Friday, 8 September 2017

Living With Tinnitus

Inspired by Baby Driver 

When this film came out recently I was instantly inspired to write something. Something that is quite personal, not in an uncomfortable sort of way, but definitely something that I've been wanting to write about for ages. So when Ansel himself stepped onto our screens with  a much beloved pair of earphones, my heart was racing. I knew the exact feeling.

Tinnitus isn't a word we hear very often. Well I certainly hadn't. I even pronounced it wrong when I first read it. This was 2 years ago now but I'll remember that day for a very long time. For those of you who don't know what Tinnitus is it is a condition whereby the person experiences a constant sound in their ears, one or both of them. This can be a ringing sound, a whooshing, a lot of people can experience different sounds which is why there is no current cure. To measure every different sound would take time and there probably isn't a lot of funding for this particular area. Which of course I do understand, although I would love to know the reason why I have it, it mostly occurs in older people and ironically my Nan has it!

I don't know the exact reason I developed this condition and nor could the Doctor tell me its exact longing to become somewhat of an annoyance. 

But I remember having been out for my friends birthday on the Saturday 22nd August, at the club Kanaloa to be precise - which BTW I would definitely recommend going it's so much fun!! I was very aware of the music being very loud even for a nightclub. Anyway, on  the Tuesday from then I could not sleep to save my life. There was this constant beating in my ear, my heart beat to be exact. I have had this before I know probably everyone has had this because of the way we lay on our sides. But mine literally wouldn't stop. And it hasn't stopped since. I did that really stupid thing and Googled my diagnosis (we are all victims of this!) and Tinnitus was the first explanation. Every night I would dread going to bed of fear of this annoying sound because of course there isn't much noise at night every sound is distinctive. I eventually made an appointment at the doctors who suggested I get my ears syringed. This didn't work. I was then referred to an ENT specialist and after many hearing tests it was clear I had Pulsatile Tinnitus.

I had the most AMAZING Doctor who helped to explain how to deal with this. What she told me was this - although this is an actual condition and there is a sound that each person hears, it is also a psychological thing. The more we think about the sounds the louder they will appear and therefore harder to block out. She told me the best way to forget about the sound is to think of it as something you don't like to hear or cringe at hearing. For example when we hear noises like nails on a chalkboard or cutlery scraping on the plate, those noises our brains have automatically been triggered to forget. This is what we have to do. This has helped me so much and maybe it's because I have gotten used to it I just don't think about it.

One thing I had to do for myself was find a way to sleep. No matter how much you can try and forget about a noise at night the world is silent. I found the most life-changing app. Someone suggested listening to White noise at night out loud, but I found through earphones was much more useful. However White noise didn't block out the beating I was hearing, so instead every night I listen to light Rain sounds. It has a timer so you can decide when you want the sounds to stop or if you just need them to help you fall asleep and then stop. I have it on all night, it just soothes me and a lot of the times I'll wake up and the earphones have fallen out anyway. My love for good earphones has also changed drastically as you can imagine! (btw this app I have on my iPhone, I'm not sure if it Is available on other smart phones FYI)

I still get really wary about not sleeping at home. If I'm ever staying round a friends or when I'm on holiday my priority is making sure there is a plug socket near my bed. I've never been so grateful for electricity in my life! And there was me thinking do we really need it when the earth has been here surviving for millions of years without it? BUT nope! Christina now needs to plug her phone in at night in case her battery dies and she can't listen to her rain sounds anymore!  

|Picture from Pexels|

Basically I wanted this to be about two things that I have learnt through this.

1. Just because you can't see a condition doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And with this one I know a lot of people will think it's easy to deal with. Trust me, unless YOU have it, you can't understand the frustration. Also I do realise that there are worse things in the world, I just wanted to share this.

2.  I learnt how to find peace and happiness in spite of it. This goes for anything to be honest, but I found how to wind down after a long day and how to not let this affect anything I do in my life with work or socialising. You can still enjoy everything!!

For anyone who has just discovered that they have Tinnitus or are struggling to deal with it, I hope this post reaches you and inspires you <3<3<3



1 comment

  1. it is not considered a disease. It's known that tinnitus can also due to strain and anxiety. It is possible that tinnitus has turned into a severe problem that needs severe treatments too. health


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