I, along with nearly 36 million other Americans, suffer from a malady called tinnitus. Tinnitus is a ringing, swishing, buzzing, or other type of noise that seems to originate in the ear or head. My tinnitus is a 24/7 affliction; it never eases up for even a single second. It’s right there inside my head and it cannot be snuffed out or quieted.
I first noticed the ringing in my ears when I was about 40. At first, the sound was intermittent. It would come and go. But then, by the time I reached 50, this continuous, never-ending ringing in both ears became my constant companion.
Tinnitus can be quite annoying to those of us who suffer from it, especially since we are the only ones who can hear the sound. In most cases, the exact cause of tinnitus is never found. And worse, there is no known cure. The many doctors I’ve seen about it have all given me the same advice: learn to live with it.
And that means that I will never hear the sound of silence ever again.