Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Loud Noise Effects On The Ear - Pain and Hearing Loss

Be careful with your hearing by avoiding loud noises. This is pretty common knowledge, yet some people don't take it seriously until it's too late. Research shows that exposure to just one very loud sound or long term exposure to loud noise can result in permanent hearing damage. I am very careful about this, but sometimes you are caught by surprise by a loud sound and there is nothing you can do about it.

Last week something like this happened. I was at work and someone slammed a locker very hard while I was standing near it. You wouldn't think that a locker is that loud but slamming it hard enough does make a loud enough noise to hurt your ear. At first I was startled by the noise and right after my ear began to feel uncomfortable. In the following days my ear began to feel full like there was wax in it, but there was not. It was not very painful, and I still had my hearing luckily, but it just didn't feel right.

After about I week I got it checked out by a nurse. She looked inside and confirmed that there was indeed inflammation inside which was most likely causing the full feeling. Even thought it didn't hurt, having this kind of feeling in your ear is very bothersome and can pretty much ruin your day and not make you want to do anything. This was frustrating especially because it happened from something that was not my fault and I had no chance of avoiding it.

Now it is about 8 days since the incident and my ear is feeling a little better, but still had a swollen feel to it. The nurse said it should go away by itself and I hope she is right. This is the first time I can remember a loud sound hurting my ears like this so maybe it was just a freak accident of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Never the less, it is a good reminder to protect your ears and avoid loud noises whenever possible. Once your hearing is gone, it's not easy to get it back.

UPDATE: 10-16-12
So it's been about 3 weeks since the incident.  My ear is getting better on its own but it is still not 100%.  I actually went to an ear doctor a few days ago to get it checked out.  They gave me a hearing test and my hearing is still good which was a relief.  They didn't exactly have a good answer as to why my ear feels full or swollen inside besides the obvious that it was caused by a loud noise.  They said it will either heal on it's own or it may just be like that for who knows how long.  I have done a lot of research on this issue and have not found too many similar cases or treatments.  Hopefully this article will help people who experience a similar ear problem.

UPDATE 11-16-12
It's now been about 7 weeks since my ear started bothering me and still I have the feeling of aural fullness.  Some days it is more noticeable than others.  In some situations it is more noticeable such as if I am brushing my teeth or eating.  I have been trying to avoid loud noises and limit my use of headphones.  Covering my ear with my arm or a pillow seems to make it feel better for the time being, but does not get rid of the fullness afterward.  This is pretty discouraging that this problem has lasted this long.  It's not painful, but annoying.  I have already been to an ear doctor so now I don't know what to do.  I'll report back if it gets any better.

UPDATE 12-1-12
9 weeks and my ear is starting to feel better or at least it is not as noticeable as before.  It seems like when I wear earbuds to listen to audio for extended periods of time, even when the volume is very low, it seems to make the fullness feeling come back, so I have tried to limit this activity.  Overall it is a relief that it is getting better.

UPDATE 1-27-13
My ear seems to be pretty much back to normal.  I may have had some kind of fluid build up that was causing the full feeling because after a while I was able to get that popping sensation back, the kind you get from yawning or pressure changes.  I'm not sure what caused it to start or why it took so long to clear up but I'm glad it is not bothering me like before.

UPDATE 2-27-16
It has been a few years and overall my ear is better but from time to time it still gets a minor full feeling. It seems to be triggered by loud noise such as a noisy environment, or by listening to headphones for too long. I now try to avoid loud noise in order to prevent the full feeling from coming back.

In case you will be in a situation where you know it is going to be loud, I recommend bringing ear plugs with. I have been using Hearos Ear Plugs for a while which are comfortable and help reduce the noise level in loud environments. 

115 comments:

  1. Similar problem here, had a firework go off next to my ear 3 days ago, hearing test came back OK, I have the full feeling along with Tinnitus and some Hypercusis going on in the affected ear.

    Looks like I might have a 10 week + wait as well to get back to normal.

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    1. Wow I can't imagine how that feels

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    2. Thank you for this article. My daughter was exposed to very loud music on the soccer bus ride "to get pumped up" and has been complaining of this sensation since. She is a singer and pianist as well, so this is concerning. She will now have earplugs w her :(

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  2. I´ve been having those exact symptons described, for the last years, pain in ears days after loud noises, ear tests like audiographs said everything was ok, no infection on outer ear. it´s like a jaw pain feeling. it all goes aways in a matter of days/weeks. some tinnitus, some hyperacusis...

    it all gets better again with the time. good day!

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  3. Hi,

    Has your fullness in ear completely resolved now. This happened to me a week ago after someone slammed the car door hard while I was in it. No hearing loss just this horrible fullness.
    I note your problem occurred about two years ago. It is ruining everything as sound just echos. Like you it happened suddenly then got worse over a couple of days. Did you use any sprays etc..

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    1. Connected IsolationJuly 18, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      Hi, yes my ear is 100% back to normal thankfully. It just took a long time for it to get better but it is ok now. I did not use and sprays or medicines. It just got better on it's own.

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    2. Thanks for your reply. It is over 3 weeks now and no change still the pressure, fullness and sounds are so much louder especially noisy open places.


      Did you experience that and did yours go gradually or suddenly the pressure is awful and it varies in intensity ear to ear. All this from a door being slammed.

      Saw ent who said no fluid, no ear pressure and shrugged his shoulders.

      So please any advice appreciated

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    3. Connected IsolationAugust 9, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      Yes I do remember everything being louder after the incident happened. Just everyday things that were not even very noisy I would try to avoid just because they sounded a lot louder than normal. It got better over time. As you can see above it took months before it eventually got back to normal. My guess is that yours will get better over time as well.

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  4. Thank you so much this blog is brilliant and you should be congratulated also for still responding. Nowhere else have I found info on this sort of injury. Will update

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    1. Connected IsolationAugust 10, 2014 at 7:50 AM

      Thank you for the kind words! I wish you a speedy recovery!

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  5. Two days ago at the locksmith shop where I work, my co-worker was stamping keys without warning me that he was doing so. I asked him to give me warning, but he didn't and stamped more keys without warning. My ears were unprotected. That day I had a burning sensation in both of my ears, which hasn't gone away. My ears have a feeling of fullness and they are sensitive to noise. I'm really worried I may have permanent damage to my ears.

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    1. Connected IsolationDecember 3, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      Don't worry, as seen in my example as well as others, it usually gets better over time. Just try to be careful and avoid the loud noises as much as possible.

      Delete
  6. Thank you for writing this. I have hyperaucusis and 5 months ago I was exposed to two loud fireworks next to my ear. I had a horrible muffled feeling and ringing in the ear. It got better after a week. However 5 months later I still have problems, things sound muffled and full on that ear. One doctor said the eardrum was slightly retracted. My hearing tests were normal and the ENT doesn't know what it is, guessing maybe nerve damage. However when I pinch my nose and slightly blow Into my ears the "bad" ear doesn't blow up normally like the good ear, and kind of has crackling noises. Do you think the loud noise is what causes eustacian issues? Do you feel this is what happened to you? It feels like fluid but doctor says no fluid, idk.

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    1. Connected IsolationDecember 10, 2014 at 8:41 AM

      This sounds very much like what happened to me. I had the similar feeling of fullness and noise sensitivity and not being able to get that popping sensation in one ear. It is surprising how the doctors do not seem to know much about this issue especially the specialists. I think it may get better as mind did. For a tip, see if you can get some pressure changes for the ear such as going up high in an elevator. It may help open it up to get that sensation back.

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    2. Wow thank you so much for responding so quickly.

      5 months seems like such a long time to go through this. I know yours took a few months so maybe this is somewhat normal? When I am typing on the computer it's as if my "bad ear" is kind of numb to it, like my good ear is the only one physically feeling the sound. Does this make sense too?

      Your full sensation kind of went away slowly, vs. all at once?

      I am going to try going into an elevator and some of these things to gently try to push things along and see if this helps-thank you for the tip.

      Again, I know you didn't have to write. I really appreciate you taking the time. It's so kind of you.

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    3. Yes it slowly got better, but I do remember doing a yawning motion one day and it finally opened up. Not sure if it was swelling that went down or fluid that finally dried up but it definitely felt better after that.

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    4. ok, thank you so much :) I look forward to keeping you posted, Loving the blog

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  7. The same exact thing happened to me some time in 2012 and I recovered on my own after a rather long time (a few months). I did not go see any doctor then. Now this happened again 2 weeks ago due to my own stereo. The sound dynamic of a DDD recording has such wide range that volume set initially later causes an explosion. The bad thing is that I will not be able to listen to my beloved music for a few months. I landed here searching the internet. I guess right: most doctors cannot handle cases like this satisfactorily. The world belongs to C students!

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  8. Hi! I'm wondering if you had the problem of crackling sounds in your ear that had the trauma? How are your ears doing now, are they ok? Thank you for your site!

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    1. Connected IsolationJanuary 6, 2015 at 3:42 PM

      Hi, I don't recall having crackling sounds in the ear other than the popping noise when it started to clear up. My ear is doing pretty good now, thank you for asking! Every once in a while it gets a little bit of that full feeling but usually goes back to normal. I think the best thing to do is to try to avoid loud noises all together if possible so as not to re-aggravate it.

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  9. That's great! I have small crackling noises in my ear if I yawn etc. I don't know why. If you remember, did you have one main pop in your ear when it cleared up, or a few? How often does your ear get full and how long does it take to go back to normal? Are you able to wear headphones to listen to music sometimes? I have never heard of ear problems like this! Thank you for your help with all my questions!!

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    1. Connected IsolationJanuary 7, 2015 at 1:50 PM

      I remember one main pop that made it feel more cleared up. It is hard to say how often the fullness returns. It is never like it was before but just a slight fullness every once in a while. Usually goes away within a day or so. I still wear headphones but try to keep the volume as low as possible while still being able to hear clearly.

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  10. I just had a loud M-100 firecracker go off today. This was a sonic concussion blast.
    My hearing is whacked now. Much less level, high sensitivity.
    The piano I played this morning sounds terrible now...with distortion and ringing.
    I'll check it out and give it some quiet time. Thanks for the thread.
    Jay

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    1. Connected IsolationJuly 5, 2015 at 7:19 AM

      No problem, yes those firecrackers can be dangerous with the noise levels. I try to avoid fireworks or watch them from a distance now. Hope your hearing gets better soon!

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    2. I was doing firecrackers for the 4th of July as well and a firecracker blew up next to my ear. Now I hear ringing and slight fullness. Fullness and ringing is more noticeable in loud environments. How has you hearing been since the firecracker went off? For me I think it's improving but its too soon to tell. I really hope my hearing goes back to normal. Honestly I can deal with the T but the fullness is getting to me. I'm very young too, about to be 21 and I really don't want my hearing messed up at such an early age.

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  11. Dear Connected Isolation,

    Thanks very much for your article. I had a similar experience yesterday with the door slamming shut near me. I felt pain and fluid built-up in my ears. Its reassuring to read about your experience, and to know that this condition is not abnormal, and likely to heal. Cheers!

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    1. Connected IsolationJuly 23, 2015 at 6:10 AM

      Thanks for reading and glad the article helps! I wish you a speedy recovery!

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  12. I went for a music concept last week so I was around the speaker, since then I feel like something is inside my ear,so I went to the hospital for checkup but doctor said that nothing inside my ear later I went to an audiologist for hearing assessment after test the doctor said that my hearing it's good that I don't have any problem but up till now I still feel something inside my ear and it's ringing too.
    😥

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    1. Connected IsolationJuly 24, 2015 at 2:05 PM

      That is good you still have the hearing. It make take some time to get back to normal. I always wondered why they play music so loud at concerts. Even the musicians wear ear plugs. Too bad they cannot just set the music to a reasonable level.

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  13. Forgot was your own ringing (tinnitus) and how long did it take yours to heal?

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    1. Connected IsolationJuly 27, 2015 at 7:34 AM

      I didn't have ringing on this occasion, but years ago, I also attended a concert and had that ringing sound afterward. It did get better after a few days from what I remember.

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  14. I have been working in a new office with a loud echo for 3 1/2 months. I and another girl have both developed ear problems. Both of my ears are bleeding some and she had blood in her ear this morning. Could this be due to the loud echo?

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    1. Connected IsolationAugust 20, 2015 at 7:55 AM

      I cannot give medical advice, but it does sound like it could be causing it, especially if you both have the same symptoms. If it is bleeding, it should be checked out by a doctor to see what is going on.

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  15. Please did you went for an hearing assessment?

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    1. Connected IsolationAugust 11, 2015 at 1:40 PM

      Yes, I did have it checked after it happened and the hearing was still good. It has been some time now and everything is back to normal.

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  16. Mine was good but the tympanometry test was saying that I have a normal middle ear pressure and tympanometry mobility for my right ear while my left ear was say that I have a normal middle ear pressure with high tympanometry mobility how was yours

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    1. Connected IsolationAugust 12, 2015 at 8:22 AM

      I did not have a tympanometry test done, only the hearing test.

      Delete
  17. Im 21 years old and about 18 months ago I was out with friends in the car and they had music on and one particular song they put extremely loud. I mean it was hurting my ears and I was about so say turn it down. However I never did and I think this was due to the fact I never wanted to spoil there fun ( I knew it was probably going to leave me with ringing in my ears but only for a few days). After about 5 mins I said it needs to be turnt down and they turned it down without question. But everyday since that incident about 18months ago I have tinnitus and its extremely loud and annoying because im regretting not telling them straight away. What do you think?

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    1. Connected IsolationAugust 20, 2015 at 7:53 AM

      Yes, it probably would have been best to try to get them to turn it down right away, but I can understand how you would not want to spoil their fun. Unfortunately in many situations like this we have to learn the hard way. Have you had it checked out by an ear doctor yet? Hopefully the tinnitus goes away soon!

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  18. Please How long did your ear take to heal?

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    1. Connected IsolationAugust 20, 2015 at 3:29 PM

      It took about 3-4 months to get back to 100%.

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  19. In late Oct someone closed the car door and I immediately had a right ear pressure problem. I know how to equalize and tried to resolve the fullness or "water in the ear" sensation. A week later my doctor's PA said I had an infection and prescribed antibiotics so I could fly on vacation. Sore ear went away but not the change in ear. Still had a different feeling with some hearing loss. Now Dec. and ENT says it may never change or take time to heal. Not sure. Says it could be sudden hearing loss. I can still hear just not as well. Also have some ringing. Very frustrated as health is very good otherwise. Questioning if I need further testing. MRI?

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  20. Hi bro. How are you? This deewali a cracker burst near my right ear sound level would be around 130db. Went to ENT he said no damge in tympanic membrane but nerve will have impact of the sound he said it will be for 2 months. He gave some vitamins and Gingko biloba for 20 days. I got all the symptoms u had. Now it's 10 weeks. My noise sensitivity reduced 90%. Fullness comes(not as before very little but it feels uncomfortable) whenever I hear loud noise. Whether I want to wait or again I want to visit my ENT. I am a sound engineer. So this thing really freaking me out. Pls tell how u r now. Is your ear completely recovered how months it took. Pls reply as soon as possible :-) cheers

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    1. Connected IsolationJanuary 18, 2016 at 8:46 AM

      Hi Karthik, glad to hear your condition is getting better. For me, it happened a few years ago so now my ear is pretty much 100%. If I listen to a lot of music on headphones sometimes I get a little bit of that full feeling back in the ear, but it is minor and goes away soon. As you mentioned, hearing is important for your job. I recommend try to keep volume levels low if possible and avoid loud environments.

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    2. Hello Karthick. Can I know what Vitamins you are referring too ?

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    3. I will try to explain this as simply as I can: So the fact that you have been feeling ear fullness from time to time ever since the incident with the cracker is a complication of loud noise exposure. After the initial incident of loud noise exposure individuals may develop tinnitus, hyperacusis, or tinnitus that is associated with hyperacusis. Hyperacusis is the heightened over-sensitivty to sound which usually develops after an ear trauma event. Normally, when we hear a loud noise our ears have a mechanism in place to protect themselvs by tensing the tensor tympani muscle on the eardrum in an attempt to muffle sound. This reflex causes increased ear drum rigidity, increased ear pressure, and the perception of FULLNESS. People with hyperacusis have a lower threshold for sound and an increased tensor tympani muscle reflex. When noises that aren't that loud are heard by hyperacusis patients their sound-sensitive ears trigger this reflex, muffling sound and creating ear fullness.
      **importantly, because this reflex can also be triggered by anxiety, when hyperacutic individuals worry that a noise is loud (even if it actually isn't) they can involuntarily trigger this reflex, increase ear pressure, and thereby feel ear fullness.
      Now i'm not ruling out eustachian tube dysfunction which is essentially what ear fullness is (when your eustachian tube is clogged because of added pressure),
      In general, minimize stress and consult your doctor about taking antihistamines if you have seasonal allergies (great at clearing that ear congestion), steroid nasal sprays, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofin (Advil, Motrin).

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  21. Hi. I was in ballet class at the gym last week, when the stereo speaker exploded uncontrollably for a few seconds. The teacher apologized, too little, too late. Since then, both my ears have been aching, with a sense of fullness and pressure. I'm scheduled to see my internist tomorrow, and I'm hoping he'll refer me to a competent ENT. Furthermore, I'm also going to try a few acupuncture sessions with a recommended healer. Reading all your posts has been so encouraging, as I now have a glimmer of hope that one day I may recover and feel normal again.

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  22. I experienced a very loud noise last night when I woke up in the morning I had swelling in my ear . Swimming in the back of my occiput behind my ear and swelling under my ear . The phone this is water . I know this because the water is always come out my ear . I just put my thumb in my ear push-up and my My ear makes a glunk glunk glunk sound and then I get water on my finger.
    Now since the loud sound the water doesn't want to come out and it's building up and the pressure causes me not to be able to hear properly . The worst pain is in my occiput but I even had pain in my eyebrow . In my lifetime I've always asked the ear doctors about the water and they know nothing about it . I have often wondered if it isn't inherited condition and the structure of my ear isn't completely different than many others . I've never had wax problems only water. And I have absolutely excellent hearing. So I'm hoping that the hearing will come back in my other ear . This morning I felt very irritated and my balance was off . Driving was very odd since the car sounded completely different .

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  23. I was in a car accident last weekend... got T-boned. Thank goodness everyone was okay! I was driving however, and the side air bags went off. The explosion that releases the air bags can get up to 180 db. I've had muffled hearing and T ever since. It's tough to sleep and work with the ringing. It's been a week now and symptoms are the same. I found this chat randomly searching online this morning and it is encouraging to me to just give my ear some time to heal. I was starting to freak out since its been a week with no recovery yet but now I'm encouraged to stay positive and let it heal over next couple months. Thanks!

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  24. I was screwing around with a couple of my friends at the gun range and a rifle went off literally next to my ear with no protection. Its only been 9 hrs, I definitely have muffled sound and only about 50% of my hearing along with alot of ringing. My ears kinda feel numb but no pain and I can kinda hear, just sounds like I have my ears plugged. I don't think I reputrued my eardrum but I have no idea. I heard of blood and other stuff which I have none. I work in a manufacturing environment so my ears are super senstive now and hard to hear people talk. I'm hoping they get better in a little bit. I will update this post in a little.

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    1. Hi, did the muffled sound get better? I had a similar experience at a gun range and though I was wearing ear plugs, I don't think one was in properly. My right ear is completely normal, but my left ear had intense ringing for a few hours after (this has stopped) but it is still muffled and feels "full." It's been about 48 hours.

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  25. Can hearing test cause ringing to get worse? I have chronic sinusitis and rhinitis with 4-season allergies. This spring (2016) was especially difficult. I was getting uncomfortable ear pressure and sometimes ear ache in addition to sinus infection symptoms (eye ache, headache, etc). I also started having high pitch ringing that comes and goes. To make a long story short, after two rounds of antibiotic sinus symptoms are gone but ear pressure, ear ache and ringing continued. My ENT doctor saw nothing wrong with my ears. I had hearing test done by audiologist at ENT doctor's office. During the test one sound was particulaly loud and with annoying pitch to the point it was very painful to my left ear. I told the audiologist it was painful to my ear drum. She said all sound and volume were within the range that are safe to our ears. But ever since then I have almost continuous ringing in ear, still high pitch but metallic sound now. Every once in a while it's gone but most of the time ringing is always there. I hear ringing while I am driving. Did anyone experience ringing getting worse after the hearing test? BTW my ear pressure was fine.

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    1. Connected IsolationMay 18, 2016 at 5:20 PM

      I had the hearing test but I don't recall it getting worse or uncomfortable because of the test. I would guess they have the volume levels set at a safe level, but I know sometimes the ears can be more sensitive to sound. Hopefully it gets better soon!

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    2. UPDATE: It's been a week. No improvement on ringing that got worse after the hearing test. There must be something wrong with the hearing test if it is painful. Pain was not only to the ear drum but all the way to my head. I am researching this but so far I did not find much. Although the volume levels are set at a "safe level", typically they are based on data collected on clinical study with sample population. And assumption is it is a normal bell distribution. If you are outside of middle 90-95 percentile, sound you get may not be within "your" safe level. I am wondering if I mention my constant ringing after the test to my ENT doctor and audiologist. There is nothing they can do. I am hoping my ringing will subside over time. I will post update periodically.

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    3. Connected IsolationMay 23, 2016 at 6:36 PM

      Yes, I would mention this to them if you go in for another appointment to see if they have any ideas.

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    4. UPDATE:
      It's been 3 months since painful hearing test that made my ringing constant. In late May, I talked to my ENT on the phone and told him about that and that ringing is now metallic sounds. He said since I had some ringing before, it may be nerves and specific frequencies may be doing that. We can do some tests (hearing test). I said NO more test. Annoying thing is the noisier the environment, ringing becomes very pronounced such as in cars, with bath room fans, laundry washer, and movies especially action movies. At one point I thought I was getting a little better but one movie at movie theater did it. As the doctor said some specific frequencies may be doing it. My ringing has several pitches just like noise a car makes when something is wrong. Very discouraged after 3 months of not much progress.

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    5. That is interesting about the frequencies. I think you are right as it seems some noises are more of a trigger for being too loud even when it does not seem to be a problem for others.

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    6. This thread was VERY helpful!! I ran an embroidery machine for the past 14 years, although not loud over time had to wear protection due to a high frequency that became very bothersome, boughf a new F150 and somehow crazy me decided to put on a performance exhaust, long story short the place had ignored my request and gave me a super loud exhaust, i wore plugs till i could get it fixed. Ringing is bad, doctor gave me a hearing test which made it WORSE!! Those high frequencies blasting in are terrible, they gave me a steroid pack to reduce inflammation, i am on the last day and seemed to help a bit, i refuced my caffeine intake and also alcohol and it helps to get to sleep easier and also sleep more sound. I think there is also a mental game of not overthinking the fullness feeling I have because lets face it that our brain is sending messages to our body. I pray to the lord this ear gets bettet and ringing goes away or gets down so low I can ignore it. Life lessons all those years of loud music.

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  26. Thank you for the blog.

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  27. Hi and thank you for your article. About two months ago I had a similar experience and am still having fullness, hearing sensitivity, dull pain, and mild tinnitus which I didn't have before this. I was wondering if you experienced any tinnitus as a result?

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    1. Connected IsolationJune 30, 2016 at 1:00 PM

      Every once in a while I will hear a high pitched noise that lasts for a few seconds. It tends to be random and not very bothersome but overall I have not had any issue with constant noise or ringing.

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  28. I had my first shooting rang experience with a pair of ear plugs. But after the less than one hour shooting, my two ears are both abnormal, especially my right ear is fully stuffed. It more like after swimming but it is due to the loud noise in the shooting rang I know. It is the same fullness feeling as others as I read the posts here. I have the hearing but the ear seems covered somehow - it is abnormal. Should I see a doctor? Is there any anti-inflammatory ear fluid that I could use to speed up the recovery? Waiting for weeks and months sounds very long ...

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    1. Connected IsolationJuly 10, 2016 at 6:10 PM

      It may get better on its own, but if it does not get better after a while, it is a good idea to have a doctor look at it just in case.

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    2. Thank you. I will make a doc appointment tomorrow Monday.

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  29. Hi thanx for blog,about 4 days ago my friend accidentally blows horn near to my ear at that day it was feeling like its full of wax i had taken medicine it is better but my right ear is ringing and little bit itchy ,it will cure or not

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  30. First of all awesome write up. Thank you. I am a Audiophile usually who don't get very high volume on headphones but maintain the levels but at times if it does go over board I do give it some break. Early this year I had been to a concert where I was standing right in front of a speaker I could feel I was torn literally some how managed for few hours and returned the next day with ear plugs as precautionary, however I got fever over the first day of the concert and felt dull. I don't remember any ringing. Couple of months later I felt my right ear sounded slightly low on the ATHM50 headphones. This was troubling me but over the period got used to it. Few months back while sorting some FLAC files on PC I may have been extended to some overtime on headphones but as I remember it wasn't loud. The next day same songs sounded one side dull and felt my ear was blocked with pressure. Popping didn't help. Finally been to ENT (my regular) put me on some medications for few weeks. Next visit he asked me to do a Typo and PTA which came out a mild SHL which gave me shivers. But assured I stay away from loud noise possibility of it back. Couple of weeks later the fullness was bad. I felt someone was trying to insert a rod in my ear visited another ENT . He told me to live with Tinnitus and gave me some steriods for the fullness. Same ENT did a PTA and found this time my hearing was well within limits. Weeks later again pressure building and fullness visited ENT no 3. Again steriods for 10 days followed by a MRI all came out OK. Till today I am suffering from fullness and Tinnitus. It has depressed me to the core. I have not touched my headphones and cannot even stand a normal day to day sounds and always with cotton in my ear. visited ENT doctor 4 and the result was again mild SHL and he was like this is so small.learn to live with it. I am so upset none of ENT doctors are able to help us with this and only forums and blogs like this help us to share some information. My symptoms are severe negative pressure (some ENT says dull/distorted hear drum) tinnitus and dull sound at times. The sounds which I used to be around with now I feel like running meters away from it. It's like a fear of sound. At times music too gives me a pain in the ear and like the blog owner mentioned inner ear headphones causes fullness. Please share more thoughts here and let's keep this active . Thanks

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    1. Connected IsolationAugust 9, 2016 at 3:25 PM

      Thanks for sharing your experience. It can be very frustrating to have this feeling in the ear and it seems like there is nothing that can be done to fix it. You have done well by going to several different doctors. It may be something that will get better over time as it was for my case. I recommend keep trying to avoid loud noises and limit the amount of music with headphones.

      Delete
    2. Adding an point I missed ENT 3 told me it could be Endolymphatic hydrops as my Sodium and Potassium levels could have changed causing imbalance in the inner ear. The sysmtoms here too are same with fullness.

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    3. I am totally convinced that there is a HUGE metal part to the game of these issues, I have been testing it like a doctor. Fore example the tinnitus is the most noticeable at night when I am about to sleep, but with the T.V. on I start to listen to the news and then I can refocus my thoughts and it tends to go away. Luckily for me when I wake up in the middle of the night to relieve myself or early morning the ringing is gone. I also conclude that stress is a huge roll in tinnitus, because when I am in a deep sleep my brain in not sending our the signals. Removing the alcohol after all these years of 2 to 3 beers a night is a blessing, I sleep so much more sound. Alcohol although relaxes you I found made my tinnitus worse. Lastly my ear pressure sensitivity is going away. After I finished the steroid pack,I caught a slight fever and congestion which fever is gone but congestion is taking a long time to drain. I think the steroid pack has a side effect of effecting your immune system so be careful taking them. I do believe the inflammation in the ear (full feeling) can be a defense mechanism in which I read when your exposed to loud sound something mechanical switches in your ear to block it out, but here is the important part, even a low sounding exhaust passing by outside "triggers" my brain into almost a fear of the sound I experienced and I get an instant full feeling dull pain in the ear, even though it is mostly gone. So this concludes that mentally we control our thoughts and brain controls are body. STOP thinking about it, convince yourself you are on the road to recovery all the time no matter what your experiencing, IT CAN ONLY HELP to stay positive.

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  31. Hi and thank you very much for this Blog, my problem began when I was listening to music by headphones, then I felt some pressure in my right ear, so I stopped listening and after 2 days I felt pain, fever and pressure, so I go to ENT who told me it is otitis media and give me antibiotics and antihistamines after 10 days my problem with otitis media finished but the pressure didn't go and when yawning I hear popping sounds, I go to ENT who tell me it is ETD and it will solve by itself after a period of time and I have allergy in my nose, I did an audiogram to be sure and the ENT tell me it was ok, after 4 months and my problem not solved and I am in doubt if it was my problem is acoustic trauma or it is not, I also hear low hissing sound when I blocked my ears with my hands especially in lift ear or when I put it on the pillow. I am very anxiety and I am in doubt with any sound I hear if I hear it correctly or not, please reply to my comment as soon as possible, many thanks

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    1. Connected IsolationAugust 19, 2016 at 6:33 PM

      Thank you for sharing your experience. That is good the audiogram was ok. The popping sounds when yawning are normal. The hissing sounds like it may be tinnitus. Here is another article about tinnitus: http://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/tinnitus-ringing-in-the-ears-and-what-to-do-about-it

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  32. About 15 years ago I was at a sports event when the man next to me whistled really loud. I had instant sharp pain. My ear felt full, I tried every to make it pop. Long story short, I went to an ENT doctor, nothing he could do. The fullness finally went away. I do not have a hearing loss but can not tolerate loud or high pitched noise,it causes a sharp pain with some fullness that can last hours in some cases days.

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  33. Hi, I am a civil war reenactor, and last Sunday I was firing a civil war cannon, and was wearing ear plugs but still my ears blocked, and now I have a constant feeling of fullness but no pain, voices sound like THE CHIPMUNKS or MOSQUITOS buzzing, and it gets hard to understand what ppl are saying, Im assuming it is the same as what everyone else here is complaining of, there isn't any fluid or blood from the ears, , but the fullness and the muffeling and the voices is very annoying, so is there any further advice?

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  34. Hello everyone! It's so good to see that there are many cases like this and this isn't abnormal. I was hoping someone help me with my case too!
    Yesterday while listening to music with my earphones on the volume randomly shot up from 40% to 100% (I think about 90-100dB)
    I immediately took my earphones out, but I started feeling fullness in my right ear.
    No pain and no ringing, but just FULLNESS
    I don't think my hearing is affected either, because I can still hear everyone well.
    I went to an ENT doctor today he said everything appears to look normal, and he took out some wax from my ear I guess to reduce the feeling of fullness
    I still feel the same even after getting the wax removed - I don't think it helped at all.
    Please can someone tell me if my fullness will ever go away? And how long will it take?
    Or what are the things I can do that will help reduce the fullness in my ears until then?

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    1. It may take some time to get back to normal. For me it took a couple months. I recommend see if you can get the popping sensation like when the pressure changes. Also try to avoid any loud noises until it gets better.

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    2. Oh I see. Thank you so much for your prompt reply! Yes I went to another doctor and she said it will take at least 2 weeks to get better - it's just an annoyance when you think something is in your ear :/
      I hope it gets better though.
      She also prescribed me some vitamins to take once a day.
      Yes I can easily make my ears pop and I do that 2-3 times a day
      Okay will do - because even listening to a phone call mildly affects my ear too :/ I feel they've become over sensitive now :(

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    3. It's been more than 3 weeks
      I feel my ears are a bit better- but not that much
      They still become full every time I hear a noise that's too loud
      I wanted to ask, is it normal to feel fullness or tingling in the ear after talking on the phone to someone?
      I've barely used my phone since the incident, but anytime I do manage to talk to someone on the phone for more than 5 mins I feel fullness and tingling in my ear
      What does this mean? Is it normal? And how do I stop this?
      Please do reply :)

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    4. Connected IsolationOctober 18, 2016 at 8:52 AM

      It could be bothering it if the volume on the phone is loud. Does it happen for both ears? You could try holding it to the other ear if it is only on one side.

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    5. Loud noises tend to irritate me still.
      Is there any way this will ever go?
      Is there a cure for sensitivity of ears?
      It's been 2 months since the incident!
      I feel any time I hear a loud noise my ear either gets full, it starts hurting or I get an exceptionally numb or irritating feeling from the ear
      Is there anything I can do to stop this?
      Besides staying away from loud sounds, which I'm trying to do as best as I can.

      Delete
  35. i never knew what tinnitus was or how loud noises could affect your ears, and one day i went out to a club and spent a few hours next to a speaker on stage, ever since then (over a year now) ive had tinnitus, and this has caused me to have constant anxiety and get very ill if anyone ever asks me to go out, my doctors and ear specialists assured me ym ears are not damaged, and will not be damaged if i go out, but now every time i go out as soon as i am near any reasonably loud (not loud to anyone else though) noises, my ear becomes 'swollen' and 'full' is this normal, has anyone else had a similar issue, ? its been 3 days and it still does not feel right, and with all my anxiety and tinnitus issues im finding it hard not to focus on it and not to feel down ::( all replies welcome and appreciated.,sorry if its hard to follow, trying to shorten it down and in a bit of a rush aha ;)

    thanks,

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    1. Connected IsolationOctober 4, 2016 at 8:10 AM

      Yes, I have been noticing this too lately how the fullness can come back if you are exposed to loud noise again even when it does not seem to be a problem for anyone else. I recommend try to wear ear plugs if you will be in a situation where you know it will be loud so you can protect your ears so the fullness does not come back.

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    2. Hello, it was almost instant as soon as I got near the dance floor my ears began to feel as if they were swelling up and it wasn't that 'loud' it's causing me so many issues now I struggle to go out and when I do this happens which adds to the anxiety and issues, nearly a week later and my ears still don't feel normal, I'm not sure if it's just me focusing or not :(

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  36. I am a 54 year-old male in average health/ shape. I do have a bad back, and was rehabbing it 2 weeks ago by walking on the local HS track. I did a few laps, and decided it was time for some tunes. I put my ear buds in (first), and then plugged them into my iPod, which was unexpectedly on full volume. In addition to the instant loud volume, I believe I even felt a zing of pain in my right ear. Since then, I've had many of the symptoms folks have described here- Fullness (so much so that I went out and bought Debrox), sensitivity, loss of range in my right ear, and worst of all, my ear has been ringing constantly ever since. I went to my GP, and he said my eardrums are intact, and there was no wax build-up. He also said I should see an ENT- I have an appointment two weeks from now... I've read so much about this since it happened. I fear that I've damaged the sensory hairs, and this ringing will prevent me from ever again enjoying "silence". I'm becoming despondent! Today, I awoke to the same ringing, two weeks to the day it happened. After my shower, I was cleaning my ears with a Q-tip, and believe I've detected the slightest improvement to the deadness or dullness. I could hear the Q-tip moving around a little clearer as I swabbed it around my ear... I hope and pray that this is the beginning of my ear healing. If I have to live with the ringing in my ear for the rest of my life, I will surely go mad!! Thanks for noting your experiences here, as it has also given me a measure of hope...

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    1. Connected IsolationOctober 24, 2016 at 6:43 PM

      Thanks for sharing your experience! That's good it sounds like it is clearing up a bit after a couple weeks. Hopefully it continues to improve!

      Delete
  37. Hi,

    I'm a 23 year old stone mason that uses angle grinders all day everyday with no protection half the time and i have not much problem with the high pitch sound when i dont have time to put ear muffs or plugs in. But 2 days ago i was working with the grinder for and hour and a half cutting for about 15 seconds every 2 minutes. I try to use protection whenever i can but i forgot my plugs so i had to keep on chugging along but for some reason today the cutting was ear piercing like never before and it was excruciating but i kept cutting stone for that 90 mins or so. After we were done for the day my ears were aching. Everything sounded fine, just aching. The next day my ears are still aching and have this fullness like full of wax everyone is talking about and a bit sensitive. The next day (today) They are aching even more and are more sensitive to sound and still swollen. I cant quite tell if things are muffled at all (likely not) and not sure if this sensitivity is just normal whilst my ears are sore, Am i wrong? Am i more sensitive to sound now? Is it important to see someone immediately or is this kind of thing okay to wait untill i have time to see a doctor. I'm so anxious it makes me sick to think i messed my ears up especially since im an audiofile that needs loud music everday (maybe a contributing factor).

    The day the trauma happened i was practising guitar for hours like normal with sore ears no problem and i was doing the same the next day. But today i woke up and guitar is a little irritating but im not sure if im being paranoid and anxious and im making myself think it hurts more than it did yesterday. Without professional opinion what do you think?

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    1. Connected IsolationOctober 30, 2016 at 10:01 AM

      It sounds very similar to most of the experiences here. It is common for the ears to be more sensitive to sound after being exposed to very loud noise like this. As we have found, there is not a whole lot that can be done other than trying to minimize exposure to loud noises which tends to irritate it more. I would recommend taking a break from the guitar if it is bothersome and possibly schedule a doctors appointment for a 2nd opinion just in case.

      Delete
  38. I have same issues due to Diwali cracks ,day one fullness,day two little pain at drums day three continues, today day four pain during eating and drinking,thanks lot for this blog for giving me a hope to heel my ear itself

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  39. I've read the comments on this thread with interest. Just three weeks ago, I got out of my car to go to my local pharmacy to collect some meds. I was aware of road works going on just outside the shop and as I got out of the car, I immediately realised they were unusually and powerfully loud. It was a pneumatic road burner which was preparing the tar for anti-skid material. I walked past the noise into the shop and couldn't hear my own voice as I spoke. I then passed the noise again to get back to my car. I noticed that the workmen were wearing ear protection. As I drove home, I knew that my ears had been badly hurt. The main sensation was fullness and distorted sounds in my own voice and that of others. After 5 days, I visited my GP who said that my ear drums were ok but looked "dull" and that my ears had been traumatised by the noise. She said it was likely they were filled with fluid - I am plagued with catarrh in nose and throat. She prescribed decongestant tablets and a nasal spray. She also advised me to avoid amplified sound, headphones, playing piano for a while. Her assessment was that it will take some time for it to heal. Three weeks on, and I had my first really good day yesterday when i was convinced i was out of the woods. But today, the dullness and discomfort is back and I feel my head and neck sore. I have been traumatised by the incident and its aftermath, and have endured depressing days, and nightmares and restless sleep some nights. I do feel that it will take time and I am trying to be as positive as I can, as I know that many people have far worse health problems to contend with. My hearing seems OK. My main symptom now is the fullness, which does lift from time to time, often as the day goes on. I am encouraged by some of the experiences shared here - many thanks to Connected Isolation and all the others!

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  40. I have been suffering from a fullness in my left ear for a few years now, and in fact with loud noises, it is as though my ear switches off and feels totally blocked. The trouble is that I can't get my G.P to do anything about it. He sent me for an hearing test and there is some loss in that ear, and the specialist there listened to my problem and said I needed to see someone to get a better understanding of what was going on inside my ear. But when the appointment came through, I saw a really old doctor who had a quick look in my ear and said my ear drum looked ok. But that isn't what the hearing test guy said I needed. So now when I see my g.p he just tells me that the last doctor to see me said my ear drum looked ok so he won't follow it up anymore. I don't know what to do now other than go private but I can't really afford it.

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  41. I am too facing a similar problem, I was talking on my mobile phone and somehow it switched to loudspeaker mode and something happened inside my ear, it became numb and blocked. After 2 days I checked with a doctor and took medicines for a month and undergone audiometry test which says that there is no hearing loss.

    After one month I am still feeling blockage in my ear and doctor is saying that there might be a damage in nerve cells and there is no surgery/ treatment to this. So I am consulting another doctor and currently taking medicines from last 2 days. Hope to see better results soon.

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    1. It has been around 10 days since I am taking medicines and would love to say that there is some improvement in my condition. Need to go for a high frequency audiometry test next week.

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    2. Hello, I had a similar experience with my cell phone recently. I am wondering how your ear is and what you found out? My cell phone let out a loudspeaker beep when a call dropped and it blew directly into my ear. I have had distorted hearing, and the loudest tinnitus since. Is your ear better now? What did you learn from audiology?

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  42. I have been doing this for 2 years, doctors do not know what to do with this type of cases.
    I am sorry for my bad english.

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    Replies
    1. Which doctor are you consulting? Whats is your exact problem?

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  43. Thanks for blogging about your experience. I attended a hockey game last evening with my family. Within a few minutes after finding my seat, the puck hit the bottom of the boards really hard right in front of me while I had my head turned to the left and talking with my daughter. It startled me and I immediately put my hand on my left ear and exclaimed how loud that was while looking around for other's reactions. Nobody else looked to be in the same excruciating ear pain!? After the game, I came home and placed a cotton ball inside my ear and went to sleep for the night. It is now morning, and I found this blog after quite a bit of searching. Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences, so at least I know what to potentially expect in the coming days. Much appreciated!

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    1. Connected IsolationJanuary 5, 2017 at 8:43 AM

      No problem. Yes, sometimes like this it is just a situation of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I wish you a speedy recovery!

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  44. i have the same issue, muffled and crackling in the ear, no specialist took me seriously, they just told me its tinnitus, which obviously isn't - mine is not a ringing sound. i tot i was hearing things and going crazy and was depressed for a long while. the hearing tests results merely showed that i had high frequency hearing, which means my hearing range is larger than normal for both ears. till now, i still cannot stand people talking directly next to my ear, the sound of running water in an enclosed bathroom, being near alarms and speakers. so glad to find a community of people like me, just so that i know im not crazy.

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  45. I was in a bar six days ago and since it was too noisy, my friend was literally yelling in my ear for 10 minutes so I could understand her. Therefore, I feel a discomfort and sensitivity to loudness in my left ear. I don't feel the same clarity as I do in my right ear. Is this what happened to you? Also, do you think it will completely go away?

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    1. Connected IsolationFebruary 3, 2017 at 8:49 AM

      Yes it sounds like a similar situation where the ear becomes more sensitive to sound. If it is like many cases here, it may get better with time.

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  46. HI.i was at a friend's wedding yesterday when suddenly a loudspeaker started very near to me.Before i could react or move away the noise being loud caused me discomfort.For the next few minutes i was not able to hear my own voice but just the voice of the loudspeaker.After the wedding i was able to hear everything and felt better,however next evening i felt some pain in both the ears.I am able to hear properly but am worried about the pain.Should i consult a doctor?

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  47. I am very sensitive to noise. Hyperacusis. Hum in right ear which maybe Eustachian tube problem and tingling sound in left ear. Mild high frequency loss in left ear which may explain the tinnitus. I now protect my ears with ear plugs at concerts, noisy pubs and parties etc. The hum and tingling sound has gradually lessened. Be very aware though of the decibel level of music in clubs and discos. Plus machinery and amps. I was at a disco recently and my decibel meter registered 98 db. Very dangerous over 30 minutes. Avoid headphones and earbuds. Take care of your hearing. For those who have annoying tinnitus - in some cases it can be due to Tensor Typani Syndrome, Eustachian tube dysfunction syndrome, Hydrops and in some cases damage to tiny hairs in cochlea. So - rest your ears for hours each dayand wear noise reducing ear plugs in noisy environments. Get a decibel meter off Amazon - around £12- you will be surprised how loud things are - damaging level 85db and above.

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  48. Hey I have this problem too! It's actually a way of protecting your hearing but for some of us it just doesn't go away for a long time. I went to a hearing specialist and they had no idea what the problem was. But then it accured to me: My ears only block after exposure to really loud music.
    Then I found a few articles that described this situation perfectly: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2309421/Hearing-loss-concert-actually-sign-ears-PROTECTING-themselves.html

    So it's completely normal but there's some weird reaction that causes our ears not to unblock for weeks (even though it should only take about 3 days).
    So you just have very sensitive ears. There's nothing wrong with them they just work a little too well! x

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  49. I went to birthday party and they had the music very loud. Next morning I had the fullness and ringing in my ears and also feel pressure in my ears. I went to ENT and describe me prednisone for two weeks. I I felt 10% better with my ears, but I still have the fullness the buzzing and the pressure in my ears and slightly a little pain sometimes It's been five weeks. Has anyone experienced the same thing and got better?

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  50. Thank you for writing this article!
    I was exposed to very loud noise about 3 weeks ago and I've had tinnitus and that full feeling in my left ear, ever since, some days its a bit better then others but its extremely distracting (and scary). I've been trying to get more information about this but your article is the first one I've found that describes it accurately.
    I'm grateful to read that the full feeling you we're experiencing finally went away, reading this has given me some comfort and I hope my experience with swollen feeling goes away in time.
    Many Thanks again,
    bc

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  51. Thank you so much for your blog. It was so reassuring to read about your experience and to hear that the symptoms should gradually subside over time. I have had a very similar experience. I was trying to comfort my 3-month old baby last week, so was holding his face very close to mine as he cried and at some points screamed very loudly for at least an hour (his scream is very high-pitched and piercing). For the first two days afterwards I felt mild pain on-and-off in my ears, and felt very sensitive to other loud noises, such as my three-year old daughter shouting, and the blender going. On day 3, I started to experience blocked/ full ears when I went outside, and one ear has now been permanently blocked for two days. My ears do feel slightly better today, or perhaps I am just getting used to the feeling and am less concerned since I read your blog. I've been to see an ENT doctor who could see no damage or signs of trauma and did a hearing test which was all fine. So it sounds like I just need to wait it out, and try to put it out of my mind. Many thanks for the blog.

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    1. Connected IsolationApril 24, 2017 at 8:30 AM

      You're welcome and hope your symptoms get better soon!

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  52. Scoreboard buzzer that rang for about 30 seconds got me. Everyone in the gym eventually covered their ears when it continued on for so long. I wish the buzzers weren't so loud not only for the spectators but also for the children who are repeatedly exposed during sporting events. My dog barking periodically is not helping. I'm still in the 24 hour window. I'm hoping it resolves on its own.

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  53. It's happening to me :( My dog barked right inside my ear and immediately I felt pain and after the pain went away, disconfort and fullness, and it doesn't go away :(

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  54. I bought a vitamixer and after using it my right ear had pain in it right away. It had a feeling of fullness and burning. It has been a month and now the tragus is swollen and there is pain on the side of my head and a hushing sound in my ear. I have been having vertigo. Just found out my vitamin d was low. I went to a walkin and dr prescribed Ciprodex...did not use (no infection). My dr prescribed Nasonex which I will use tomorrow. I also have the water sensation. It feels like someone is curling my ear. I know it is disturbing and frustrating but try different treatments and vitamins and see if they help. We are alive everyone. Thanks for sharing your stories. Has anyone flown with this condition and how was it?

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  55. Thank God for this blog! Like one of the posters above, I inadvertently exposed myself to a very loud burst of sound briefly while wearing headphones (thankfully not the ear-bud kind). Had ear pain for two days that then subsided for two weeks. It then came back when I played the soprano recorder with my son. We are actually in a recorder orchestra together, and he plays two other instruments at home so staying away from loud sounds has been a challenge. Now in this second phase I am having some tinnitus too. My actual hearing seems fine. My questions are: 1) Does it make sense to wear earplugs while recovering from this if I have to be around music? No headphones obviously, but just if I am in the room with others playing an instrument? 2) Did you find high-pitched noises were more painful? Mostly we play the tenor recorder (fortunately), but the soprano seems particularly to cause the ear pain. In general, I am very glad there is a chance this could gradually improve! But did you avoid all music for awhile? That would be a challenge in our house...

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    1. Connected IsolationDecember 5, 2017 at 8:58 AM

      In case you are more sensitive to noise which can happen in situations like this, ear plugs might help reduce the discomfort if you have to be around it in the house. I do find high pitch noises like screams to be bothersome. Hope your condition improves soon!

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  56. Thanks so much for the response! I am now supposed to see an ENT next week. From what people have written here, I am unsure how much it will help. I do know there is wax buildup in my left ear, which has generally felt worse during this phase, so maybe if they can just get the wax out that will help a bit. And the points about anxiety are of interest also.
    I think my biggest question is: If I am around noise (not extreme noise-- I'm pretty much past the rock concert stage, but just instruments around the house, music at home w/o headphones etc.) will it actually make this problem WORSE or take longer to go away? Or just cause temporary return of discomfort? I am thinking of this like a sprained ankle-- I know that if you aren't careful during healing phase, you may damage it for life. I am wondering if there is anything similar here-- that is my biggest fear. I also wonder a bit if I am OVER-using the ear plugs sometimes, that my ears also need to learn to get used to regular level noise again. All questions for the ENT I guess!

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    1. Connected IsolationDecember 8, 2017 at 12:12 PM

      Yes, the ENT doctor should have the best advice. I think normal volume noise around the house should be ok as long as it is not bothersome. I would recommend the ear plugs when there will be loud noise but you could probably go without them if the environment is not too noisy.

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