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Tinnitus

Old 22nd Jan 2018, 15:51
  #1 (permalink)  
P.H
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Tinnitus

Is there lot of pilots who suffer from tinnitus? How is it reacting to flying and is flying making it worse? How are you coping with it? Cockpit and airport area are both pretty noisy environment so I guess pilots who suffer from tinnitus arenít uncommon either. I would like to hear your thoughts as I have suffered mild tinnitus now 9 months but during the past three itís slightly getting worse. I also changed from jet to turboprop so can this constant hopping with short sectors affect to my tinnitus or can the reason be just some other non aviation related?

Appreciate your replies
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Old 22nd Jan 2018, 18:07
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pzu
 
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Tinnitus - consider recent anti Malarial usage

Not aircrew, but long term Tinnitus sufferer, there are a number of folk who are looking at anti Malarials (particularly Latium) as having some involvement in development of Tinnitus!
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Old 22nd Jan 2018, 22:02
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I've no idea whether many hours on large turboprops affected or caused tinnitus but I do wish that I had had the opportunity to fly with something like the Bose A20 aviation headset. They are very pricey at £1,000 but that's only £500 an earful and better value than those damned Quasimodo sound effects.
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Old 22nd Jan 2018, 22:14
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Tinnitus is often caused by common medications such as NSAIDs (ibuprofen). There are many others that will cause this.

Check the prescribing information on the meds you take.
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 10:45
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Mine started c 1979 when shooting pistol competitively and TREing on the Bandit. Sheesh, that's a noisy machine. I then had an ear infection which made it difficult to lie on either ear. A dull pressure ache.

I was prescribed Terramycin. Bad, bad choice it seems. Look up links with tinnitus.

A later problem - and seemingly an American professor, Fatima Husain, has linked the problem with racing minds. It's certainly true in my case. Sadly I'm too old for her studies but was greatly interested.

Ringing in Ears Keeps Brain More at Attention and Less at Rest - Neuroscience News

In haste
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 12:09
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5LY
 
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The trick is to not focus on it. If you constantly think about it and are conscious of it you'll make yourself crazy. Ignore it and you'll find it fades into the background and ceases to be a worry for you. It's still there if you happen to think about it you mostly don't or shouldn't
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 13:32
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P.H
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Smile Still wondering

Hi,
Thanks for the reply.
I have been trying it but its hard and will take time to habituate. However my concern is that is flying making it worse now as it seems much louder than it was during last summer. I wanted to know if there are any other pilots who suffer from Tinnitus and have experience how flying as profession affects it. As noisy as the aviation industry is I believe that there can be lots of pilots with this issue but few are talking about it. Medical wise its not problem as long as your hearing is also okay. Just checked mine and even the doctor was surprised how good my hearing is, almost 0 level in all frequenzies. My T started after loud club night last April so there was no medicine etc involved, just noise exposure that "broke the barrier"
Are you professional pilot and do you have tinnitus?
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 17:00
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5LY
 
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Yes. Retired airline pilot. It never was an issue on medicals. Keep some ear plugs handy and use them to protect your ears.
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 18:12
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P.H
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About pressure

Hi 5LY, yeah nowadays I have earplugs even under my sennheiser anr headsets (Atr is loud) when did your tinnitus started? At the end of your career or did you had to fly many years with it? Asking because I’m wondering if you ever experienced any affect on it due pressure changes that we get all the time?
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 18:44
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Only you know you have tinnitus. It manifests itself on an audiogram as high tone deafness.

My advice, on a medial examination leave the tinnitus out of it.
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 19:53
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Had it for years - a while ago it moved from my left ear to my right ear. Back in the left now. I am suddenly more aware of it now that I'm typing this. You learn to live with it, and it has not really impacted on the quality of life.
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 20:03
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Larium

Started on the death ship in the 80s after a quack syringed my ears when I had an infection. Larium made things worse especially with other parts of my body/brain.
Loud noise..night clubs..motorcycles ..etc and aspirin make it worse.
One ear only..right ..was a FO for most of my career.
Avoiding noise and wind noise helps.
NLP and trance music as well..had problems sleeping for years.
Audiogram normal for my age but have had problems understanding speech for years.
Use positive thought techniques so only a nuisance..lucky to still be here.
Good luck
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 20:30
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P.H
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blind pew

Yeah I’m super cautious nowadays about the noise and like told before use earplugs even under anr headset. Did you notice any affect on pressure change in airplane? Just wondering if that can make it worse.
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 21:19
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No change with pressure changes..I paraglide now and occasionally glide in france including the odd aeros and spins..normal deafness associated with not clearing the ears which disappears once I hold my nose and blow or swallow...Have some drastic pressure changes when I do spiral dives to loose height paragliding ..probably three thousand fpm for short periods (limited because of G). No problem except that the wind noise in my helmet at high speed does temporarily make it worse. Similar but longer lasting effect using a circular saw, router or planer...normally use ear defenders.
Hearing damage started when I was in the army cadet force using rifles..at the same time scrambled on two strokes..got worse doing outside checks on the Trident..BEA were negligent as we had zero protection whereas SR issued ear protection to all crew members.
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 23:08
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Huh, just lost 20 mins of writing because Prune's version of IB does not auto save a Draft.

Gist was, cilia get damaged, frequency-specific brain cells turn themselves flat out trying to interpret the 'noise' generated by the associated cells.

This suggests you might be just as lightly to survive further loud noise as a normal person but I'm not convinced about that. Perhaps one is predisposed to have the cilia fail, or maybe there's partial damage to the cilia. Personally I wouldn't gamble on being as robust as a person without tinnitus.

Several hypotheses suggest other reasons for the noise. Significantly, the notion that the brain generates the tinnitus and even cutting the main nerve, causing total deafness, can still leave the patient with the noise. Nasty.

I was distressed for a while but it soon became the norm. I had to stop diving as it always caused a few days of increased tinnitus but flying had no effect.

As one that's had a sudden increase in noise due to cochlea hydrops, I'm all too aware of the distress it causes. I'd just had two carpel tunnel ops to play the piano again and now my ears perceive sound at different frequencies. But looking on the bright side, it'll save me the cost of a piano.
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 08:10
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Flying light aircraft nearly full time for 40 years has given a constant humming like someone has left a electrical device on. Sometimes i get what sounds like a diesel engine idling, to the point one night i got up and opened the bedroom window to see where the noise was coming from. Other than wearing a bone dome all that time , can't see how hearing can be protected. I think the sound waves go through the skull, so plugs don't make much difference.
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Old 25th Jan 2018, 16:43
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Any thoughts on Statins being the cause? I started taking Statins 14 or so years ago and was about this time had Tinitus. Has never really caused a problem, but now I also have pulsatile tinitus, which is experienced when lying down in bed and hearing ones own heartbeat.
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Old 25th Jan 2018, 20:15
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Had it since late '60s. Doesn't seem to have got worse and had class 1 till age 65. No effect with pressure changes - and as has been said you will learn to live with it.
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 04:24
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Had it for over 2 years now, sometimes ill wear ear plugs or filters on the flight deck. looking at maybe getting Bose QC30 noise cancelling headphones just to wear in the cockpit. With the cockpit speaker on I have heard that there is no problem in hearing ATC etc. Flying the airbus and overall I think it is a quiet cockpit compared to other aircraft so Im lucky in that regard. Know a few other people at my company who have it and they seem to manage. over the time I have had it it ha progressed from my right ear to now both ears however I haven't noticed any increase in sound. it doesn't really bother me anymore and I sleep fine at night. Things do really get better, just be safe
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 07:27
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The problem is that the cause of tinnitus can be manifold. Can be ear damage but also stress, medicins, blood pressure etc. The (most difficult) issue is first to find out what the exact cause is and then try to find a solution. I suffered a few years ago also from tinnitus during a couple of months.(probably stress factor). It was really affecting my sleep and was almost bouncing with my head against the wall, i was mentally getting insane of it. In the end i was simply afraid to go to sleep. Then i decided to put music on from Billy Holiday. Well, somehow i could back sleep again. After a while my tinnitus dissappeared. I always wear now earplugs under my headset. It is just a awful thing to have for the rest of your life.
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