Mechanical Valve Noise and Quality of Life Study

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thomas999

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sterling heights, michigan, usa
sorry to read this, have you consulted a therapist? I would suggest that even hypnotherapy would perhaps be beneficial (and is a good low price starting point).

I would also be interested if you were one of the people who had insomnia before surgery and if the valve has simply added another point to your issue.

Insomnia symptoms occur in approximately 33% to 50% of the adult population while Chronic Insomnia disorder that is associated with distress or impairment is estimated at 10% to 15%
And thank you for your concern, yes I think I am predisposed to anxiety and not sleeping that great. Things in life seem to cut a little deeper for me, but before my surgery I could sleep decently. Now after surgery, the clicking and thumping that the valve causes has pushed me over the top as far as sleeping. I have seen therapists many many times, and have taken various medications as well. I have pretty much lost hope in solutions other than where I am at right now, and there is not much anybody will be able to do to change that. Not that I am not willing, but it's just the way it goes. Thanks.
Would tissue valve have been better ? I am a lifelong insomniac, depressive, lots of anxiety and have had full blown reactive tinnitus and hearing loss for 26 years so I dread the ticking as well but also dread future surgeries from a tissue valve
I feel a tissue valve would have been better for being able to sleep and less anxiety, but at age 32 a biological valve was pretty much out of the question. Also, I never thought I would be bothered by the noise, believe it or not. The noise bothering me was probably one of the last things I was thinking about before surgery, in fact, it probably never crossed my mind. If I had to do it all over again, with the same knowledge I have today in reference to the noise and clicking, I would demand having a biological valve and just getting it changed out every 10 to 15 years or whatever. No pun intended, but that decision would be made in a heartbeat.
 

pellicle

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How in the god's name did you get used to all that ???
humans (even animals) can adapt to many changes. Speak to a person who has chronic pain and ask the same question.

You choose not to and so never achieve your potential





its never too late to grow up
 

thomas999

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sterling heights, michigan, usa
humans (even animals) can adapt to many changes. Speak to a person who has chronic pain and ask the same question.

You choose not to and so never achieve your potential
There are forces stronger than human reasoning in the world, some that can crush the soul. Sometimes and often times, people don't have the resources to achieve their desired potential. Some holes or crevasses are just too deep and slippery to take on by one's self.
 

pellicle

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There are forces stronger than human reasoning in the world, some that can crush the soul
but not ones from inside you.

If your soul is crushed then you pretty much allowed that to happen. Read some of the stuff from the holocaust survivors for instance.

I myself have been through a bit, was pretty low for a time, saw that Red was right: either get busy living or get busy dying. I'm not the only one who thinks this way:


>> I’m reminded of a quote from The Shawshank Redemption. “Get busy living or get busy dying.” You have 86,400 seconds each day, and it’s your choice what you do with them. It’s your choice to just keep living the life that just gets you by. Or, it’s your choice to finally break out and take those chances that you’ve always dreamed about. Remember, you can never get more time. Use this time you have right now to take control of your life. It won’t be easy, but nothing good ever comes easy. <<

and:

The ability to master anything in life is a challenge – but when it comes to living a good life, it’s the practice of self discipline and moderation that can be easily overlooked. Afterall, being disciplined is to be predictable – and that’s something many think of as rather boring.

Abundance and freedom requires self discipline of freedom because when “When we can do whatever we want, we have to decide what we're willing to do and not willing to do,” says Holiday.


the ball really is in your court you can decide if you want a crummy depressed life or one where you do the best you can, take every opportunity to make something for yourself.

Only you will benefit (and I sure won't waste more time on this).
 
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mecretired

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I also have trouble sleeping. I’ve noticed that the valve sounds louder when I lay on my right side. So I try to go to sleep on my left side. I also keep a white noise machine on my nightstand that plays all night. The same constant sound helps muffle the valve ticking.
 

pellicle

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I also have trouble sleeping. I’ve noticed that the valve sounds louder when I lay on my right side. So I try to go to sleep on my left side. I also keep a white noise machine on my nightstand that plays all night. The same constant sound helps muffle the valve ticking.
Yeah, I've also noticed that one side is more sound conductive, even with earplugs (so I know it's conducted through my body).

I've not had it cause insomnia (that was something else), but if I did, I would be considering hypnotherapy (meta analysis of multi studies show reasonable effectiveness)

I found this interesting:

Meta-analyses found hypnotherapy significantly shortened sleep latency compared to waitlist, but no difference compared to sham intervention...
 

Carom915

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Millersville, MD
And thank you for your concern, yes I think I am predisposed to anxiety and not sleeping that great. Things in life seem to cut a little deeper for me, but before my surgery I could sleep decently. Now after surgery, the clicking and thumping that the valve causes has pushed me over the top as far as sleeping. I have seen therapists many many times, and have taken various medications as well. I have pretty much lost hope in solutions other than where I am at right now, and there is not much anybody will be able to do to change that. Not that I am not willing, but it's just the way it goes. Thanks.

I feel a tissue valve would have been better for being able to sleep and less anxiety, but at age 32 a biological valve was pretty much out of the question. Also, I never thought I would be bothered by the noise, believe it or not. The noise bothering me was probably one of the last things I was thinking about before surgery, in fact, it probably never crossed my mind. If I had to do it all over again, with the same knowledge I have today in reference to the noise and clicking, I would demand having a biological valve and just getting it changed out every 10 to 15 years or whatever. No pun intended, but that decision would be made in a heartbeat

This is my biggest fear! I am early in the replacement process but only 37 so mechanical is recommended and I'm certain the ticking will drive me insane. I already sleep with earplugs and an eye mask. Have you found anything to dull the noise?
 

Justmadi

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Apr 1, 2016
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Location
Wisconsin
I have a mechanical valve and after 9 years I still hear it all the time. Some things, like alcohol, makes it louder…
However, the extent to which it hinders sleep has decreased over the years. I hardly pay attention to it. Of course, I cannot sleep ON the ear, but have a pillow scrunched or sleep on my back. And earplugs are a big NO. I seem to be an exception as many people say it doesn’t bother them at all. I was 60 when I had the AVR and would never choose a tissue ifI had the choice.
 

Chuck C

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Dec 5, 2020
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And earplugs are a big NO
This is true for me as well. I used to wear ear plugs while sleeping, but I don't wear them now, because I hear the valve when I wear them. But, I have found that I don't need them and I usually sleep like a baby. The valve sound does not bother me at all and I don't even notice it.
 

Superman

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Oct 2, 2009
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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I hear mine. I don’t care. I really couldn’t do a quality of life study because I can’t remember what it was like not ticking. Coming up on 32 years and counting after not quite 18 years without ticking, and it feels like it’s all I’ve known. I accept it as what is. My wife can hear it at night and after 23 years, finds it reassuring.

I wish I could tell everyone that chooses a mechanical valve that they’ll get used to it, but I can’t control how someone else feels. If one really thinks they can’t handle it, maybe tissue is the right thing for them because it’s a big commitment and one not easy to take back. And with tissue, if you’re young enough, you will get a chance to change your mind later.
 

pellicle

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And earplugs are a big NO. I seem to be an exception as many people say it doesn’t bother them at all.
I would agree (and have said here) that earplugs are pointless because the sound you're hearing comes from within the body not externally.

I wouldn't identify as "it doesn't ever bother me" but instead to say that I set my mind to accept what it is and accept that it is now part of me. Just like getting old there are many changes I don't like but I do my best to accept them.

I guess I regard it in the same way as I did investment and saving when I was younger; I could have had more fancy motorbikes and travelled a lot more but then I'd be poorer in my later years. Instead I'm retired early and have my own (humble) home. So as I knew that being on "blood thinners" was likely as I aged and as this was my 3rd OHS and as I was 48 at the time I chose as I did.

Naturally your personal equation would be different.
 

Dana

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Westwood MA
I have two thoughts.
1. If you don't already, exercise a lot so you'll be really tired at night.
2. I'm an engineer so give me a problem and I can't help thinking of a solution. This hasn't been invented yet but here's a possible product: with our current technology for tiny in-ear noise cancellation earbuds, I wonder if an equally small microphone (essentially a small stethoscope) could listen to your valve (or if like me valves) and feed using Bluetooth a 180° phase shifted signal into earbuds effectively canceling the valve noise. I would love to try this out.

One could wear these at night and sleep like a baby :)
 
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LondonAndy

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Aug 1, 2015
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London, UK
My mechanical valve was done as an emergency, having gone into hospital by ambulance. If they had told me the valve ticks I wonder if I would have still gone with it - I don't even have mechanical clocks in the house as I don't like them ticking. However, I really have to pay attention to mine to hear it. I don't know if our build helps, but I am an overweight guy and perhaps that helps - more "insulation"?
 

Carom915

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Oct 27, 2022
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Millersville, MD
I have two thoughts.
1. If you don't already, exercise a lot so you'll be really tired at night.
2. I'm an engineer so give me a problem and I can't help thinking of a solution. This hasn't been invented yet but here's a possible product: with our current technology for tiny in-ear noise cancellation earbuds, I wonder if an equally small microphone (essentially a small stethoscope) could listen to your valve (or if like me valves) and feed using Bluetooth a 180° phase shifted signal into earbuds effectively canceling the valve noise. I would love to try this out.

One could wear these at night and sleep like a baby :)
I was wondering if perhaps earbuds playing white noise might help to drown out the ticking. Does the ticking sound like a clock? Thinking of buying something to wear 24/7 for the next month to see if I can handle it.
 

Al3x

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Jun 18, 2021
Messages
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I was wondering if perhaps earbuds playing white noise might help to drown out the ticking. Does the ticking sound like a clock? Thinking of buying something to wear 24/7 for the next month to see if I can handle it.
My experience was that it bothered me a lot initially but now I hardly notice it. I can still hear it but I think I've mostly tuned it out. I would be surprised if you heard your valve 24/7. Even in a quiet office I can't hear it due to background noise (aircon etc.).

As to white noise, I found it very useful initially. I have 2 thoughts on this:
  1. There is some (v. weak) evidence that prolonged white noise can have harmful effects - Listening to White Noise Might Affect Your Brain in a Weird Way, Study Suggests.
  2. I found a more random sound than pure white noise worked better for me.
A kind forum member suggested the My Noise website that allows you to tune the noise frequency to match your valve frequency. My apologies for forgetting who it was! "Rain on a Tent" was the most effective for me - Rain On A Tent • Relaxing Background Sounds. I don't regularly use it anymore but it was a lifesaver initially.
 

pellicle

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don't regularly use it anymore but it was a lifesaver initially
glad to read that

and I agree that white noise as a mask for (say) tinnitus may actually end up compounding things.

While I haven't tried it myself I understood that hypnosis can provide benefits and its not expensive.
 

Yankeeman2

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Oct 16, 2019
Messages
19
This is my biggest fear! I am early in the replacement process but only 37 so mechanical is recommended and I'm certain the ticking will drive me insane. I already sleep with earplugs and an eye mask. Have you found anything to dull the noise?
 

Yankeeman2

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Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
19
Ignore it and be greatful you're alive. After awhile you won't even notice it. I've had my St. Jude valve since 2007 and expect it to last longer than I will.
 

Cactus52

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Oct 10, 2017
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70
Location
Atlanta GA
I think I feel the click or thud depending on which position I’m in more than I hear it. Funny thing is I now sleep better and fall asleep almost instantly now. My wife calls it my super power.
 
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