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Tinnitus are Normal but Annoying

Top in red word TINNITUS, below an illustration of a white woman with her eyes closed and teeth snarling. waves of noises coming out of her ears with words around it: cracking, banging, whispering, humming, ringing, buzzing, multi-voices, roaring, musical.

Tinnitus… This annoying noise or ringing in our ears is a widespread condition people live with. 

I am experiencing this annoying noise. After losing little of what’s left of my hearing 4 years ago, I have this constant ringing in my ears. It differs throughout the day depending on my mood. It can go from a quiet whisper (like now while I type this), to a piano being played non stop. When I am extremely stressed out, it sounds like 3 newscasters are talking at the same time and it gets louder to the point of causing headaches. None of the noise has words spoken, its jumbled of noise continuously. Once in a blue moon, I have this high screeching pitch that would make my eyes cross when in the middle of something. I am able to identify the noise because I used to wear hearing aids and recognize the noise. Only time I don’t hear tinnitus is when I am soundly asleep. 

It’s common for many, tinnitus is poorly understood and frequently underestimated as a cause of suffering and distress. It is not caused by an external sound, and other people usually cannot hear it. It affects 15% – 20% of people, and is especially common in older adults. This week is Tinnitus Awareness Week 2022. 

Tinnitus does not cause hearing loss, it is a symptom associated with ear disorders. It can interfere with your hearing but there are ways to mask tinnitus. There are many reasons why this occurs, ear conditions, diet, stress, and certain medication plays a role in the development of tinnitus. But teens are increasingly experiencing tinnitus and hearing loss for many reasons, most often due to extended periods of listening to music with earbuds. Oftentimes, ringing in their ears goes unnoticed, because they don’t complain. They think it is perfectly normal but it may get worse overtime.

I have to live with this myself and try to be stress free as possible to keep it at a whisper level. Unfortunately it is not always possible (now I am at piano noise level). Masking it with other noise helps reduce it. I was told by my younger sister who wears hearing aids that when her tinnitus gets bad for her, she closes her eyes and literally screams inside of her head to get rid of it or she listens to music to mask it. It comes and goes for her. It doesn’t work for me. I am profoundly deaf. Don’t feel bad for me, I’m used to it and learned to live without it. It’s the other people in my life that have to learn to live with it ;o) 

If you are experiencing it and it bothers you, sometimes our habits cause it. Best talk to your doctors to examine your medical history to help provide vital clues to the cause of your tinnitus and find treatment to help ease tinnitus. Do not feel ashamed, it’s normal yet annoying.