Speak up ! It’s not you it’s me….

I have Tinnitus. I’ve had it now for probably a decade to varying degrees but this spring it has been worse. It’s always bad when pollen counts rise, I don’t know why it just is. What is Tinnitus? Here is a site with all the info you could want on it.

The quick version? It is a constant ringing in the ears due to damage done to the auditory nerve which connects the inner ear to the brain. Obviously you get this from loud noise. In my teens and 20’s, back in the hazy days of the late 80’s early 90’s I went to a lot of concerts, parties my ass off, had a blast and did IRREPARABLE DAMAGE TO MY EAR.

I’m begging you to stop now. “Stop what dude?” Stop damaging your ears. Ear buds, car stereos, concerts (once covid clears). I am the future for you and let me tell you something it’s horrible when it’s bad. Now it’s not bad everyday but the days it is? I can’t think clearly, I can’t hear everything, it is depressing. Knowing your damaged sucks, knowing you can’t repair the damage is depressing, knowing you caused the damage is heart breaking, knowing you could have prevented it is soul crushing.

At times, it’s like having needles put in your ears

I know this is a “heavier” post then I usually make but I would not wish this fate on you. Is it survivable? Yes of course I am functioning well, but for the rest of my life I will have ringing in my ears and somedays it will be intense. I don’t want that for you, I don’t want you to damage yourself beyond repair and have to live with that nasty reality.

Turn the volume down, when you’re 50 (and you will be someday) you’ll reflect back on your younger life, hell you’re probably already doing that to a degree. When you do, ideally it won’t be with a ringing in your ears wondering what the hell you did and why. To end the post, I want to be clear this isn’t posted for pity, its posted as a cautionary tale, turn the volume down or you may damage your hearing and get Tinnitus.

I’d love to hear your responses but today isn’t a good day, you’ll have to speak up….

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Tinnitus Sucks – Vol. 1 – “SPEAK UP”

If you have been on my blog for a while you might remember my series called “Anxiety Sucks”. In it I gave some of my personal experiences with anxiety. I explored some of the examples of when intrusive thoughts affected me. How I got severe anxiety when buy a new (used car) etc. It was good for me to get personal so you knew there was a real person on the other side of the screen.

This new series will likely only be 5 volumes, we will see but I want to talk to you about Tinnitus. What is it? Look here

I have had tinnitus since my mid 40’s. It’s a constant ringing in my ears, it never goes away. Sometimes it’s so loud I can’t think straight, yes it can be that bad. TURN DOWN THE VOLUME. Yes, you really need to, because chances are if you are blasting tunes in your life you are damaging your ear and there is no treatment. Please turn down the volume….

“SPEAK UP” is what I screamed to Scott, I couldn’t hear him. It was 1986 we were at a deep purple show. They rocked and we had a great time. I remember being stoned off my ass, 16 years old at a concert. The 80’s were great things were just different then. I’m not going to go down memory lane to long here but even prior to this concert I had bought a Walkman. “What the hell is that” This was the precursor to the hand held device you have now. We played cassette tapes on it, and we blasted it.

I remember listening to Infidels by Bob Dylan, somewhere in the 80’s on my Walkman and I had it so loud my ears began to itch. From there until about 1995 I went to over 100 live shows, seeing classic rock bands, to metallic to Primus it was a decade (give or take) of concerts and loud music that 35 years later have resulted in me having Tinnitus.

Now when I say “SPEAK UP” it’s because I can’t hear people in normal conversation. I have had my ears checked and my inner ear is damaged due to long term volume exposure. Is it to the point I can’t function? No most of the time I can hear just fine but there is always a ringing sound. The prognosis is I will need hearing aids likely 10-15 years sooner than one would normally expect. So by the end of this decade of my life I will need them.

Even with them, the ringing doesn’t stop. It can be maddening sometimes…. Particularly with a cold and I am stuffed up… YIKES. You have to turn down the volume, please…

Now not everyone is guaranteed to get Tinnitus if they are exposed to loud music. The chances you are damaging your ears though are high, so many people use ear buds now. Sure go to concerts (when they happen again) and have a good time. Listening to your music loudly in your car? Don’t do it. You see when you are 16-25 you care very little for your future self. I am, in a sense your future. I have a good life, but I have problems too and one of them specifically is Tinnitus and my hearing situation.

SPEAK UP ! Don’t be like me, turn the volume down !

Interested in other posts about Tinnitus? Check my post out here.

Tinnitus News

Tinnitus is a condition I have had for many years now. You can see my initial blog post about the issue here. Tinnitus is manageable for me and while I live with it it’s another thing I have to contend with in my day to day war with anxiety. Millions of people have Tinnitus and there is no cure for it, only treatments.

We do have some good news though via this article

From this article: “The fear of this pandemic has ignited an emotional firestorm for millions of us who may never have had to draw on tools for coping with difficult emotions,” said Jill Meltzer, AuD, who is chair of the ATA board of directors. “As an organization, we help people daily who are struggling with tinnitus, from finding appropriate healthcare practitioners to providing easy-to-use management tools to improve concentration and sleep. In our latest publication, we’re tackling the negative emotional impact of tinnitus, which can trigger anxiety, fear, and depression. Those emotions are what many of us are now feeling so we want to make this issue available to people outside of the tinnitus community.”

A direct link to the ATA is here https://www.ata.org/

Tinnitus isn’t a horrible, it’s manageable. Like many other things at this point in time things are challenging right now. You are likely sitting at home and spending more time on your PC then you normally do. It’s also likely you are using headsets and ear buds more. Please be mindful of the volume of the sound, Tinnitus comes with time. The damage you are doing in your teens and 20’s manifest in your 40’s and 50’s.

There are some people who have tinnitus and the symptoms are so severe they cannot hear other people, only the ringing. Right now between 15-20% of people are affected by Tinnitus, it’s a staggering number. Tinnitus is a symptom of another condition, it’s usually because you have damaged a portion of your ear and that damage is not repairable. Have you ever been stuck in traffic and there is someone with a loud radio? To the point that the base is shaking their car and your car?

This person, if they continue will be deaf someday. Hearing aids help, but in the end if you damage your ear too severely and get tinnitus you will be hearing ringing in your ear for the rest of your days. TURN IT DOWN !