Living with Tinnitus and Meniere’s Disease
Definition of Tinnitus (TIN-ih-tus) is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. A common problem, tinnitus affects about 1 in 5 people. Tinnitus isn’t a condition itself — it’s a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder
When I was a young teenager I began experiencing a loud rushing noise in my right ear that was intermittent but annoying. I had developed tinnutis. Since the loss of my eardrum when I was four, I also suffered from Meniere’s Disease..vertigo that would suddenly occur with extreme dizziness and nausea. At least for the Meniere’s I have medication that takes a few hours to work but will stop the dizziness fairly quickly.
My tinnitus was subjective….only I could hear it and often I would beg my Mom to listen to see if she could hear it but no one but myself can hear it.
I spent a good deal of time dealing with a whole group of Doctors at the Children’s Hospital and it was determined that my tinnitus was the result of having the measles and the rupturing of my ear drum. The measles had caused inner ear cell damage that was irreparable. Another factor that the Doctors took into consideration was an accident just prior to my getting the measles when I received a serious head injury that tore open my face from just above and in front of my ear to behind it. I still have the scar from that accident. I had been sitting behind a car picking up rocks in a driveway for a neighbour. He forgot I was there and back up. I was caught up by the tail pipe which tore open the skin.
For the tinnitus, several things were tried but nothing took away the rushing sound that soon became constant. It interfered with my hearing and has made me anxious and frustrated as it is always there. About ten years later I developed a second sound that was more like a hum and was low pitched. So now I have one high pitched rushing sound and a low pitched hum that I live with day in and day out.
For those of you with perfect hearing and no signs of either of the above diseases, please feel blessed that you do not have to live with these terrible afflictions. And please be respectful of someone that does suffer from them. I usually tell people what my problem is and ask that they look at me when speaking; remove their hands from their mouths and speak slightly louder than normal.
There have been too many times to count when I was subjected to people becoming annoyed that they had to repeat themselves. I became a disinterested student for a while as I felt defeated and very alone with my problem but now in my senior years, I have become aware of many people with the same problem. I don’t wish these two afflictions on anyone. Tinnitus and Meniere’s are horrible to live with. As I sit and write this account, I am accompanied by my rushing and humming companions