Author Topic: Headset Headaches?  (Read 12509 times)

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MarcieA

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Headset Headaches?
« on: Dec 18, 2006, 12:52 pm »
Here's a strange occurance, that I've noticed is a trend with me. Anyone else?

About this time (3 weeks) into a run, I've noticed that about midway through a show, I get a very bad headache and earache on my headset ear. I switch it up, but that is always awkward because my light board, sound cue-ing system (grr...that's a whole different post) and house light remote are all there, so it makes things very cluttered and I knock my wires around alot. Plus it's just a whole lot more comfortable on the other side.

Has anyone else ever experienced this?
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

thehayworth

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Re: Headset Headaches?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 18, 2006, 02:16 pm »
Yes My temples ache from wearing a headset in the 2nd week of the show usually.

The solution is to take it off and throw it through the booth window
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Mac Calder

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Re: Headset Headaches?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 18, 2006, 02:42 pm »
I usually take ibuprofen (Neurofen) before starting a show, as I used to get them too. I think it is because of the quality of sound from the cans. There is a lot of HF noise - some above the audible spectrum, which is extremely irritating.

philimbesi

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Re: Headset Headaches?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 18, 2006, 03:15 pm »
I don't have a problem with cans that go over my ears but the ear bud ones that we tried a show or two ago killed me.   Marcie can you shift the headset back a little so it's not cupping your whole ear?  Might help to let some of the HF not go directly into your ear.  Might let in some background noise too, but it's a trade off. 

Mac you take Ibuprofen before a show no matter if you have a headache or not? 

Mac Calder

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Re: Headset Headaches?
« Reply #4 on: Dec 18, 2006, 03:25 pm »
Considering the fact that if I don't have one before the show, I have a splitting headache by the end, and am likely to bite the heads off of anyone who crosses my path, it is better for everyone. I had gone to a doctor about it, and that was their recommended treatment.

thehayworth

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Re: Headset Headaches?
« Reply #5 on: Dec 18, 2006, 04:17 pm »
I always thought the headache was caused by having the headset pinching my head in ... not the sound quality.  Interesting ...
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avkid

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Re: Headset Headaches?
« Reply #6 on: Dec 18, 2006, 06:19 pm »
If it only happens in one ear no matter how long, it is possible you may have some minor hearing damage. See an Audiologist if you can find some time.

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malewen

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Re: Headset Headaches?
« Reply #7 on: Dec 19, 2006, 01:11 am »
I don't get headaches but my ears get pretty uncomfortable (feeling pressured or squashed) when I have to wear them for a long time like at tech or when I call two shows in a day.  I always wear the headset on my left ear so I get less tangled up with the cable - I'm right handed and use that hand a lot to write notes, run the cuelights, etc.  As philimbesi suggests, I try to shift the headset around on my ear to spread out the pressure.  I should note that I use a double muff headset with one muff pivoted up - I can pivot the unused muff either toward the front or back of my head which changes the pressure pattern on my ear significantly.  Other thoughts to help you might be to try turning the volume in your earpiece down a bit or try a different kind of headset.  A lot of SMs I know love to wear lightweight models (they often do let in some ambient noise but it is usually manageable unless you're in a really high volume environment). 

MarcieA

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Re: Headset Headaches?
« Reply #8 on: Dec 19, 2006, 03:45 pm »
I do wear a featherweight headset.

I think it may be a sound problem, because my booth doesn't have a window so I have the volume turned up quite high to be heard.

Luckily, the next show I'm doing is a one-man, not a musical. That should help. Until then, I'll just keep adjusting it, though with this cast, The Hayworth's suggestion is where I'm headed.

Thanks!
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Canuck

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Re: Headset Headaches?
« Reply #9 on: Dec 19, 2006, 05:36 pm »
For the pressure on the temples, I noticed that when I wore a bandana or a baseball cap, the pressure wasn't as bad and I didn't end up with a headache after the show.  My physiotherapist thinks it might have to do with the band sort of spreading out the pressure.  I don't know if this is true or if it works for others, but that's what works for me when it comes to the mechanics of wearing a headset.  Plus, if anyone in the booth is bugging me, that night I grab the bandana from my hockey bag and threaten to wear that one in the booth!

If it's a volume thing, we are kinda stuck in this industry.  If you have to hear it and you can't, make it louder.  For everyone out there I recommend getting a baseline hearing test done right away.  Keep that record on file.  If you are ever involved in an incident that causes hearing damage or loss, you have on file a record of what your hearing used to be and may be eligble for compensation.  At least that's how it works in Canada.  Even if you're place of residence doesn't do this, it's always good to have it checked considering how important it is to our jobs.

LisaEllis

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Re: Headset Headaches?
« Reply #10 on: Dec 19, 2006, 08:40 pm »
I find it interesting that you wear a featherweight and are still having headache problems.  Hmm...
I used to wear a cloth headband (actually a bandana folded over) to relieve the pressure and balance a larger muff, although I don't usually have a problem with my lightweight headset.

OldeWolf

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Re: Headset Headaches?
« Reply #11 on: Jan 01, 2007, 08:40 pm »
I use a featherweight, too. Even so, by the end of a long session my ear would often feel stressed and the pressure on the off side often made my temples ache as well. I finally took some cast-off pieces of sheerling and fashioned pads for the earpiece and the bar on the off side. No more headaches.

Owen

I find it interesting that you wear a featherweight and are still having headache problems.  Hmm...
I used to wear a cloth headband (actually a bandana folded over) to relieve the pressure and balance a larger muff, although I don't usually have a problem with my lightweight headset.

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BalletPSM

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Re: Headset Headaches?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 26, 2007, 12:18 am »
Eww, I get headset headaches all the time!  Last season after Nutcracker was over I actually got an ear infection.  Two years ago I got my ears pierced again right before starting rehearsals on a show (which only had a 3-week rehearsal process) and then had to call it -- I had the worst pain in my left ear and couldn't figure out what it was...then I discovered that the hole had become infected from the headset.  Yuck!  Now I try to lysol my headset after every rehearsal/performance. 

I try to shift the headset back on my head a bit so it's not pressing on that tender spot right above my ear.  Ah, the joys...
Stage managing is getting to do everything your mom told you not to do - read in the dark, sit too close to the TV, and play with the light switches!

elle

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Re: Headset Headaches?
« Reply #13 on: Jul 09, 2008, 04:46 pm »
i always wear a benie when i'm having to wear the large clearcom sets. I get horrible headaches, but with that i can pull it down over my ears and that helps pad not only my temples from the horrible squeeze, but also relieves some of the pressure from the muff itself on my ear.
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brew

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Re: Headset Headaches?
« Reply #14 on: Jul 18, 2008, 01:51 am »
geez i thought it was just me! i get killer headaches with the headsets i use. the pain is not just on my head. it creeps all the way down to my shoulders. at first i thought maybe it's because it's the old style unit with very thin muff paddings. but some of our suppliers use the new ones with thick paddings, i still get headaches but not as bad as with the old units.

i had a bout of ear infection once. since then i always have a pack of anti-bacterial wipes. call me obsessive-compulsive but i wipe the muffs always before putting them on (because other guys "borrow" them during the show) then i cover the muffs with a little tissue.

like elle, i too wear a beanie and discovered it helps a lot in taking out the pressure around my head.

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