The last few years, I’ve noticed that things are never quiet. Amazingly, it isn’t because I’m always talking. When no one is talking, no music playing, no machinery running, I’m still hearing noise. It’s a sound I can’t accurately describe and I hear it all the time now.
I’ve been having periodic hearing tests since I was an adolescent. I’ve never passed any of them with flying colors. Consistent ear infections during childhood and into adulthood (thankfully I’ve not had one for several years now), caused nerve damage, which caused hearing loss.
It caused me some trouble with work when I had a few managers question me about reports from colleagues reporting me for walking away and ignoring them when they were speaking to me. Not only did the reports hurt my feelings but they embarrassed me. I had no idea that I’d ever done that to any of them. The first time it happened was when I worked in medical field with a variety of lab machines in my work area constantly humming. If someone I wasn’t facing spoke to me, I often didn’t hear them. And when I did, the sound often arrived in my ears sounding like the garbled whah-whah-whah of Charlie Brown’s teacher talking.
If there wasn’t much background noise, I didn’t have as much trouble, but as time went on, the problem progressed. I used a stethoscope for work every day. I had to get specialized ear-pieces for it to compensate for both impaired hearing as well as skin sensitivity. From there I went to placing the left one in my left ear and the right one, outside and just below my ear. I could hear better that way. I was also instructed to let new colleagues know that I was more likely to hear them if they faced me when speaking, or to touch my sleeve or shoulder to get my attention if they needed to talk to me.
Hearing aids were a bust because of the irritation they caused to my skin, including pressure sore issues that I even get from the super-soft ear buds I use for listening to music and videos on my phone or tablet.
Payback & Compensation
At seven-years-old I began music lessons and I loved them. I studied percussion and guitar. I played nearly every day and even when I wasn’t working with my music teacher, I turned to other musicians and soaked up whatever information they'd share with me. Many took the time to teach me a new maneuver or a even a whole song.
My dad bought me my first electric six-string guitar for my 11th birthday. I loved it! I played it often and I played it loud.
My dad had hearing loss too, brought on from nerve damage due to chronic ear infections and later, a concussion sustained from an underwater explosion that left him with both ear drums ruptured.
He was consistent in fussing at me about my love for loud music and when he was home, would often step into whatever room I was playing in and say, “Rigsby (his nickname for me) turn it down! You’re gonna ruin your hearing!”
Over the years, my hearing continued to worsen and my doctors sounded like they'd attended secret conferences with Daddy, 'cause they all fussed about the same thing. When I was young, I was certain I was nearly indestructible. Now I'm 52 and certain that indestructible isn't figuring prominently in the grand scheme of things. My hearing has been abused and now the piper is being paid.
Katydids (Bush Crickets)
Recently, when visiting some friends, one of them informed me that they were often having trouble getting to sleep because they can sometimes hear what sounds like a chorus of katydids in their ears.
I’d never heard the sound I hear all the time now being described as katydids but that is a far more accurate description than I’d come up with in trying to describe it. It isn’t a constant thing for my friend yet. Mine wasn’t constant either until a couple months ago. Now it’s all the time.
For me, it sounds something like holding a seashell to my ear and hearing the sound effect that causes along with a band of katydids adding their own sounds to go with it.
Trying to get to sleep is when it's been largely frustrating but I’ve found a solution that at least helps quite a lot. I play thunderstorm sounds on my Android tablet when I need to sleep.
Most often I use rain and thunderstorm sounds I find on YouTube. Those are my favorites because some of them not only have eight (or more) hours of thunderstorm sounds but a few of them also have a soft background image of rain falling on whatever. Could be a meadow-gate or off the side of a roof, or onto an auto windshield. They’re great to help the thoughts slow down and the sounds are far more appealing than seashell-surf and a katydids chorus.
The volume doesn’t have to be loud for it to be effective.
Although I’ve not had a recent hearing exam, it’s an educated guess that the trouble I’m having with the katydids is due to tinnitus, described by some as a whine, ringing, white-noise (among other things), in the ears. In my own research I’ve found that many sources representing mainstream academia repeatedly insist there is no cure for the problem. However, since I’m in habit of also researching alternative medicine resources, folks who often prefer to go the natural medicine route when possible, are reporting a variety of natural therapies that are helping deliver relief from tinnitus symptoms.
A blend of Cypress, Juniperberry, Lavender and Helichrysum oils, mixed into a carrier oil of either jojoba or fractionated coconut oil are reported to be effective topical therapies. The oil blend is applied to the earlobes and behind the ears, not inside the ear.
Manual stimulation of pressure points noted to help relieve tinnitus symptoms are available for study via YouTube. Of the best and most simple I’ve seen thus far in the YouTube pro vlogging community is the one below, posted by pro vlogger, Yasuko Kawamura. If you’d like to keep up with her work you can subscribe to both her YouTube channel as well as her Google+ page.Both are excellent resources for free, quality information.
I’ve only recently started using the self-massage near my ears and I’ve been using what I have on-hand of the plant oil applications. I’ve had good results with most natural therapies I’ve tried for a variety of maladies and I’m hoping one or more of the above will prove successful, too.
That's it for this one!
If you or someone you know is having issues with tinnitus, I hope the info I've covered will be helpful.
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