Hey guys, I didn't know in what subforum to post this, so I posted it here.

I started playing guitar 3 years ago. I am/was very dedicated, so I progressed quickly. Played too loud most of the time and now I have tinnitis. A mild version, thank god, but still, there is a never-ending stream of noise bouncing around in my ear.

I'm willing to accept that and to be honest, I got what I asked for. However, I'm finding the sound of my pick hitting the strings becoming more and more loud, or, in other words, more and more 'painful' to listen to. It is no explicit pain, but I find the sound of a pick really digging on the higher strings uncomfortable to listen to. The sound of my vacuum cleaner also really burdens my ears. I looked it up on the internet and found out that I am most certainly developing a case of hyperacusis, which is often accompanied by tinnitis.

Sigh... am I ruining my ears by playing guitar? I mean, if the sound of my pick digging in the strings is becoming more and more awkward to listen to, would it be better to quit playing altogether? I've been experimenting with Reason lately, great software to make music with virtual instruments, and I find it is much less hard on my ears. Is guitar the wrong instrument for me?

tl;dr: Developed tinnitis long time ago, now starting to develop hyperacusis. What to do?
I thought loud was good......

Maybe you need to try playing acoustic for a little while and see if that is better on your ears.

And ear plugs would be a good investment.
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1: wear earplugs. seriously.
2: See a doctor.
What?! There's a clean channel on my amp?!

Quote by GoodOl'trashbag
omfg i totally forgot about that, you sir are jesus christ.
I wear earplugs. I've not been to see a doctor yet, but I will do so soon enough.
1. See a doctor
2. Try to get pair of earplugs that are specially molded for YOUR ears
3. If nothing helps, you might ultimately might want to give up on playing guitar if it just makes your tinnitus worse. I've heard stories of people getting so sever cases of it that they have either lost their hearing or went insane.

Also put your personal health in front of hobbies. I know it sucks, but remember that you need to live with your body for the rest of your life.

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Last edited by Fishybones at Mar 1, 2012,
Yeah, the number 3 worries me the most. I'm not I afraid I'll go insane - I'm sane enough to give up long before that point is reached - but I do "hear" how the ringing in my ears has gotten significantly louder during the last couple of months. I've also read the reports of people committing suicide or losing their mind due to the constant absence of silence - I absolutely do not want to live in noise for the rest of my life.
Or even killed themselves.
Quote by luxeion
i keep asking my dad for wood. but he keeps getting annoyed (he's working on a house). and i'm too young to go outside.

Quote by StrykVladzimsky
Or even killed themselves.

Exactly. It's very hard to explain to a non-tinnitis sufferer how intrusive the sounds get.
Seriously, go see a specialist and have your hearing checked. Find out what kind of loss you have and how to deal with it. Otherwise, back way off on the volume knob.

If you play live, hearing protection is a must. That goes for all of us!
--- Joe ---
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I don't even play live. I play with headphones with the volume just high enough that I can make out what I'm playing. I'm very protective of my hearing, or at least, what's left of it.

I will go see a specialist. That's for sure.
I've nothing useful to contribute, but I hope you find a way to keep playing guitar without damaging your hearing even more. You've made me realise just how important it is to take care of your hearing.

all the best dude