Anyone use full-time hearing protection?

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BNineFounder
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13 Jul 2010, 6:22 pm

First post on WP. Greetings everyone :D

I wear earplugs about ninety-five percent of the time because of sensory issues. When I can't wear earplugs and the environment is anything louder than soft conversation, I almost instantly go into overload and find myself spinning into a state of agitation and anxiety.

My question is: Does anyone else wear hearing protection most of the time? If so, what brand/model/type? If you think I'm being ridiculous for doing so, can you explain?

Thanks guys



book_noodles
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13 Jul 2010, 6:33 pm

I sometimes wear one earplug cut in half at school. I have no idea what brand it is, my dad gets them for me. They are neutrally colored..


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13 Jul 2010, 7:19 pm

I worked with a guy who had hearing aids that doubled as a high tech sound filter. I have no idea what brand they where.



one-A-N
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13 Jul 2010, 8:33 pm

Wearing earplugs most or all of the time can make you even more sensitive to sound.

Your ear notices that you are not hearing any sound, so it turns up its sensitivity to try to hear sounds better. Then, when you take off your earplugs, everything sounds even louder.

You should consider wearing earphones that play soft music or some random background noise like "pink noise". That way, your ears will be less sensitive. Also, try going without any ear protection for longer periods.

Have a look at the following website: http://www.hyperacusis.net/hyperacusis/home/default.asp
"Hyperacusis" is the audiological term for sensitivity to loud noises. There is a vast quantity of information on that website about managing sound sensitivity issues. Here is one quote that you should consider:

Quote:
Some individuals are so afraid of noise that they wear earplugs all the time. Their ears become so unbelievably sound sensitive that it is a very hard crawl to get out of that hole. This is rare - very rare. Even those people, if they can get past the fear, can come back.


You could go on wearing earplugs all your life, but you are painting yourself into a corner: you will never develop tolerance for ordinary sounds that way, and you will be effectively somewhat deaf all the time. Why waste perfectly good hearing? If nothing else, consider trying these other types of protection, like soft background noise. You can get earphones that cancel outside sounds and play music at the same time.



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13 Jul 2010, 10:10 pm

one-A-N wrote:
You could go on wearing earplugs all your life, but you are painting yourself into a corner: you will never develop tolerance for ordinary sounds that way, and you will be effectively somewhat deaf all the time. Why waste perfectly good hearing? If nothing else, consider trying these other types of protection, like soft background noise. You can get earphones that cancel outside sounds and play music at the same time.


Right. But you are talking about "perfectly good hearing." Some people actually do have hyper sensitive hearing where what sounds normal to us is painful to them. That's a whole other issue. You might be singing a different tune if a telephone ringing or someone speaking in a natural tone actually HURTS. How do you deal with that? Expose yourself to painful frequencies until your ears are not so sensitive? That can cause damage that could result in eventual deafness.


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13 Jul 2010, 10:12 pm

I tried to wear earplugs but got them stolen from me and made fun of.


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14 Jul 2010, 11:35 am

Thank you all for your replies.

one-A-N, what you said is very accurate in my case. Obviously I have to take my earplugs out after showering, cleaning my ears, etc and you are so right when you say my brain overcompensates by turning up the gain from wearing the plugs all the time. The problem is, if I take them out and leave them out for any length of time, it's just unbearable to me. I become overloaded and stressed to the maximum and a melt-down is sure to follow not long after that.

I appreciate the suggestions, and I have tried white and pink noise, but even with really well-sealed or noise-canceling headphones, normal everyday speech and the constant booming of people's automotive bass systems leak through too much and those noises just tear right through me. Sometimes I wish I could manually deactivate my ears until I need them.



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15 Jul 2010, 9:35 am

MrXxx wrote:
one-A-N wrote:
You could go on wearing earplugs all your life, but you are painting yourself into a corner: you will never develop tolerance for ordinary sounds that way, and you will be effectively somewhat deaf all the time. Why waste perfectly good hearing? If nothing else, consider trying these other types of protection, like soft background noise. You can get earphones that cancel outside sounds and play music at the same time.


Right. But you are talking about "perfectly good hearing." Some people actually do have hyper sensitive hearing where what sounds normal to us is painful to them. That's a whole other issue. You might be singing a different tune if a telephone ringing or someone speaking in a natural tone actually HURTS. How do you deal with that? Expose yourself to painful frequencies until your ears are not so sensitive? That can cause damage that could result in eventual deafness.


I'd be saying "Off to the audiologist with you!" I am not an audiologist, I have only read some of this material while researching my own sound sensitivity issues, which are a different type. I did try wearing earplugs for a while, and I do use an mp3 player regularly ... and I am aware that that could also damage my hearing and cause (or worsen) tinnitus. You are right to point out that it is a tricky business, with many possibilities.

So - definitely, don't get your last word on hearing from an amateur like me. Get a professional to check out your ears.