Hearing & Listening

It is only recently that I have come to appreciate what an amazing piece of kit the human ear actually is.....with T you suddenly realise that you will never hear clearly again, and never again will your world be silent. As part of my "coming to terms" with my T I have learnt to switch off. What I mean by this is that I no longer "listen" to my T - I still "hear" it, but the sound no longer causes me to react.

I compare this to when I am in conversation with family or friends. If the conversation is interesting, I am actively listening to what is being said - I don't listen to the background noise of the room I am in....but if the conversation is of no interest I can actively switch off and start to listen to the TV - still hearing the conversation but not registering it.

I believe this to be a major step for me in coming to terms with managing my T. Hearing and listening are two totally different things and when you can eventually stop listening to your T and start to actively listen to what is going on in the world instead, you will be on the right road back to living again.

I still have bad days when the T wants to take over and "make" me listen to it - but I won't be beaten and I push it to the background whilst actively listening to the outside world.


8 Replies

  • A perfect description of what it means when one habituates to tinnitus. Well done Jane.

    All the best


  • Hi jane

    I wish I could go back to the silent days, some days I get really anxious, but I've realised that I have to deal with it and it is not going to go away.

    I like what you say about how you deal with your T well done you.

    Gary x

  • Thanks Gary, I still have bad days as we all do. But I am in a much better place than I used to be.

    Strangely enough, when I think back to when it was silent .....it never really was. I remember as one of six children never having a space at home of my own - it was like an Irish parliament , everyone talking at once!. When I moved into my own home, the noise of the central heating system used to keep me awake at night - 26 years later I don't notice it.

    I was in a yoga class yesterday and just getting settled for the "conscious rest" at the end of class - my "go to" on bad days. The lady next to me had a watch on that started ticking as soon as we got down on the floor. It drove me mad ....lol....I could have killed her ....how unfair. But then I secretly smiled to myself realising that it was the ticking of the watch that was driving me nuts and not my T - every cloud as they say :-)

    Maybe we all take silence for granted - the world is never really a quiet place.

    Stay strong


  • Hi Jane,

    Welcome to the BTA community.

    Lovely to read a positive post how you cope with tinnitus.

    Life does go on even with down times.

    Keep the positivity coming as will help new comers to tinnitus....lots of love glynis

  • Hi janeMc16

    Cracking post jane, and well said, I tend to listen through my T if that makes sense and concentrate on, for instance the dawn chorus for example, I hear the birds but not my T although my T is constant 24/7 it no longer provokes the fear it did in the begining.


  • Hi Dave, I know exactly what you mean....I also listen through my T and it doesn't bother me as much now. It's like I've trained my brain to search through the T for the real sounds not the "imaginary" ones. Thinking this way keeps me sane 😁

    Keep listening


  • I agree that this is a great post , and great replies. I do not listen for my tinnitus , nor am I scared of it; what I do struggle with though is that it continues to get louder and higher in pitch so that increasingly I can't hear conversations very well . Heh ho...

  • Very well put Jane.

    The more I learn about how the body works - particularly hearing, as that's what I read about most - the more I'm amazed at the intricacy of it all.

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