“I’ve had tinnitus for as long as I can remember. I was always aware of it but I didn’t know what it was - or that it was even called tinnitus, until I was a teenager. I just thought it was normal and that everybody heard what I was hearing. It’s connected to my partial hearing loss, which I’ve had since birth, caused by swelling on the brain.
On a day-to-day basis, tinnitus is an incredibly frustrating and debilitating condition to live with. I often think I’m hearing something – and it just isn’t there. I have a 1-year old daughter and I often think she’s crying so I rush up the stairs – only to find she’s fast asleep and it’s just the tinnitus. It’s very upsetting. Sometimes the tinnitus is so high-pitched I think I’m hearing the smoke alarm, which puts me on edge, especially when I’m home alone.
Generally speaking, the tinnitus is worse at night or when it’s quiet. I go through bad patches, where it’s more noticeable than others. I find that the tinnitus even ‘echoes’ what I’ve heard earlier in the day or even weeks before.