- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Tinnitus Sufferers Experience with Ringing in the Ears
Little is known about this tinnitus. Many doctors claim to understand it, and in my experience they just end up wasting everyone's time.
I have had my share of craziness with going to doctors who aren't honest about their limited knowledge. They all told me they can help me stop the ringing, but none ever succeeded at it.
Although this may not be true for all doctors, I have found a pattern among those who were recommended to me. I find this is not beneficial to patients suffering from tinnitus and just makes things more frustrating.
This article is simply an essay of my thoughts about the issue as well as an explanation of how I'm dealing with it. The purpose is to share with you ideas that may help you live with it.
How I Learned to Deal With My Tinnitus
My tinnitus started in 2005 and at first I could not deal with it. I thought to myself "How can I go on with this constant ringing?"
When I first realized that I no longer had any quiet times, it freaked me out and I couldn't imagine how I could live with it.
I never found a cure. I tried all sorts of remedies sold on the market. I even had kept a journal of foods I ate to see if there was a common thread between what I ate and the loudness of my tinnitus, possibly a food allergy. Every time I thought I found something, it failed the test at another time.
As I mentioned earlier, I found that focusing my mind on anything helps me live with the tinnitus. It really does not bother me any more. I hear it all the time, but I live with it.
We Do Get Used To It
After a year or so, it had become second nature for me and I was able to deal with it. I simply got used to hearing a continuous ring as I go about my everyday affairs. I can ignore it most of the time. Although when I pay attention to it, it's there—and sometimes it gets louder and can't ignore it. I expect I will have it the rest of my life.
I think it probably made me even more creative because I keep myself occupied mentally in order to ignore the tinnitus. I do a lot of writing. I find that deep concentration helps me keep my mind off the constant ringing.
There is no known cure at this time. If a cure is ever discovered, the American Tinnitus Association (ATA) would announce it.
My Personal Solution to Tinnitus
It can't be stopped, but I found a method of ignoring it. Mental activity!
I could be reading in a quiet room just as well as listening to music. My creativity in the form of writing helps. I think I focus my brain away from the tinnitus by concentrating on my work or on my writing.
Doing crafts, building things, taking walks, hiking, and talking with friends. It all helps to keep my mind off it.
I know this is not going to help everyone. There are just too many different causes of tinnitus. But if you happen to have the kind I have, give it a try. See if you can ignore it to some degree when you are actively pursuing other activities. That is how I survive with it.
There May Be Causes of Tinnitus Not Yet Known
I have some of my own theories based on my own experience with my tinnitus. It would be nice if I could discuss this with an ENT doctor. However, doctors seem to get frightened when I offer some kind of idea to experiment with that they don't understand.
I even had one doctor tell me I was bringing up too many unrelated ideas and he would have to discuss each one on a separate visit. I felt that he just wanted to have a reason to bill my insurance company several times—one for each visit. He was obviously more interested in making money than finding a cure.
I feel a good doctor would have an interest in this. After all, they are all clueless at the present. Wouldn't they want to be the first to discover the answers?
That kind of doctor must be out there, working on this—somewhere. Maybe that doctor will find my survey results useful.
We know our own body more than anyone else since we live 24 hours a day in our own bodies. It may sound silly for me to say that, but there is a meaning behind it:
Don't always trust what doctors tell you. If you feel a problem is coming from something else, give yourself credit for knowing better and try to find the right doctor to research the problem in the proper way.
Is It Possible That Tinnitus Is Triggered by Something Else?
I'm wondering if it's possible that tinnitus is caused by a combination of ailments where one thing triggers another. That is, where tinnitus is caused by some kind of interaction.
In my opinion, my tinnitus seems to be some kind of feedback or crosstalk in my brain. I wonder if there could be some sort of connection with nerves causing crosstalk with the acoustic (auditory) nerve.
I'll tell you why I'm thinking this. Due to another unrelated issue, I was diagnosed with having three herniated discs in my cervical spine (That's the upper spine in the neck). Therefore, I wonder if nerve compression in the neck can cause other nerves in the body to be irritated–triggering tinnitus.
I never found a doctor, that I went to, who would entertain this idea or who would have a desire to research it further. With some Google research, I found that there are already some medical supporters of this idea. Some doctors do believe that tinnitus may be caused by feedback or crosstalk. However, there is no sufficient research to prove this.
There is so much more to acknowledge as possibilities, and medical doctors should be willing to research these potential relationships.
Tinnitus Survey to Find a Common Cause
I developed a survey of 15 multiple choice questions for people to answer. The purpose of the survey was to compile possible related causes of tinnitus and to find a common thread of things that sufferers may have in common that the scientific community can analyze further. I was hoping I might find a pattern among the items listed.
The survey is now complete and I have written a complete analysis of the survey results. You can find it here ►
I wrote this article in an effort to offer something of value to my fellow tinnitus sufferers. However, this is not intended to provide any medical advice.
© 2012 Glenn Stok