Tinnitus (ear ringing)

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
Does anyone else suffer from Tinnitus, or ear ringing?

I'm sure I've thoroughly screwed up my hearing over the years by not wearing hearing protection. In fact my ears are ringing now a bit as I write this. And it only increases with alcohol consumption.

I started playing drums in 1972 in beginner band and when I got my first drum set, I banged the daylights out of it, without any hearing protection. Continuing all the way thru junior high band on thru HS. Then aroiund the same time hitting the shooting ranges shooting .45 autos without hearing protection (ranges didn't require them back then as they do now), now drumming again since 2007.

So to preserve what hearing I have left, what's the best protection out there now for drummers to use? I can use the standard foamy ear plugs, but aren't there other types of hearing protection drummers can use?

What do you guys use?

Thanks!
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I started getting concerned about hearing protection when I started playing loud music a few years ago. I chose these on a recommendation from a fellow musician and love them. They maintain noise reduction across the frequency spectrum, so unlike foam plugs that distort the sound, the music sounds the same except quieter. http://www.etymotic.com/hp/er20.html

I use the Baby Blues (normal fit). They have larger sizes in other colors. They also have an "HD" version, which I don't recall seeing when I bought mine.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I have a severe case of Tinnitus. I have had it a long time. It has gotten a little worse over many years.

YES, protect you hearing !! Do it NOW.

For listening to loud bands and when playing the drums I use ear plugs made for musicians. I got then at Sam Ash Music store. They are specifically made for music. They have several different inserts for blocking different high frequencies. I use the maximum protection inserts.

The nice thing about these ear plugs is they don't block out all of the sound like the foam ear plugs do. They are made for musicians.

.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I use landscaping over-ear protection when rehearsing so that I can fit my iPhone's ear-buds underneath (metronome or playing chase). Otherwise, I use the cheap in-ear or paper towel variety. I bought an expensive pair once, and lost them a week later.

I go without when I need/want to listen.
 

Starship Krupa

Senior Member
I had the custom-fit Etymotics for a long time and liked them well enough, but they are pricey and supposedly need to be refitted every couple of years, which I did not do.

Recently I got a pair of Earasers, which can be had for about $30 at Guitar Center.

They have at least as flat a response as the custom fitted ones, but I find them more comfortable, and of course if I lose them, it's not as big a financial tragedy.

I met the founder/owner of the company at NAMM this year and he is a really good guy; gave me a free replacement set when he determined that the mediums I had been using were a bit too large for my ear canals.

Really can't say enough good about these plugs.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
You get better bass response from the custom fit plugs because they are hollow and fit against the ear canal. I have Westone with replaceable filters.

I've also been playing since mid 70's, but I never shot without hearing protection. I shoot everything too, and every week. I drum all the time and I shoot all the time. I should be deaf, but I'm not and my ears don't ring. I bet your major damage was from shooting without ears, it's painfully loud indoors.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I've tried tons of the sub $30 category ones. The vaters and the alpines are the best of the bunch from a drumming stand-point, and in my opinion.
 

HipshotPercussion

Senior Member
I use these:

http://www.oticonusa.com/product-showcase/hearing-devices/performance/agil/about-agil.aspx

Been drumming for almost 60 years. Way too much damage done. So much, in fact, that tinnitus is the least of my concerns. Hearing my wife is Number 1. My hearing aids are set to block all sound over 100db as well as increase the sound below it.

Cost five grand. Medicare paid for zip. Private insurance paid for $2000. But my life is much better now.

In other words, I'm recommending that everyone do all they can to protect their hearing while they can. Because trying to fix it later is...well, let's just say it's rough.
 

evogel

Senior Member
Does alcohol make tinnitus worse? Has anyone else noticed this?
Yes, supposedly alcohol consumption can exacerbate tinnitus or excessive consumption can even cause it. Certain medications too as well as medical conditions such as hypertension or atherosclerosis among others.

I would question a hearing professional/ENT physician if it bothers you a lot as well as use hearing protection. I like the Earasers very much as well as the generic Vic Firth plugs which are similar to Vater's and I think that both appear to be made by Etymotic.



Eric
 

Michaelocalypse

Senior Member
Yup, I have tinnitus here. I had it before I started playing drums. I know it's impossible to cure, but I started reading up on possible causes. I found I'm highly zinc deficient. I also think chronic nasal congestion increases it in my case. I'm sure some of it is loud noise damage. I tried some other things that didn't seem to help.

I use some old construction grade earphones at home. No clue who makes them. My dad gave me his extra set. They're great for making everything sound like a cardboard box, but I can hear what I'm doing and hear any music through some generic ear buds I put on underneath them. If I remember, I take these to the gun range too.
I always have some basic foam plugs in my truck in case I end up somewhere loud. I like some of the options posted above. I might try those out.

Does alcohol make tinnitus worse? Has anyone else noticed this?
It usually does increase the volume of tinnitus, temporarily. That is if you don't have a larger drinking problem.
 

adamosmianski

Senior Member
I was dumb and spent quite a few years in rock bands and drum and bugle corps without ear plugs. Luckily I wised up up fairly early in my twenties and had a set of custom molded ear plugs made. They come with replaceable filters. It was only $100 and well worth it. I've had them for over 10 years now. Everything sounds exactly the same, but just a little quieter. You don't get that muffled sound that you do with the foam or Christmas tree style plugs. I wear them for absolutely everything, no matter how quiet because you can still hear everything just fine. Well worth the investment.
 

CCdrummer

Senior Member
Actually for me alcohol lessens my tinnitus to the point where it's almost not noticeable, especially the day after drinking. Problem is, I can't be walking around half snapped or mildly hungover.

Also, and you can find research online, I was briefly on an antideperessant about three years ago and that practically stopped it but I quit it because I don't like antidepressants for a multitude of reasons.
 
T

The SunDog

Guest
Actually for me alcohol lessens my tinnitus to the point where it's almost not noticeable, especially the day after drinking. Problem is, I can't be walking around half snapped or mildly hungover.

Also, and you can find research online, I was briefly on an antideperessant about three years ago and that practically stopped it but I quit it because I don't like antidepressants for a multitude of reasons.
+1. My understanding is that blood pressure and ringing in the ears go hand in hand. Alcohol thins the blood and in my case decreases the ringing in my ears. Years of drums and guns have my ears ringing always. It goes away for me if I stop, but then I've never really stopped, so it always comes back. I can't (won't) use hearing protection when I play, so I use it for everything else. All power tools, firearms, yard equipment, vacuum, anything over 85 db. I'm close to getting an in ear monitor and just micing my entire kit for rehearsals and shows. Sometime in the next year or so. Hopefully that puts an end to it and I can finally let my ears heal, at least as much as they can.
 

Michaelocalypse

Senior Member
Did anyone else get spammed in their PM box by "winninteamxtra" because of this thread?

Actually for me alcohol lessens my tinnitus to the point where it's almost not noticeable, especially the day after drinking.
I envy you. I just had two beers and the only side effect of them is louder ringing, and less money in my pocket. They were yummy though.

Problem is, I can't be walking around half snapped or mildly hungover.
Why not? ;)
 

Bonefrost

Member
Huh?
Sorry had to say that,bad joke.
I have tinnitus bad,to the point I cant sleep and have to have a fan constantly running.I've had it since I was probably 18,so thats 27yrs(I'm 45).It sucks bad.

Went thru stages of using cheapys,but could never really get used to them.And any musician I talk to I always ask if they use hearing protection.Most dont.

I recently set up my jam room,and the drummer I've been jamming w/ we both use ear plugs.

I think I'm going to invest in some decent ones,you even need to put them in when you see a live concert.

Anyone use in-ear monitors?
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I have had constant and loud tinnitus for a long time. If I try to clear my mind I notice it whistling away, but it's a constant feature fixture in the soundtrack of my life and there is nothing that can be done to change it.
 

CCdrummer

Senior Member
Seriously guys, if your tinnitus is driving you mad, you may want to try the antidepressant route, It was a few years ago but I still remember that the improvement was remarkable for me to the point where it was practically gone.

Tinnitus can also be caused by jaw issues, and dentists that specialize in that area may also be able to help you.
 
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