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Me and Tinnitus


My hearing loss was first noticed when I was about 5 years old and I’ve been wearing hearing aids more or less since then. I didn’t wear aids much in my early-mid teens as I was too worried about looking cool – since the age of 19 o so I haven’t gone a single day without wearing them, I’m 37 now.

I also have tinnitus in my right ear. I remember having it around my late teens and early twenties but then it went away completely for about 7-12 years but has returned and I still have it now. I have a constant tone, fairly high-pitch, it’s difficult to describe what it sounds like but if you go to this page and play the sound on there, it’s kinda like that but not exactly.

Luckily for me my tinnitus has never bothered me that much, it’s never annoying and it never stops me from getting to sleep or concentrating. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

I can control it (a bit)

My tinnitus gets worse when I think about it. When I started writing this it got worse, when I browse the web for information on tinnitus it gets worse. The opposite doesn’t work though, I can’t consciously make it sound quieter or go away. Seems like it is my brain making the unwanted noise, not my ears, possibly it is trying to compensate for the lack of real sounds coming in?

My hearing aids help (a lot)

Our brains naturally pick out the loudest sounds, so when I wear my hearing aids the real sounds drown out the tinnitus, so much so that I don’t notice it at all for most of the day. It’s only during very quiet spells when it starts to become noticeable again.

Being tired doesn’t help

My tinnitus definitely gets worse when I am tired.

Caffeine?

I drink a lot of tea and coffee, I love the stuff. Some studies have linked excessive caffeine use to tinnitus and others have cast doubt on it. I’m sticking with my tasty hot beverages for now.

Tinnitus is a bit of a kick in the teeth: we can’t hear much of the real sounds that we want to hear and to add to that our brains have decided to make up and play to us some unwanted noise. Do you have tinnitus? How much does it bother you and how do you deal with it?


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