies appear to have no commercial affiliation at this time – but the authors behind the Notched White Noise studies could attempt to commercialize their treatment in the future. The primary advantage of Notched Sound Therapy is that it is significantly more affordable than competing sound therapies (as it does not require a special device).
Author’s Full Disclosure: I’m an MD that runs a tinnitus treatment company that provides Notched Sound Therapy that directly competes with other sound therapy proprietors.
Treatments Under Research
There are some promising avenues of research that may result in a total tinnitus cure. Stem cell research is probably the most promising candidate. In my discussions with a leading academic researcher on tinnitus, in cases where people have tinnitus from hearing loss, a restoration of the peripheral input from the ear by replacing dead or damaged hearing cells, would, in theory, eliminate the tinnitus tone. This is an extremely challenging scientific problem, and one that is many years away from clinical application. The key message, though is one of hope: our scientific understanding of tinnitus continues to progress, and although a total cure is not yet here, it is on the horizon.
Have tinnitus and found a good way to help lessen the pain? Let us know in the comments below.
[…] Tinnitus Treatment Options on DJ Tech Tools […]
How can I ever stop thanking Dr William for the great thing he have done for me, i got an accident when I was 27 years old from that day on i started experience ringing ear problem(tinnitus) i have taken all the western drugs prescribe by various doctor but to no avail . my tinnitus was very loud in the afternoon and I sleep less at night because of this problem i stop my work, few days later i was going through the Internet and I saw a post of a woman testifying about Dr William herbal remedies on how she was being cure for over her 30 years suffering from tinnitus the story Really motivated me that I have to speak with my husband about it, and he said i should give him a try, i contacted Dr William and explain all i have be facing in my life. He assured me that everything is going to be fine if only I can get his herbal portion, i said yes and I requested for it, few days later the herb was sent to me in Kuwait,i started using it as instructed by Dr William for me to take it for 21 Days which I did, can you imagine after talking Dr William herbal medicine for just two weeks i started experience results, it was like a miracle,and now i am permanently cure from this terrible tinnitus, i promise that am going to publish his herb on thing my last breath for the great deed he have done for me. For those with similar ear problem should please contact him on his email address drwilliams098765@gmail his a good man and am proud of him
I have been following this blog for a while now and today i decided to share my tinnitus story to encourage someone out there. I suffered from terrible tinnitus for 8 years after a constant exposure to loud noise. These noise sounded like a car horn in my right ear and grew worse at night when everywhere was calm and quiet, i lacked sleep and this ruined my psychological life. I had no idea the sound was damaging my hearing until it was too late and i had partial deafness, i had a constant ringing in my ear which always makes me feel like taking my own life. I tried so many drugs even B-vitamin supplements, especially B-5, visited so many audiologist, neuromonics and all was to no avail. I have not seen my ex for a long while and when we bumped into each other she knew i was not okay and i had to tell her all i was facing. She felt so sad but told me there is a cure which let me in amazement. That was wfhen she told me about Dr. Joseph herbal medicine which gives a permanent relief to tinnitus symptoms and cures it. Lord know i needed help so i got the medicine and used it, that was when i met a breakthrough, i am perfectly okay now and i sleep calm without any stress and i hear clearly now. You too can get cured just contact him on (josephalberteo @ gmail. com) for advise and how to get the medicine. Thanks
For me tinnitus seems to be directly connected to the nervous system. When I do yoga/stretching the volume decreases every single time. When I take a Xanax that works too. Apart from the volume (obvious) i have found that the type of audio you are exposed to matters a lot . Loud uncompressed, unmastered, distorted-type audio is REALLY bad. Eg guitar amps. I have had T for 3-4 years constantly, with 10 years of warning signs leading up to that. Djing for 17 years didn’t help either. Tonight I have had a ‘spike’ in my T which is no fun.
[…] Options For Tinnitus Treatments (For DJs Who Already Have It) – Today, Peter Phua (M.D.) takes a look at the top options available for treating tinnitus – there’s no cure yet, but learn about the promising options inside! Tinnitus is a medical condition that every DJ should be aware of. It is the perception of … […]
[…] Options For Tinnitus Treatments (For DJs Who Already Have It) – Today, Peter Phua (M.D.) takes a look at the top options available for treating tinnitus – there’s no cure yet, but learn about the promising options inside! Tinnitus is a medical condition that every DJ should be aware of. It is the perception of … […]
[…] Options For Tinnitus Treatments (For DJs Who Already Have It) – Tinnitus is a medical condition that every DJ should be aware of. It is the perception of sound … a particular treatment is held in higher regard than any single one of those experiments). The tinnitus treatment space is flooded with scams or … […]
There is a tree called ginkgo. If you consume ginkgo extract your tinnitus should go away. I advise anyone to at least try.
The article literally states: “A popular “natural” remedy called Gingko Biloba has been definitively shown to be useless.” and links to this study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15106224
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
[…] If you want a good overview of tinnitus treatment options, check out this article I wrote for DJ Tec… (ignore the fact that it’s on a DJ web site – DJ’s are just a population more affected by tinnitus due to occupational exposure). […]
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.
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.
for “spiritually minded” …you may want to check some of these before you start treating your self too much http://tinyurl.com/pj8k3dw
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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” 🙂
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.
Lying in my bed after I did a gig tonight, and my ears are ringing… sh!t
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.
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.
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?
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.
plain oxygenated water gets the job done.
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.
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)
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
like a fish 😉
An extremely pertinent article.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
Thank you for sharing and for educating people on tinnitus…
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!)
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!
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).
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?
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
Awesome article! I will be sharing it to all my DJ and Producer friends…
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!
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.
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.
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.