Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I Have Tinnitus

I just found out that the whooshing-like-a-fan sound inside my ear is actually a form of tinnitus. Interesting, as I thought I had none. I have no bells or ringing inside my head, which is what I thought tinnitus was, just occasional clicking. And lots of rushing wind.

It's exacerbated by loud noise. It can become deafening (excuse the pun) in my classroom, the school cafeteria, and even in my family room if the TV is up too loud and my family is talking. It's relieved by silence --- now that's something I have plenty of.

Don't judge me. I copied this from Wikipedia: "Tinnitus can be perceived in one or both ears or in the head. It is usually described as a ringing noise, but in some patients, it takes the form of a high-pitched whining, electric buzzing, hissing, humming, tinging or whistling sound, or as ticking, clicking, roaring, or "crickets," tunes, songs, beeping, sizzling, sounds that slightly resemble human voices or even a pure steady tone like that heard during a hearing test." It is multi-faceted.

Tinnitus is an interesting, if tenacious beast.

And apparently, it's all too common for those of us with hearing loss. In the absence of sound, the brain tricks us into thinking we are hearing -- a compensation for the loss of hearing -- even if it is inside our head. It's not "real" sound. It's a phantom. [The brain is an amazing organ.]

I'm fortunate my tinnitus isn't so bad. Sometimes annoying, but mostly a non-issue. Others are not so lucky. 

What's that you say?

If you'll excuse me now, I need to kill some crickets.

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