It is Tinnitus Awareness Week 2023, and I have struggled with it for a long time so I thought I would take the opportunity to explain more about it.
I have struggled for a long time with tinnitus, and though I cannot remember when it started I do have an idea as to why I do. My grandmother is deaf and so was her father, my cousin is also deaf so hearing issues run through our family.
All through my life I have struggled with ear wax and have had to have them syringed twice a year every year for most of my life. I have fond memories of laying my head in my moms lap as a child while she put drops in my ears and gentle rubbed my ears so it worked the best it could.
I must be honest I am not the biggest fan of the new way of sucking the wax out as I could feel the sucking around my ear socket and it did not remove all the wax. However, for some reason it is the only choice now so I am trying to keep on top of the wax myself with drops.
What is Tinnitus
Tinnitus is defined as:
“Tinnitus is the name for hearing noises that do not come from an outside source. It’s not usually a sign of anything serious and may get better by itself.”https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tinnitus/
What are the symptoms:
So Tinnitus is different for everyone but it can sound like, buzzing, whooshing, ringing, humming, or even singing and music. And usually will be short term, for example if you have been to a loud concert and for a while afterwards cannot hear normally over the buzzing sound.
However, if it does not go, or if the sound coincides with your pulse it is time to see your GP and get them involved.
How it affects me:
For me personally, tinnitus is a whooshing sound like the wind and it is more loud in my left ear than my right. It is something I can distract myself from during the day, however at night this is much harder. In order to sleep I have a podcast playing in the room so I can listen to that instead of the tinnitus which can be overwhelming if I have my attention on it.
I have been to see several doctors for it, but have never really been taken seriously and often leave feeling like I have wasted their time.
However, I do need to go back and try again as it had been a lot worse since I had covid which for me seemed to center on my ears and throat. Since I recovered from it, I have noticed that my hearing is not as good, especially in my left ear and this is most noticeable if I try to talk on the phone on that side.
Anyone who struggles with chronic illnesses will understand the feeling of putting off going to the doctor even if you know you need to go. Medical gaslighting is a big problem and many of us have experienced medical trauma around this.
Being told you are to blame because of your weight, diet, or even gender is traumatic and even being told to your face that they think you are lying. It is so hard to explain pain when someone cannot see it, so having to go to a doctor and explain you have tinnitus and how it is affecting your life is hard.
If someone does not live with this they might not realise how it affects your hearing and how overwhelming constant sound can be. I even find it can affect my balance if I am tired because it is louder on one side, and with EDS falls can be dangerous.
Tinnitus awareness week 2023
This year the charity Tinnitus UK, wants to raise awareness for prevention and most of all for people in loud jobs. Wearing ear protection if your work is loud can reduce the likeness of getting tinnitus, as well as hearing loss. Many workplaces do not realise wearing ear protection can make as much difference as it can.
Looking after our hearing is something that is kind of seen as being uncool, with people listening to music loud, and ear protection looked down on. But living with a hearing condition is very different to ignoring ways to protect your hearing. Go to the website and educate yourself on prevention this tinnitus awareness week 2023, before you live with tinnitus like I do.
Thank you xx