Tinnitus and Party

Going out with tinnitus is not possible?

I get asked very often if I still go out even though I have a ringing in my ear. And I have to say absolutely yes!!

Of course I don´t go out as much, but that isn´t necessary linked to tinnitus. No, it is generally because I am older and I have gotten pickier about where I am going to.

BUT when going out with tinnitus, it is important to consider a few things:

1. Ear Protection

In my opinion this is the most important point!

Having tinnitus means the hair cells in our inner ear are damaged. That damage seems to be irreversible and having that kind of damage requires us to take even more care of our ears.

Due to the ear ringing our ears are more sensitive the “normal” ears…so certain sounds may even hurt our ears.

BUT no matter if the ears are sensitive or not – we NEED to protect our ears from loud sounds as it is so dangerous.

(source: http://www.cochlea.org/en/noise )

As you can see in the chart, discos and concerts fall under harmful sounds.

Using the right ear plugs is really important here! But how to choose the right ear plugs. Foam ear plugs are the most popular ones, but what they do is to only dim the sound, the sound of everything.

What you want to go out is, to filter the music but still be able to join in on conversations and that retain the acoustic quality. Why go to a concert if the ear plugs make your experience blurry.

There are ear plugs with different kind of filters, for sleeping, for swimming, for riding a motorcycle and of course there are ear plugs for music and even for musicians.

I usually use ear plugs for musicians, I feel like they even filter better than the ones for music.

Comfort is a big topic here, we want to make sure, that we are comfortable when going out. So having ear plugs that fit our ears are important. The ones you get from the internet or your buy in a store can often be bought in small, medium or large, sometimes they only have a one-size. It might be just right for you, but if not customized ones are the best choice for you.

Of course customized ones are more expensive but also more elaborated. I personally don’t have customized ones, as I am happy with my music ear plugs.

I think it is a question of personal likes and everybody has to find the right brand or plugs for him/herself.

If doesn´t do you any good if you want to take out your ear plugs half way through your going out experience, as it is only affective if you leave them in for the whole time.

2. Alcohol

I wrote a whole post on this topic.

Many people say alcohol affects their tinnitus and it bothers them to go out and not to drink and so they prefer to stay in.

I mean, that can be a way to deal with it – the question is why do we want to drink?

Read more about it in my article here: https://www.thetinnituslife.com/2018/09/01/tinnitus-and-alcohol/

I have overcome that pressure a long time and I can go out without drinking, actually I don´t feel an effect on my tinnitus if I drink only a few beers with a lot of water. The water helps me to keep hydrated. Also I always feel like when I am dehydrated, the tinnitus gets worse. It might have to do with the fluids in the ear canal or not. Not sure what it is, but dehydration affects my tinnitus no matter what. So if I drink beer or wine without drinking water on the side, it also gets louder.

There is of course the thing that drinking affects our nervous system and blood pressure and I think we all know that these are factors linked to tinnitus. So our tinnitus might get worse.

Nobody´s tinnitus story is the same, so find out what alcohol does to you.  I mean we all know that excessive drinking is harmful…I am talking about small amounts here and there.

I for one know that beer and wine (so low level of alcohol) consumed in moderation and in combination with water doesn´t affect my tinnitus.

If I am getting drunk, then I don´t only feel hung over the next day, but also my tinnitus is louder. So I don´t get drunk anymore. I know my limit and that is what I watch out for, also drinking a lot of water helps with not getting drunk so quickly.

But again, I have to emphasize that this is different for everyone. You have to find the right way to handle it for you.  

3. Right Place

Where do you go out?

I mean there are places that are super loud and there are places that are not so loud. A bar, disco, pub, private party, concert, small club…there are so many options and each of them has a different kind of acoustic.

I have been to concerts and festivals since I have tinnitus and I enjoyed them very much. I wore good ear plugs and didn’t a difference afterwards at all. I always try to position myself not too close to the speakers.

To be honest I have been to all the places listed above, with my ear plugs that has not been a problem at all. Not during my time there and not afterwards.

Generally I prefer places that offer some kind of comfort and are not too loud. Since I have tinnitus I don´t like places that are crowded, as it has become so difficult for me to filter out background noises and to follow conversations. Actually with the right kind of ear plugs that has become easier.

Still, if you are just starting to go out again after getting tinnitus I recommend doing as I did and to start by small and quieter places. Test different ear plugs and test how you feel.

I wrote another post about choosing the right place: https://www.thetinnituslife.com/2017/10/05/your-tinnitus-is-limiting-your-going-out-options-choose-the-right-place/

And then work your way up…

When you feel comfortable where you are it shouldn´t be such a big problem – that leads me right to the next point.

4. Anxiety of doing the wrong thing

In my opinion we are making this whole thing worse than it is. Through our constant worries that we could make our tinnitus worse we pullback and might not want to do anything anymore.

At least that is how it was for me for the longest time.

My worries were like affirmations. What we tell ourselves over and over makes it come true for us – so it might just get worse.

A lot has to do with our beliefs and what we think we can do or not, by doubting us and our abilities we are holding ourselves back from moving forward.

Even though we have tinnitus, we can do so many things and we can live a normal life – of course we always have to make sure what we do is good for us and doesn´t hurt us.

5. Do what feels good

Isn´t that what it is all about?

We should always do what feels good to us. Listen to our body and our intuition.

If we force ourselves to go out just because we want to part of it but we don´t feel comfortable there – we won´t feel well and the stress we put on ourselves might cause our tinnitus to worsen.

In fact, every time we go against our true self – we feel stressed and not well. That makes our tinnitus worse.

I´m not saying it is easy – but we need to listen to ourselves if what we are doing is right for is in that exact moment.

There have been times I left a party early just because I felt strongly that was not where I wanted to be right now or because it made me feel uncomfortable and on the other hand there have been times I pulled myself together to go to a party and I stayed until the end, having an amazing time!

I found this page really informative about hearing: