The Sounds Inside My Head

AEE37EA9-236B-429C-A71C-5F3D939CB78AI have the dubious distinction of suffering from a condition known as tinnitus. If you’re not familiar with tinnitus, it’s a perception of noise or ringing in the ears. It can be a ringing, a buzzing, or a wide range of sounds that only those with this malady can hear. And thus, the key word is perception, since there really are no sounds other than the inner “melody” perceived by those with tinnitus.

My tinnitus is in both ears and it sounds like a high pitched tone, almost like one you might hear if you stand close to high tension electrical wires. I’ve had tinnitus for years, but the good news is that, because it’s my constant companion, I am able to manage it. In fact, I’m so used to that ringing that sometimes I don’t even notice it. But at other times, it can overwhelm me. When I’m sick, for instance. Or when I’m overly tired. Or when it’s otherwise very quiet. Then it can seem quite loud. And quite annoying.

I have spent hours online shopping for so-called miracle cures. But to no avail. I’ve also visited a number of doctors and audiologists, many of which visits are not covered by my health insurance. And since the cause for tinnitus is unknown and there is no known cure, the best advice I received from all of these medical practitioners has been to “learn to live with it.”

And so I have. Because the alternative to not learning to live with it is not an option.


Written for these one-word prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (dubious), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (melody), Your Daily Word Prompt (overwhelm), Ragtag Daily Prompt (shop), and Scotts Daily Prompt (insurance).

26 thoughts on “The Sounds Inside My Head

  1. Sadje November 23, 2018 / 10:58 am

    Good post. I know someone who thinks that she has tinnitus too. Let’s see what the doctor thinks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pensitivity101 November 23, 2018 / 11:41 am

    I sympathise. Hubby and I both have tinnitus, though at different pitches.
    ‘Did you/Can you hear that’ takes on a whole new meaning!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cagedunn November 23, 2018 / 11:52 am

    Me, too – I use white noise at night to cover it (fan or radio on low volume) otherwise it can get as loud as cathedral bells just because it doesn’t have competition for my attention!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The Haunted Wordsmith November 23, 2018 / 12:50 pm

    Me too. I can usually ignore it but sometimes it changes pitch that is impossible to ignore and drives me nuts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marilyn Armstrong November 23, 2018 / 1:15 pm

    “Learning to live with it” does not sound like a whole lot of fun. I’ve had it occasionally, but only for short periods after which is goes away until for no known reason, it drops by for a visit. I really DO share your pain. We’ve been dealing with hearing issues here forever and probably always will be. Does wearing a headphone help you hear music and text?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 23, 2018 / 1:54 pm

      Mine started out as being intermittent until one day, maybe 25 years ago, it never went away. Unfortunately, even headphones can’t drown out the ringing, but my hearing, while diminished, isn’t too bad and I can still hear music regardless of the tinnitus.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Paula Light November 23, 2018 / 1:23 pm

    I have it too, in both ears but much louder on the left. I’ve probably been suffering for at least a decade and this all may have begun after a persistent sinus infection. I realized early on there was no cure and saved myself time and money by not bothering to seek one. As you note, it’s worse during times of illness or stress, both of which are good to avoid regardless.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. pgraysurvival November 23, 2018 / 1:26 pm

    Guns and explosives caused my tinnitus. That and gaps in hearing is now my life.
    I’ve tried medical science and wacky cures too and the only thing that helped me was the sound of rain on a metal roof which is why I liked living on a canal boat.

    I miss that boat and the quiet it gifted me.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. msjadeli November 23, 2018 / 1:56 pm

    I notice that when the wifi is on, either on the cell or the router, there is a high-pitched sound. It was interrupting my sleep. I put the computer and the phone on airplane mode now and sleep way better.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ArtisanX November 23, 2018 / 2:59 pm

    At last someone who can relate. I have had tinnitus ever since my first round (of 4) of chemo ended. The Doctors all said that it was an unfortunate side effect, but will go away after I finish treatment. 8 ½ years later, tinnitus is still here, loud and clear, and I am trying to balance it out with white noise from hearing aids. It has been so bad that my actual hearing has been affected to the point where the upper frequencies of certain peoples voices are drowned out by the tinnitus. My lower range is suffering as well. There are certain people who talk in that specific frequency that I cannot hear at all. Like you, if I am distracted I won’t notice it. I think that is why I like sleeping, because it goes away, well you know it doesn’t really, but still. The first month or so it drove me absolutely crazy. And trying to explain it, just doesn’t do it justice. Mine is up there like yours, is a never ending stream of “white noise” like a bunch of medical equipment playing that flatline tone at the same time all at just a ½ step from each other. Or like that sound of a fax machine when you pick up the phone while it’s coming in and hear it sending a message. Add some distortion and reverb and you got it. Some days it is so loud it almost drives me crazy, and then there are those where it can be tuned out. The other side effect of chemo I deal with is the neuropathy in feet and hands. This is a pain in the ass as well, because I could be holding something, picking it up, and it falls out of my hand and I don’t even notice. They get so cold so fact, and often feel like I can get off or drop the little pins and needles poking away.
    But like you I have always said I a, more than happy to deal with the, because the alternative is not an option.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 23, 2018 / 3:20 pm

      Yes, I know that people can intellectually sympathize with those of us with tinnitus, but unless you actually have it, it’s hard to understand how really annoying it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. JT Twissel November 23, 2018 / 3:05 pm

    Hard to believe that the best thing a doctor can do is advise people to learn to “live with it.” Sorry to hear that you are suffering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 23, 2018 / 3:22 pm

      Thanks. I’m managing…most of the time.

      Like

  11. newepicauthor November 23, 2018 / 3:13 pm

    I am very grateful that I only suffer from diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Sight11 November 23, 2018 / 7:42 pm

    You mentioned about it in an earlier post.. Hmm I hope from that post till now there is some improvement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 23, 2018 / 9:45 pm

      Nope. It’s the same and I assume it will be until the day I die. I hope it doesn’t get any worse.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. shail November 23, 2018 / 10:16 pm

    I am learning to live with it as well. Initially it used to drive me nuts, but now I have somewhat got used to it, well most of the time anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. rugby843 November 24, 2018 / 9:55 am

    Maybe that’s what I have. I noticed it when overtired or on too much medication that I hear a constant sound that I can’t really explain. It’s like distant water running? That’s about as close as I can get. My daughter also has it. First it was only being overtired it happened, now it’s almost constant. I’m sorry you have this to the extreme and the above commenters also. I can manage this most of the time. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. leigha66 November 29, 2018 / 11:46 am

    Seems wrong to “like” this…. modern medicine has a lot of things that it should have help if not cures for by now. Hang in there Fandango!

    Liked by 1 person

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