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Linda’s Tinnitus Story

I first got tinnitus about 10 years ago. It started as a fairly high pitch noise in the left ear which was continuous and very frightening at the time. I surmised many reasons as to why it started but nothing really concrete has developed. Possibilities are slight deafness in one ear, maybe tension in the spine, i.e. the axis and atlas vertebrae in the higher neck area. It was a very anxious time and coping mechanisms weren’t prevalent at that time. I went down the alcohol route which is not a good idea but seemed the only solution at that time. I visited the doctors who were completely ignorant and non sympathetic regarding tinnitus. I had an MRI scan to find out if there may have been a tumour or obstruction of some kind, the test results were negative; I was really hoping something was found but nothing materialised. The Hearing clinic at the Opticians were useless and actually suggested a glass of wine every night might help. No hearing aids with added noise were even suggested then. An eventual visit to the Audiology department at the local hospital did suggest a hearing aid with white noise incorporated. However, it may well be that this will help other people but I found I was still actually listening for the tinnitus.

I have adjusted my diet now and cut down on salt and sugar which has helped. Also a very very healthy life style with exercise and a good intake of filtered water has also helped with the human coping mechanism. Sound therapy will benefit a lot of sufferers and actually knowing that you can put on headphones and escape to a musical heaven and even dance around into a happier place is good. I love dancing and music so bring it on!!!

The worst thing about tinnitus is the anxiety it causes so from my experience you have to find ways to deal with this. Anxiety is part and parcel with tinnitus and they feed off each other. People who understand the severity and impact of it on everyday life have helped via their articles, experience and books. One can feel so isolated with tinnitus so reading positive stories really helps and there are so many. Julian Cowan Hill helped me, Tal Gur and Glenn Schweizer also has been a major influence on how I perceived tinnitus at the time. Also coping with spikes that can occur and you feel you are going backwards are dealt with and ease the anxiety you may feel. In time your brain will adjust to this sound and you will find you often don’t hear it when you are occupied with something else. This is good as habituation is arriving so don’t despair it will improve and it has for me. Obviously I get bad days, usually bought on by anxiety but employing coping mechanisms which help like meditation (another coping strategy), music, gardening and incorporating anything that interests you personally will help. Yes…there will be a cure as research is still under way. So you must believe that you are not alone and that it will improve in time. Think of it as a challenge in life and a big one which you will succeed in conquering in time.