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Weird! Ear Sensitivity/Pain Caused by Music

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Old 01-15-2011, 08:21 PM   #1
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Weird! Ear Sensitivity/Pain Caused by Music

For several years now I have been dealing with some major discomfort that seems to strike my ears, usually from music. For example, if I listen to a CD through a stereo at a reasonable level, my ears will feel very "full", my head will throb, and my ears will become very sensitive to sounds. However, I noticed that if I place earplugs in and still make it so I hear the music at the same volume, I can handle the volume just fine. (Obviously this solution is not practical or social, among other problems.)

Can someone please explain this?

I know I have had tinnitus for a long time now, which stinks but it doesn't keep me awake at night. I used to listen to music at excessive volumes; it took me a while to learn to enjoy music at more reasonable levels. I have also had several hearing tests and have shown no signs of loss there.

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Old 01-31-2011, 11:28 PM   #2
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Re: Weird! Ear Sensitivity/Pain Caused by Music

When I was in my mid-twenties, I had a boyfriend who had suffered from a series of ear infections as a child (he'd had tubes at one point), and he was VERY sensitive to certain sounds, especially loud cracking/clapping like thunderbolts, firecrackers, gunshot. He would cup a hand over his ear and actually kind of hunch up/cower. I remember feeling bad for him, but not really understanding his suffering.

About a decade after he and I broke up, I suffered a series of middle ear infections, and now have mild high frequency hearing loss in my right ear, as well as a permanent buzz/ring in the same ear. I'm just now getting over a month and a half of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, too. I never had any trouble with my ears as a child, just an adult, and now that I've suffered through these infections, tinnitus, etc., I've become sound-sensitive. Loud noises, certain voices, all feels like it's actually striking the eardrum of my "bad" ear.

The sound of music -- which used to thrill me -- has become so annoying that I rarely listen to either the radio or the music I own and love. Instead, I listen to talk radio programs on NPR. And the other thing is...I have to listen to talk radio with the volume turned way down...if it's louder than a certain level, my right ear (bad ear) starts having involuntary clicking/fluttering spasms. This particular symptom is called middle ear myoclonus. I take a prescription muscle relaxant "as needed" when my ear goes too crazy. It seems to help...or at least, to calm the flutters for a few weeks.

And I don't have an answer for why any of this has happened to any of us, and neither does any doctor I've met so far. I just keep the music low or off, and try to avoid stressing over the changes that have happened.

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