Friday, August 13, 2004

Say That Again?

WPTY24 just had a story on their 5PM broadcast (not online) about tinnitus treatment. There's a new treatment where patients are trained to use music to distract them from the ringing and buzzing of tinnitus, thus alleviating the symptoms.

I'm writing about this because I suffer from tinnitus. Ever since I can remember, I've had distinct high-pitched tones in my ears. If you've ever turned on an older television set and heard that high whine from the back of the set, it's a lot like that. It's not loud enough to be painful, nor to block my hearing. In fact, 95% of the time I never even notice it. I've learned to tune it out, so to speak.

But whenever things are very quiet, they become noticeable and bothersome. That's part of the reason I like living in the city. There's always some kind of background noise -- traffic, neighbors, sirens and the other ambient noises of urban living. They serve to mask the sounds in my ears. It's also why I'll often leave the television or radio on in the background, for the soft noise. Whenever I go to the country or sleep in a well-insulated, quiet home (like my mom's old condo), then it will drive me crazy. Too damn quiet!

My tinnitus has never been debilitating. I didn't even realise I had it until well into my teen years. Most folks who know me don't know I suffer, because I'm long past accepting it and learning to live with it.

No real reason for this post, except that the WPTY story reminded me I haven't shared about it here.

Next time: my back pain.

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