Monday, September 10, 2007

tinnitus theory?

Today, I was talking to my good good friend Jo (who is deaf herself with hearing aids, and amazingly enough, was the interpreter for deaf students for so many years!)... We were talking of random things, since we were bored and we always like to talk when I stop by the library.

Anyway, we got to talking about tinnitus. I wasn't wearing my hearing aid due to a zit or sore that's in the ear, but right on the edge (not OUTSIDE the ear, but not INSIDE the ear, just on the edge right above the ear lobe, if that makes any sense), something that's been bugging me for a couple of weeks now. Anyway, I signed to her that my ear was ringing away, and we just got to talking about the tinnitus. It's been said that when one has tinnitus, it means their hearing is damaged or diminishing or something like that, right? Well, I thought, "That cannot be the case with me... with all this constant tinnitus that I've had for years, you'd think I'd be completely deaf by now!"

Hmm... what if... it's just my brain causing the tinnitus just to make up for the lack of noise? Normally, I wear my hearing aid everyday, usually from the time I get up (or have to leave for work, I like to sleep in late) until I go to bed. Well, I've been trying to keep my hearing aid off as much as possible because of the zit/sore, since the earmold just irritates it even more. I just thought, maybe my brain is so used to hearing things all day, that when I don't wear my hearing aid for some time during the day, it starts making noise to make up for it? I don't know.

Just a thought, and Jo actually liked the theory. It makes sense to me. I've experienced tinnitus for YEARS and YEARS, ever since I was a little kid (I remember sitting in the sound booth when I was going through a hearing test, and I was never sure if I heard the beep or if it was just the tinnitus... since it seems like my tinnitus likes to act up when I'm in the sound booth). And if I don't wear my hearing aid, the tinnitus is there and it's constant. Sometimes it's loud, sometimes quiet, sometimes the same pitch, sometimes different pitches, and I can't do anything about it unless I put my hearing aid back on and MAKE SOME NOISE!


Lee said...

I found a website that sells very good, relatively inexpensive noise reduction headphones that I have personally found very helpful since I am very sensitive to loud sounds. I actually bought both the EX-29 Extreme Isolation Headphones for $89 and the speakerless headphones for $29. Hopefully you will find them helpful also.

Dwayne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dwayne said...

I keep white noise playing in the backgroud. It really helps, especially when trying to sleep. Different noise works best for different people. If you have an mp3 player or ipod, try some of the noises at They're free.