The question below is from another forum and I think an interesting one. I hope my reply will give some inspiration to someone that might be having some difficulty with tinnitus. It is not possible to include links to my articles. However, if anyone would like to read them please send me your email address by private message and I will send them to you.
To all you that write or read a lot, how do you manage this with tinnitus? Do you always mask the writing process with music, or are you used to sitting in the quiet with your tinnitus and just write? Maybe you've habituated? And reading seems a little tougher because you want quiet when reading, at least I do, and nothing else that will distract me.
I haven't been reading for a while now, mainly due to tinnitus. And one of my biggest dreams has always been to write, but I have just given it up entirely and feel no happiness or excitement over it as I once did.
You have asked a very good question because reading and writing are part of the Three Rs and are the foundations of learning: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Like anything the more they are practiced the better one becomes skilled in them and the same applies in reverse. I have always liked to express myself through writing and would find my life unfulfilled if I weren’t able to read.
Tinnitus can be a devastating and cruel condition and can affect a person’s life in such a way that no one can fully understand unless they have experienced it at a severe level. Whether the tinnitus is fluctuating or constant, if this is sustained over a period of time it can become seriously debilitating. I say this because most people eventually habituate to tinnitus and will be able to carry on with their life doing everything that they want to although initially it might be problematic.
In 2008 I suffered my second noise trauma and was unable to read a book for two years and thought I would never be able to read again. I resumed reading in 2010 but it was a very slow process, as I lost interest very quickly in each book I tried to read, mostly due to the large fluctuations in the tinnitus from: silent, mild, moderate, severe and extremely severe. I never gave up and hadn’t yet habituated but was determined not to let tinnitus stop me from reading. By chance I bought a book by an author that I had never heard of and didn’t know he was famous. It took four weeks to read the novel because the intensity of the tinnitus fluctuated so much that no two days were the same.
The author’s writing style and story captivated me. This led to buying the second; third and forth book in the series. Eventually I wrote the author just to say how much I enjoyed his novels and explained about my tinnitus and how it affected me and thought I would never be able to read again. I have since attended a number of his book signings and have recently finished book thirteen in the series. It took another two years to habituate until 2012.
The tinnitus has improved but still varies a lot in intensity but I can live with it because I have been a lot worse. My article: Tinnitus, A Personal View, took me many months to write because of the large fluctuations in the tinnitus. Many times I gave up, as it’s difficult to be creative when the intensity of the noise is so intrusive. However, each time I threw the towel in something kept willing me to continue and I couldn’t get any peace unless I continued writing it. I am pleased that I finished it and didn’t allow tinnitus to get the better of me. I usually have my sound machine or music playing softly in the background but this is used as sound “enrichment” and not to mask the tinnitus, which should not be done.
Please do not give up on your dreams of wanting to read again or being able to write. They are both wonderful things to do and help to broaden the mind and keep it on an even keel. Because something is difficult to do don't let that stop you. Our greatest glory is not in never falling but rising every time we fall. You are in the early days stages of tinnitus. I read your first post to this forum and noticed you mentioned using headphones at high volume. Headphone use is one of the most common causes of tinnitus.
I advise you not to use them again even at low volume and keep away from loud sounds. Read my post: Hyperacausis, As I see It and my article: Tinnitus, A Personal View. Please click on the links below.
It will take time but you will improve.
All the best