Tinnitus trouble!

A year ago, completely out of nowhere, I developed the most horrendous ringing in my right ear, a constant, high pitched buzzing sound that slowly but surely, drove me insane! After realising that it wasn’t going away any time soon, I went to the doctors who diagnosed tinnitus, and referred me to the Ear, Nose & Throat specialists at the hospital.

After having an MRI scan to rule out an acoustic neuroma, a benign tumour that can grow on the acoustic nerve, I was given the all clear, sent away and told that I would be referred to the tinnitus management service.

In the meantime I tried to read up as much as possible about tinnitus, having heard very little about the condition other than the fact that my Dad had suffered with it for as far back as I can remember. It turns out that tinnitus is the term for hearing sounds that come from inside your body, rather than from an outside source. We all have these sounds, just not all of us hear them.

There are many causes for tinnitus, but one of the main causes is repeated exposure to loud noise. You know when you’ve been in a club til the early hours, music blasting out so loud it could raise the roof, and how when you get into bed that night, along with that dreaded spinny drunk feeling, your ears are ringing like crazy? It’s kind of like that, but every second of every day.

And for my Dad, and many others like him, who have developed tinnitus due to working with machinery or in noisy environments, things were very different years ago before Health and Safety regulations kicked in. These days there are safety signs everywhere, warning workers to wear ear defenders, and take more care of their hearing.

Given the fact that I have never worked in a noisy environment and nor do I have any of the conditions that are known to cause tinnitus, it was assumed that mine has been caused due to nerve damage over the last few years, and exasperated by stress, insomnia and hypersensitivity.

Earlier this year I saw my specialist to discuss where we go from here as, if I’m completely honest, the tinnitus was causing me to become extremely depressed. I was told that one of my options would be to wear a hearing aid, a small device that fits discretely inside and over my ear, which not only improves my hearing but also plays a low frequency noise in order to train my brain to concentrate on the new noise, as opposed to the tinnitus.

And so for the last week I have been wearing it and, although self conscious at first, it has definitely helped to drown out the tinnitus during the day. And although at night when I take it out, the tinnitus is there just the same, eventually I am told that my brain will start to switch over to the point where the tinnitus is at a lower volume or, best case scenario, gone altogether.

Until last year I had no idea that a condition could be so debilitating, nor have such a huge impact on a persons mental health, and I am the first to warn people of the importance of looking after your hearing.

 

*** This is a collaborative post. All words and opinions are my own.***

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28 Comments

  1. April 12, 2017 / 2:54 pm

    My bf works with noisy machinery and failed his recent hearing test! I hope your brain adjusts to the hearing aid soon. I can’t imagine how annoying it must be x

    • Laura Dove
      April 14, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      Thank you. Working in a noisy environment can really damage your hearing! xx

  2. April 12, 2017 / 6:47 pm

    I’m hard of hearing and have been from a young age so can sympathise with you in a way. I’m meant to wear hearing aids but have never got on with them. I’m glad that you feel they work for u.

    • Laura Dove
      April 14, 2017 / 4:18 pm

      I suppose they aren’t for everyone, it is taking some getting used to but I hope it will help! xx

    • Laura Dove
      April 14, 2017 / 4:17 pm

      I know, I can’t remember a time when it was quiet! One day…! xx

  3. April 12, 2017 / 10:35 pm

    Hubby had several hearing tests lately and they just booked his hearing aid fitting appointment, so I kind of know what you are going through.

    • Laura Dove
      April 14, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      Oh I hope it helps! I was so worried it would be huge and very obvious but they are so discrete now! xx

    • Laura Dove
      April 14, 2017 / 4:14 pm

      Thank you. xx

  4. April 13, 2017 / 1:27 pm

    Poor you, sounds like a horrible thing to have 🙁 I’ve had it, like you say, after a night out but can’t imagine it going on for any longer than an hour or so! Glad you are finding the hearing aid to be of some benefit x

    • Laura Dove
      April 14, 2017 / 4:12 pm

      Thank you, it definitely gets me down, but stress makes it much worse so it’s a case of trying to ignore it! xx

  5. April 13, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    thanks for sharing this. I’ve heard about this condition but didn’t know the details. It’s really important to take care of our hearing and I hope you can reach that point where you don’t hear it anymore. I also hope technology and medicine can help out xx

    • Laura Dove
      April 14, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      Thank you, me too! I’d love some silence! xx

  6. April 13, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    This must be so awful for you, I really hope that the hearing aid helps you xx

    • Laura Dove
      April 14, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      Thank you – me too! xxx

  7. April 13, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    Glad you have found something that is helping, shame it doesn’t help at night

    • Laura Dove
      April 14, 2017 / 4:09 pm

      I’m not allowed to wear the hearing aid at night so that’s the tough part, it’s hard to sleep at all! xx

  8. April 13, 2017 / 9:38 pm

    I didn’t realise it was caused my loud noise. It must be so awful for you x

    • Laura Dove
      April 14, 2017 / 4:07 pm

      There are lots of causes but one of the biggest is loud noises. Mine has been caused by nerve damage sadly! xx

  9. April 14, 2017 / 1:15 pm

    It’s really interesting to hear, I suffer with it but it only bothers me when it’s quiet around me. I’m glad the Hearing aid is helping.

    • Laura Dove
      April 14, 2017 / 4:02 pm

      I think a lot of people do on some level, but when it’s constant and at such a high level it can be debilitating! xx

  10. April 14, 2017 / 7:31 pm

    I’ve not heard of this before, how horrible for you and anyone that suffered with this. It would drive me insane too and I would try anything to get rid of it. Fingers crossed the hearing aid does the trick for you. They are the current ‘must have’ item to wear, so you are a trendy too! x

    • Laura Dove
      April 14, 2017 / 8:11 pm

      Oh are they?! Did you just make that up to make me feel better??! Haha! It’s really small and my hair hides it for the most part, plus I would do anything to have it stop, it drives me INSANE!!!! xx

  11. April 16, 2017 / 12:52 pm

    I have never heard of this before, and can not believe that stress and even insmoia could be a trigger. i certanly get the macinery and loud club noise, but I am glad taht they are instrucments such as hearng aids to help this.

    • Laura Dove
      April 17, 2017 / 3:12 pm

      Thanks Lindsey, it’s a terrible condition, it really does have a huge impact on the sufferer! xx

  12. October 2, 2017 / 8:20 pm

    Hi, tinitus can suck I never knew that wearing a hearing aid could help #bigpinklink

    • Laura Dove
      October 3, 2017 / 12:34 pm

      Yes it really can, mine drives me insane! xx

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