Dealing With the Fear of Tinnitus

It has been about seven months since I experienced the onset of Tinnitus. The initial onset was alarming and stressful. There were days when I would arrive home and put my head between my hands and cry. I couldn’t sleep. I lost my appetite. And I wasn’t sure if I would be able to cope with the noise inside my head. My experience is similar to this story here. What really troubled me though, was the fear.

I am able to cope now, and the noise, while still perceived at times, mostly at night, no longer impacts my daily life. I live without fear which was not the case when the Tinnitus first emerged. So there is hope for those who struggle with this condition. If you are in Canada and suffer with Tinnitus, I recommend taking a look at this site.

I subscribe to CarePages which is an online support community for people coping with illness. There are so many amazing stories of people responding to exceptionally difficult challenges. A source of inspiration.

One quote that I came across on the CarePages site stuck with me during those first few difficult months with Tinnitus:

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. — Eleanor Roosevelt

3 replies
  1. Ross
    Ross says:

    I have a light and occasional form of this condition – although it comes back stronger once in a while. I see you have a stronger form of it.

  2. Richard Cleaver
    Richard Cleaver says:

    Hi Ross,

    When the tinnitus emerged in December, it was debilitating. For several weeks, it was a constant high-pitched whooshing sound in my head. For a while, I was uncertain as to whether I would be able to cope with the sound. I was resigned that it would be a permanent fixture in my life. I thought that I had incurred a severe form of hearing damage. And, for someone who has spent most of his life focused on sound perception and audio engineering, such hearing damage was not good news.

    Most adults can perceive tinnitus. However, it is a “buried” sound that does not emerge into the higher level brain function and it does not trigger the fight or flight response. Unfortunately, both outcomes happened to me.

    My doctor confirmed that my auditory systems were fine. I had not suffered any hearing loss. The “sound” that I was hearing was not externally produced. It was literally inside my head.

    My doctor advised me to “let it go” and that, eventually, the “sound” would fade away.

    And it did. The tinnitus slowly began to recede. And it is at a level now where I do not perceive it at all for most of the day.

  3. brian
    brian says:

    I have a totally unscientific theory that tinnitus can be much worse for sound engineers when they first experience it because as trained “sound concentrators” our brains naturally latch onto, and attempt to anylize anything we hear.


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