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Sensitivity and Relapse Due to Noise - just me?

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Unread 12-04-2012, 10:52 AM   #1
Uk PCS Accountant
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Default Sensitivity and Relapse Due to Noise - just me?

Hi all,

I really had been getting better lately with a good diet, as much rest and audio books and walking as possible and as little travelling and work stress as I could achieve.

So last weekend I went to 1 hour of a party and there was a live band. I took my earplugs and left after 1 hour even though I felt ok, but since then my symptoms have come back in full force and I feel like I've stepped back 5 months. It's the worst time it could happen as I am really busy at work and it's hard to get out of things in the next few weeks.

Is it the noise that did it? Will this be a permanent thing?

Does anyone have experience of good ear plugs? I am finding they hurt my ears after a few hours, or wearing them more than once a week and have tried many types.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 12:31 PM   #2
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UK PCS accountant,

I ran into those exact same issues. I was injured in November of 2011 and had difficulties around Christmas or even family events like birthdays.

In September I attended a wedding (best man) so I was there for most of the day and a good part of the dance. Although that I had my earplugs in all day the next 3 days I felt totally exhausted.

For me, the further I moved away from the date of injury the better in got and now mostly experience extreme fatigure the next day. It's been over a year and I even avoid the malls now just due to the busy Christmas traffic.

The earplugs I use are musician plugs, I think Etymotic research. They don't block as much as the foam plugs as much but are more discreet and still allow me to carry on with a conversation but enough to dull other voices in the background.

A party like the one you described I did not even attempt in my first 6 months. I don't know if they had bright lights there but sometimes wearing a cap can minimize visual stimulation. If I could of found one of those cones they place on dogs when they have an injury I might of worn one to minimize the amount of data my eyes have to take in by shrinking my field of vision.

As a side note, I am much better now but dealing with crowded and noise environments is one of the issues for me that's hangning around the most but still improving even after a year.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 12:51 PM   #3
Laura G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uk PCS Accountant View Post
Hi all,

So last weekend I went to 1 hour of a party and there was a live band. I took my earplugs and left after 1 hour even though I felt ok, but since then my symptoms have come back in full force and I feel like I've stepped back 5 months. It's the worst time it could happen as I am really busy at work and it's hard to get out of things in the next few weeks.

Is it the noise that did it? Will this be a permanent thing?
.
Hi there; yes, no, yes.

I too have a huge problem with noise. It does not appear to be just loud sound, but is competing auditory stimuli. Ex: going to a shopping mall. No way. Have tried it twice.

Between the loud aggravating music which I think is to rev people up to shop until they drop, separate music playing in shops and all the talking, it is way an overload.

I avoid them now.

I went to a family gathering for our Thanksgiving feast. Hard surfaces, 20 people. 8 conversations. Forgot my emergency kit which has my earplugs. I had to go to a separate quiet room - I was waiting for the dessert course. I had a splitting headache.

I gobbled up Tylenol and waited. My boyfriend came in and kept me company.

I felt sick, tired, weak and dizzy for the next 3 days. I didn't want to do anything. And this is post concussion by 9 months plus.

At the end of July I went to a baseball game in San Francisco. I was armed with my emergency kit which has earplugs. I had to put them in almost immediately.

I could enjoy the game (although the Giants did badly - I'm glad they pulled it out to win the World Series later. )

What I didn't count on was the problem with too much visual stimulation. Also, the cement was painted bright red on the walkways where I had my seats. Weird. I found the great swath of red flooring absolutely assaultive on my visual cortex.

I coped with wearing sunglasses and trying to look up and away as much as possible.

My problem with auditory stim is getting better. Still really hard for me to be in church. I can watch movies ok but nothing which generates fear or anxiety.

My ear plugs are girlie ones bright pink. I don't know the brand, got them at Walmart cheaply a few years ago for airplane travel.

I can send you some if you email me privately. They are the spongy kind you roll in your fingers and insert.

Have you tried any noise protection earmuffs that laborers use when working around loud noise? That might work. And because they look out of the ordinary at work it might help to remind coworkers about your situation and health concerns.

Take care.
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Suffered a patient attack on Valentine's Day 2012; kicked in the head resulting in severe concussion. 50+ professional woman on leave from psych hospital job. Recovering from dizziness, nausea, sequential processing deficits, headaches, sprained neck, memory loss, mood fluctuation, fatigue, and general malaise. Treatments: MD, Neuro MD, Physical therapy, psychotherapy, medication.

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Unread 12-04-2012, 06:17 PM   #4
Mark in Idaho
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I have tried all the different ear plugs. The Etymotic research plugs only block about 15 dB's of sound. The pink bell or cone shaped plugs are commonly given out by airlines. They will block about 20dB's. The yellow cylinder foam plugs will block 29 to 30 dB's. Twist them tight and insert them deep so you can barely grab them to take them out.

I always have them near. I can engage in a conversation with them easily. I use just one for my wife's snoring. You can wash them by putting them in the bottom of a bath sink/lavatory and running hot water for a few minutes. You can also leave them in a pocket and put them through the laundry. Clean foam plugs work better.

When out at a social function, it will help to stay out of the middle of the room. The intensity and echoes will be less off in a corner. If you ever notice a quick change in what you hear, run for the door. This is your brain reaching a fight or flight level of over-stimulation. The next few minutes may become over-overwhelmingly difficult with a long recovery.

It took me a while to learn all of the signs and triggers.

Hope this helps.

My best to you.
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59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
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Unread 12-05-2012, 07:27 AM   #5
sospan
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My six year old grandson everyday - the world explodes into sound when he is home from school.

And the voice, because he is the size of a 10 year old he has the voice to match - this coupled with the enthusiasm of a 6 year old playing marbles, crashing toy cars, toy guns etc with the strength of a 10 year old
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Last edited by sospan; 12-05-2012 at 07:29 AM. Reason: correct %$*&@ spelling
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Unread 12-11-2012, 12:57 AM   #6
MaryinIA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark in Idaho View Post
When out at a social function, it will help to stay out of the middle of the room. The intensity and echoes will be less off in a corner. If you ever notice a quick change in what you hear, run for the door. This is your brain reaching a fight or flight level of over-stimulation. The next few minutes may become over-overwhelmingly difficult with a long recovery.

It took me a while to learn all of the signs and triggers.

Hope this helps.

My best to you.
I too am figuring out my triggers. I am having trouble with people at work who know I cannot handle flashing lights, being stupid. I told my boss it isn't like I can just say I am ok once the flashing lights are turned off, because my brain has gone into "fight or flight" mode and it won't listen to reason for a few hours minimum. Now I am beginning to have the feeling just being there because my mind is on alert for trouble. Arrggggh! I have 9 days off between Christmas and New Years to clear my thoughts. If it goes right back to "fight or flight" after the new year, I have decisions to make.
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Unread 12-11-2012, 02:01 AM   #7
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My son (severe TBI) is very noise sensitive. A few days ago in traffic, on the other side of the highway, a long convoy of police cars was approaching. When Brett saw alll those lights he was like "OMG! IT'S SO LOUD!!" He was anticipating. Turned out they actually just were escorting a big biker gang and just had all the lights flashing, no sirens. Thank goodness!! It would have been horrible for him. He does get that "flight or fight" look in his eye.

Funny tho, his playing "Guitar Hero" doesn't bother him! It must be just the loud, sharp or shrill unexpected noises like sirens that really get him. I've read that gunshots and sonic booms are especially unnerving for TBI survivors. I can imagine it is all more due to do with plain ol' "nerves are shot" than anything... when I'm really stressed out (most of the time these days) these kinds of little "shocks" can really just shred the nerves already working so hard to cope with life in general, hmm... and that much harder for TBI's to recover from that.

Earplugs -- Mark's advice sounds great, just do make sure to keep them clean so you don't get an ear infection. I think I would even soak them in a peroxide sterile water solution for a little while after cleaning.
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Unread 12-11-2012, 05:15 AM   #8
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MommaBear, If you put them is the sink and run hot water over them, they will be better than pasturized foods, etc. I have worn them clean and filthy dirty. The clean ones work much better but the dirty ones same me from a brain crash.

Your son can play Guitar Hero because he is directly connected to the sounds. There is a visual connection to the sound that makes it easier. I can tolerate loud tools because I am standing at the tool and watching it make the sound. My brain does not need to try to understand the source of the sound. Sound is often a cause for alarm or fight or flight. When we can remove the startle factor, the brain does much better.

If an understood sound has too much background noise like echoes and excessive reverb, it can over-stimulate the brain as it tries to make sense of it. I can hear echoes that very few others can hear. It I point out the echo, sometimes, others will be able to identify it faintly.

My neurologist, after looking at my qEEG/AEP/VEP wave forms, could tell my brain was trying to process every bit of the audio stimulation. He said, "You hear everything. How do you handle that?" My wife was sitting nearby and answered, "He doesn't. That's part of his problem."

MommaBear, If you keep your son's index finger nails cut short, they can make excellent ear plugs for those emergencies. Have him try sticking his fingers in his ears with his finger nails to the back. It does better than any ear plugs or ear muffs. I'll do this for sirens and such. If his nails are long and toward the front, the nails conduct some sound. He sounds like a smart and perceptive kid.

My best to you all.
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Mark in Idaho
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59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
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Unread 12-11-2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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Pre injury I rode a motorcycle all the time. An ear, nose and throat doctor can make a custom fit set of ear plugs for you. Super comfortable when done right and VERY effective. They will cost about 70 dollars plus the cost of the office visit.
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