Tinnitus...who has it and thinks it might be riding related?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Motor7, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    I think some of you are mistaking Tinnitus for heading damage. I would say nearly every adult has some ringing in their ears from normal life whereas people that actually have Tinnitus have no choice but to wear ear plugs, sometimes 24 hours a day.
    If you put nearly anyone in an anechoic chamber, they are going to hear ringing. People that have Tinnitus usually are exposed to extreme dB levels for years like people who have been to war, drummers, factory workers etc
    As the hairs in your cochlea over time break and die, the brain fills in this absence with sound.
    #41
  2. TNWillie

    TNWillie Adventurer

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    I just ordered a sample pack after reading the reviews. I've tried ALOT of whats out there and even have a pair of the custom molded ones that I'm not impressed with. I've found that the ones from EARS work best for me but they're not very reuseable. I'm looking forward trying these "worlds best" ones out. Thanks for posting the link ;)
    #42
  3. sphyrnidus

    sphyrnidus born to ride

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    I have tinnitus and hearing löss (60 dB both ears). I've been riding with protection/plugs always (500 k km) But my father and brother have or had the same hearing löss and tinnitus. My father had some audio trauma during the war, a grenade exploded quite near to him. But my brother does not ride, was not in the army and for hobby only rides horses. I think in our family genetics ais important.
    #43
  4. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    I totally agree. I know people that are professional musicians and could care less about their hearing and they seems to be totally fine..... you have to choose your parents carefully
    #44
  5. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I've had serious tinnitus since about age 50 and I'm 64 now. As a child I raced karts. We ran open stacks. The races were a couple hours long on big tracks. WFO most of the time with the engine right behind my helmet. After every race my ears rang for about a week. Later I became an Army helicopter pilot during my war. I flew a Loach and wore a ballistic helmet with no ear plugs to interrupt hearing my radios. The new helmets had built in ear protection but I used the old Ballistic job. I am told most of my hearing loss was due to that. I started losing the mid ranges in my late 20's.

    I raced MX for several years too, but we had small mufflers. Still, a pack of any kind of racing motorcycles are a big noise. I didn't wear earplugs, so that probably didn't help.

    About age 50 I started riding again and I noticed the ringing of the ears lasted after each ride, then became constant. I'm so used to constant ringing now, I probably couldn't sleep if it went away. It's become an old friend. :D

    I think the riding contributed to my tinnitus. I wear earplugs but only for about ten years. And not always.
    #45
  6. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    Hearing loss is not the only factor. Long duration in high noise environments can also cause stress. In the 80's I made a significant number of eight to ten hour rides from the Big Bend area to Houston, chasing tail.:evil Usually upon arrival I'd find myself all wired up and had trouble calming down, sleeping, etc. Like being jacked up on caffeine, or a six pack of Jolt Cola. :eek1

    Then I read an article some motorcycle rag had written about testing for the noise level inside a full-face helmet, visor down, at highway speeds. It was something in the neighborhood of 120 db IIRC. The article stated that in a work environment OSHA would require an employee have hearing protection for exposure of greater than five to ten minutes, and that permanent hearing loss could result from extended exposure to these levels.

    She-ite, I've been spending hours upon hours in this noisy environ. Yikes!

    This was a wake-up call. I then had my hearing tested and discovered that my hearing was impaired.

    This prompted me to start wearing ear plugs on every ride, making the same trips, and the difference was amazing. Both in lower noise levels, and in lower anxiety levels (which affect attentiveness while riding) as an effect of hours of being in the noise.

    My hearing is still affected, especially noticed in crowded noisy places where I have difficulty following the conversations of those beside me. I occasionally have an episode of Tinnitus, but it rarely lasts very long.

    Ear plugs have been a part of my mandatory gear for almost thirty years now. Looking back I wish it had been more like forty or forty five years of riding with ear plugs.

    I'm hoping that the Tinnitus I occasionally experience does not get worse.

    Hearing loss and noise induced stress are credible factors in the risks motorcyclists face following our passion. These risks can be mitigated. Knowing this and taking steps to prevent it before damage occurs will always be better than stop-gap measures after the damage is done.
    #46
  7. Floggingsodr

    Floggingsodr n00b

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    Dear Motor7, tinnitus is the cumulative result of
    Continued noise exposure from day one. Mine is
    related to a combination of vocational and recreational
    noise exposure. Power tool are among the top offenders.
    At first after reading Fred Rau's Touring Bible I thought
    His contention of wearing plugs was FOS as I rode a
    relatively quiet bike (K1200 LTC). Just traded for a R1200GS.
    Big difference in noise signature! So I wear my plugs religiously.
    As an Audiologist I worried about the safety aspect, however,
    Not hearing is not safe either. The only bummer is being
    plugged I Hear my tinnitus all ride long.
    #47
  8. dddd

    dddd Been here awhile

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    false; it is only one possible cause.

    Of those I have, two I have had for as long as I can recall, as a little boy.
    Most complexe causes are cerebral, not physical.
    #48
  9. i_isntreal

    i_isntreal Been here awhile

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    Ear plugs are a cruel catch 22 aren't they. They help prevent the tinnitus from getting worse, and help with the hyperacusis, for those of us who have it. But it also makes the tinnitus more prominent. The quieter bike is a bonus though. I also can't stand the racket getting stuck behind loud vehicles or bikes. Thankfully with the GS, you'll never be stuck behind them for long :).
    #49
  10. Motor7

    Motor7 Been here awhile

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    Your statement is confusing..I have Tin, when I put on earplugs it is actually louder, so why would Tin sufferers have no choice & wear earplugs 24/7? Like you said, the brain manufactures the noise, so earplugs to mask it does not work.
    #50
  11. Motor7

    Motor7 Been here awhile

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    MotoTex, I noticed this a long time ago. After a long ride with no plugs I seem to have a collision of different things at the same time. I feel irritated, exhausted & actually felt like I was vibrating. With plugs this does not happen.
    #51
  12. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    Well put. That's a good description of the experience I had.
    #52
  13. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Not always. Sometimes the ear itself generates the noise. I'll get this occasionally, as the muscles in my middle ear spasm, clattering the bones together like castanets. There are a number of other non-brain causes, high blood pressure, cochlia damage or contamination, nerve impingement, etc.
    #53
  14. Motor7

    Motor7 Been here awhile

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    Yes, I understand this but either way, earplugs won't stop it.
    #54
  15. O.C.F.RIDER

    O.C.F.RIDER Loose nut behind h/bars

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    54, been riding since I was 8. Been around very loud bikes pretty much since I was born, as Dad owned a bike shop & raced. If I ever had a quiet bike, I would quickly cure that problem. :lol3 At 10, I had a Sachs 80 Boondocker with a nice aftermarket expansion chamber.......and no silencer! Rode that until almost 14. Road-raced for years on BOOMING Ducati's. About 500,000 miles of street riding, all with bikes that had aftermarket exhaust systems. Dirt-riding for entire riding life. Always with, well, not very politically correct exhausts. 8 bikes now all with aftermarket pipes that won't win any awards for how quiet they are. Not HD straight-pipe loud, but not stock anything quiet. Hardly ever wear, or wore, any hearing protection at all. If I'm going to be on any of the street bikes for the whole day, or on a trip (wishful thinking), I MAY put in foam plugs. Otherwise, never. End result is, some loss I'm sure, and occasional "ringing" that may last for a whopping couple of minutes. I may be one of the rare & lucky ones that have gotten away with prolonged hearing abuse and not suffered any really bad consequences. At least nothing that has me running to the Dr.
    I have to go, I hear my St. Bernards barking at something. :lol3 (More loud noise :rofl)

    CW
    #55
  16. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    Thank you for that link: mine is the "7500 Hz Tone" at about half the volume of that dial.

    I have been riding for over 45 years, mostly wearing helmets.
    Wearing no ear plugs, I have been working in very noisy environments (metal shops, heavy machinery, construction, airport) and have been in military service (AKM and pistol practices).

    My Tinnitus has started about five years ago, and the ear doctor has determined that it is neurological (related to the nerves that connect ears and brain) and that both of my ears have no measurable hearing loss (which coincides with my periodic evaluations at the airport).
    #56
  17. urbanXJ

    urbanXJ Long timer

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    I have both tinnitus and some hearing damage. It started 4 years ago.

    Every time I am around gun fire, loud motorcycles, chainsaws etc it gets worse (ie the ringing gets louder)

    It is so loud I can hear it over the gas lawn mower.

    My shrink has me on klonopin so I can sleep.

    Ear plugs help it not get worse, that is it. When I have plugs in, my perception of the ringing is that it is even louder. Hence, I like to sleep with other noise around (white noise machine and TV).

    I'm quite the advocate of hearing protection now.
    #57
  18. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

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    i were ear plugs to cut down on the wind noise plus i wear a ff helmet as i find that a open face / mx lid are louder at speed.

    i have to wear ear plugs at work and i wear them on the bike to so i can cut down the wind noise and hear the bike better
    #58
  19. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Agreed. About all I get with earplugs is a reduction of noise input that can aggravate it.
    #59
  20. scootrboi

    scootrboi Long timer

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    I have tinnitus. I think it is from a noisy rider mower. It had a hole in the head gasket for a couple years and I was careless about earplugs. I also rode my scooter with an exhaust pipe that I was struggling to keep on tight ( header pipe) and that was before the tinnitus became noticeable. Sometimes I forget I have it, so it must not be too bad. There is some hearing loss in that ear. I only hear it on the right side.
    #60