My Tinnitus Begins
While I had bouts of tinnitus in my teens while in the Navy and working on electronic equipment on a very noisey runway it did not become a permanent condition until a few years later.
My chonic tinnitus began in my mid-twenties as a result of playing very loud blues-rock music in a very small garage. I was a guitar player and the drummer had a house with a one-car garage. Of course, we had to turn up the amps to the point of ear-bleeding. After all, what good is band practice if you can't make the neighbors complain?
I remember the first night I realized something was wrong. Way in the background of my auditory sense there was a high pitched e~e~e~e~e~e~e~e sound. At first it wasn't bad. I could barely hear it. But as band practices would go on, the tinnitus increased to the point of visiting a local ENT doctor. I went through the ritual. Ear exam, hearing tests, and the obligatory head X-Ray. The doc told me that I needed to wear earplugs when I was practicing with the band and to avoid loud noises for awhile.
Ear plugs? Avoid loud noises? I was in a band! Granted, not a very good band but certainly a loud one. So, I ignored the doc. This was not bright on my part. Soon I had ringing in both my ears and at two different pitches, mind you. I had always been a bit of an insomniac but when you add two ringing ears into the equation you have the makings of a disaster. I would soon give up my band, and the two groupies that followed us, to rest my ears. Ahhhh yes, soon the tinnitus from Hell would go away.
That was over twenty five years ago and both my ears are still ringing. I have since learned to ignore the ringing for the most part. Its kind of like living next to an airport. After awhile, you stop hearing the takeoffs and landings. But at night, when the television goes quiet and silence floods my bedroom, its all too apparent. Not being able to fall asleep is by far the worst side-effect of this condition. Bar none. I have a special section on this website. That page has free MP3 downloads for all my tinnitus brethren. To tinnitus brethren newbies: It will get better. That I can guarantee you. The ringing may or may not improve but you will discover ways of dealing with it. To all the future sufferers who are playing ear-splitting rock in a single car garage: Take up jazz or, better yet, chamber music.
Or wear ear plugs.
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