One Person's Story

Three months before writing this, I came home from a musical session and was watching TV when I noticed a sudden loud ringing in my ear. I recognised this as tinnitus as I have been exposed to others with the problem. I considered my musical noise exposure as moderate as I was aware of the potential damage.

Over the next few days the intensity grew, along with my increasing panic. The noise was louder than walking through a busy shopping centre. I was unable to sleep and after 4 days of no sleep, panic increasing and thinking the worst, (I mean worst), I went to one doctor who just looked at me with the expression on her face that I would have, if I had to tell somebody they were about to die. Then another Doctor friend who put me on anti depressants. This helped me sleep and reduced the panic. I was left with this imposing noise to come to terms with.

I was referred by my GP to an ENT specialists and the general consensus was that there is no cure. This resulted in a MRI scan that cleared me of any cancer tumours. So I was sent on my way and referred to Audiologists and my Doctor.

The general advice was to get used to it and you may habituate over the next year or so “as many do.”

To clear any other possibilities I also went to the Dentist, a Chiropractor, tried the suggested vitamins, and tried the acupuncture tapping, all to no avail. All said “no cure just get used to it.”

It was suggested that I needed to stop panicking and make it “your friend”. My disbelief at the possibility of this was considerable.

So I asked what caused this and was told that maybe my musical hobby or just losing my upper frequency hearing. I asked how do I prevent it from getting worse. The response was generic, such as “don’t expose yourself to loud noise”. So I had no idea as how to move forward with my music or frame of mind.

I spoke about the problem to my associates, as I was backing off performing and trying to figure out how to live with my new-found friend.

I had met Jim Pickles at a function that we both attended and a mutual friend mentioned that Jim knew about tinnitus and asked if I’d like to catch up. I jumped at the chance. During a coffee meeting with Jim, he discussed his knowledge of tinnitus and referred me to his web page and the sound files.

I devoured the information and immediately started listening to the highest frequency MP3’s for as many hours a day as I could. Very strange at first although there was something strangely satisfying listening to these unusual noises that almost mimicked the tinnitus. I rationalised that my brain was now hearing a REAL version of the sound it was artificially generating.

Two weeks went past and I then stopped listening for a short period. For that short period, I could not hear my tinnitus. After many months with this, what an amazing feeling that was. After a while it has returned in waves, although only as a moderate tolerable hiss and not the screaming kettle.

It’s early days yet and I am never far away from the MP3 sounds (I actually like the sound now). I plan to follow Jims advice and keep listening for while longer. I guess time will tell how it impacts me long term. I am nothing short of amazed at the result to date. What a stroke of luck being introduced to Jim.

To my amazement none of the professionals mentioned this to me. They all say stay away from Web advice. I have to ask myself why. I mentioned to Jim that I believe the whole world is crying out for this help.

One of the few miracles in my life. What can I say, words fail me, "Thanks Jim". Oh, and by the way, I’m off the anti depressants and life is looking good again. Unbelievable !!!.

Cliff C. October 2019.

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