Well, first of
f I’d like to say ‘hi’ because this is my first post.
And secondly, I’d like you to enjoy my article on why I’m never in a silent room.
Many years ago, when I was about ten, I was in bed staring at the ceiling when I heard something unusual. I hadn’t left anything switched on and, other than my breathing, I was in a silent room. So I shouted through to my parents (probably waking them up) and asked what the noise was.
They couldn’t hear it and asked what it sounded like.
“A loud buzzing.”
This is when I learned about tinnitus. My Dad has it too and basically it is a ringing or buzzing sound heard in either one or both ears, or somewhere in the head. Some people’s tinnitus can be really loud, while others is quieter. Mine is fairly loud and in both ears but I’m used to it. Sometimes it randomly gets louder in one ear, and sometimes it makes me go a bit deaf (but not for long!)
It is a misconception that hearing problems only occur in elderly people, but actually tinnitus can be brought on at any age by loud environments without ear protection, for example at concerts and gigs or if you work with loud machinery. Although the majority of tinnitus sufferers just have it with no cause.
There is no known reason why tinnitus occurs, nor is there any cure. When I first became aware of it, my Mum poured olive oil in my ear and stuffed cotton wool down it. I still don’t know what that was supposed to achieve… a gooey ear is all I got!
If tinnitus sufferers become stressed or anxious the noise can become louder, although I can’t say I have noticed myself. The noise can also be a large distraction to day-to-day life, for example you can lose concentration or sleep because of it. As I’ve already said , there is no cure, but there are treatments such as some medications, or relaxation therapy. To gain access to this though you will have to speak to your GP, but do not count on getting anything.
When people come out of loud environments it is common that they have gone slightly deaf or have a slight ringing in their ears, but when I come out of a concert or the pub my tinnitus does become irritatingly loud – especially when I try to sleep. It is a shame that I do go a bit deaf because if anyone tries to speak to me in a loud environment I really struggle to hear them, sometimes to a point where I tell them not to bother anymore! Being in a group is even worse because sometimes I just pretend to know what’s going on. I make a joke out of it though, otherwise people just think I’m being ignorant or very quiet!
Oh and, when taking off or landing on a plane is another bad time to try talk to me. I understand a lot of people’s ears pop in these instances, but, yet again, it makes me quite deaf (the ear plugs don’t help!)
Sometimes I get a bit paranoid that this condition will damage my hearing in general as I get older, although I have no evidence it will. Also, whilst typing this, I have realised it sounds like I am almost always going deaf. I’m not – and the condition isn’t as bad as it sounds. (I’m really sorry for that awful pun.)
If any of you guys have got tinnitus or think you might have it, there are probably more people with it than you know. In the meantime, protect your ears as best you can – don’t go sticking a cotton bud in there, and if you want you wear ear plugs when at concerts and gigs.