Monday, 28 November 2016

Living with chronic tinnitus

Earlier this week I had to leave a pub early, leaving all my friends there even though I was having a really good time. This was not because I was too drunk, not even because I had to get up early the next day for uni. It was because I knew if I didn't go I would have a constant horrible high pitched buzzing and ringing coming from both ears for weeks afterwards.

I have recently been diagnosed with tinnitus, a condition which affects your ears, making a constant background ringing sound or buzzing sound. When I'm trying to sleep and everything is quiet, my ears still ring and make a sound, making it harder for me to sleep. The condition means I can rarely go to clubs and I can never listen to my headphones, at least for these next 8 weeks and very sparsely after that. Most people get tinnitus after a club or a gig, a ringing in the ears that goes away except for me that ringing just doesn't go away.

As you can imagine, it's not a lot of fun but it is getting slightly better, the ringing is less constant. The whole idea is that it's creating background noise, something which you just physically have to get used too. Using earplugs when you have to listen to loud music or trying to avoid it completely also helps. When it was first happening I was obviously scared, I was worried it would affect my hearing, I felt too young to be having these kind of problems but as it turns out tinnitus can affect anyone at anytime, doesn't even have to be after a loud noise

Tinnitus can be made worse with anxiety and insomnia and depression, things which tinnitus can cause itself so there is a bit of a catch 22 going on. If you develop it while you're young, it's not too detrimental, give yourself 8 weeks cold turkey from clubs and headphones and it makes a difference, and be careful with the amount you do use your headphones. If you find it difficult to sleep, putting on quiet music just so you can't hear the ringing might help too. It's important to keep things in perspective and think about how things will get better.

Do any of you guys suffer from tinnitus? How do you cope?
Lots of love,
Eleanor x