Living with Tinnitus : I’ve had... - British Tinnitus ...

British Tinnitus Association

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Living with Tinnitus


I’ve had tinnitus for over 35 years. It started a with a bad ear infection and never went. At the time I was told to live with it. At 23 years old I felt my life was over. But things did improve. Over the years it settled down and I never heard it until I got pregnant and then it was back so loud. After my daughter was born it settled down again. Then 6 years later I got pregnant again and the same thing. This time I was referred to a hearing therapist on the NHS and although the tinnitus never went I no longer “heard” it although it was there. Since then I’ve had times when it’s literally been so loud and intrusive (as it is now) that it’s difficult to cope. 12 years ago I was given 2 hearing aids and these do help bring more sounds into the ear, but I still hear my tinnitus. I’ve been so low in the past that at times I never thought I’d be able to get back up. I can remember times when it’s been like a swarm of bees in my head but it hasn’t actually bothered me. Seems hard to believe, but it’s true. I know that this bad time will go and tinnitus will no longer be a threat although I’ll still hear it. I’m seeing my hearing therapist in 2 weeks time to have a chat and get back on track. I’m also having a hearing test as I feel my hearing aids might need to be adjusted as I’m having trouble hearing at work.

My advice is to carry on as normal - really hard when all I want to do is lay in bed. I make myself get up at 5am, go the gym and then go to work or keep busy. Tinnitus can be conquered and yes we can live with. The brain will habituate to the sound, but I’ve learnt that at times it will intrude again and I have to go through the process of putting back to a sound that is insignificant. I don’t take any medication as I’m not sure it would help it and over the years I’ve spent a lot of money on miracle cures!

Take care everyone. If anyone wants to message me, feel free. But when my tinnitus is back in the box you won’t see me on here as that means I’m in control again and I won’t want to dwell on the fact that I’ve got it!

18 Replies

Thanks for your post. Ive only recently got Tinnitus and am struggling. Thanks for letting me know life can get better

Hi Buddie,

Thanks for sharing your experience and your post will be a great help to many people like myself, who are fairly new to tinnitus and at times, still struggling to come to terms with it. I admire your determination to lead a normal life and your story demonstrates that it is actually possible to beat the beast! Good luck with your hearing test and I hope your new hearing aids are a success. Best wishes.


Hi Buddle123 how have you managed to live with tinnitus for all that time? I have had it for 6 years in may my first few months were a living nightmare somehow i got through it i spent a fortune on cures with no success I did invest in private hearing aids which can make a difference when my tinnitus is really bad but thankfully these days i i manage to carry on as normal I still enjoy doing what i like doing and enjoy life i am lucky i only get tinnitus from my Left ear your advice is a good message to those who are new to tinnitus above all i was very grateful for the amount of support i got from tbe BTA on their old forums people reached out to me and consider my followers friends we support one another and in return we give support to new people suffering all the best. David

Ingrid-p in reply to Hidden

I live with it because I know that when it spikes I will habituate again. It takes me about 3 months to get back to normal. I’ll still hear the sounds but they really won’t bother me.

I think they seem loud at the moment as I was put on 2 medications about a month ago where the side effects can be tinnitus. I’ve stopped them now and I just need to go back to my gp and let him know. I’ll probably get told off, but I really don’t care!

When mine first started I really thought my life was over. Years ago there was literally no help and I was left to cope by myself at 23 years old. I’d just got married and had to go back and live with my parents as I couldn’t function. They were the dark days. Over time I guess my brain decided that the noises were just there and I never heard them even though they were there. Does that make sense?

When the tinnitus spikes now I always go to my GP get my ears checked. There’s never anything wrong. Then I see my hearing therapist and have a hearing test. My hearing is definitely impaired by the noise but I wear hearing aids which does help. I think they need retuning and I’m getting that done in a couple of weeks.

It’s bloody annoying and really gets me down, but I’ve got a great life and I need to live it.

I’ve got Breast cancer at the moment, but I’m not overly stressed by this. People say their T is linked to stress but I don’t think mine is. I just seem to focus on it again and boom the brain takes over making it the most important thing. It’s very loud at the moment, no respite, I hear it over everything even my washing machine on a spin cycle. It’s been like this before and I’ve habituated to the point that I still hear it but don’t care about it.

I really hope that one day something positive will be around to help all us T people, but I’ve given up trying to find the miracle cure!

Wishing you well.

Michael8272 in reply to Ingrid-p

Hi,great post.i'm very new to tinnitus and really struggling to cope.but after reading your post that it can be beaten is real doctor won't even send me for ENT appointment yet as he thinks mine will settle once ear gets used to all the wax that was removed. You give me hope.thanks

Thankyou for a nice post. It made me smile because when my tinnitus first started I told everyone I felt as though my head was stuck in a beehive!!😁Now it sounds and feels like a constant loud pressure cooker!! I have the pressure in my head to go with it, I find that more difficult to deal with sometimes, but yes, it is amazing what we can learn to live with and there is no doubt keeping positive is a very big part of it!

Take care, and hope all goes well for you.


Just read your second post B.

I can only say I really, truly hope there Are, and I stress, are, people out there taking this seriously and trying to come up with helpfull answers.

I am older than you, I am a young grandma!😁, but when mine started I could not bear the sound of my little granddaughters voices and that caused me to shed many tears!!

This condition is not a joke, it is a completely life changing, distressing and debilitating condition.

Luckily most of us manage to eventually live life as we always have albeit with a little less joy!

The one thing I have continually said to my husband is that they need to find some means of relieving it properly as so many young people have to live there lives, work and bring up families with tha s condition. That is no easy task and takes massive amounts of emotional strength.

You are a case in point here.

All credit to you and you have all my best wishes.


Help, my flowers aren't coming up! I like to give people flowers to cheer them up.

Must check what's happened!!

Ingrid-p in reply to Curlew

Hi, I know it’s a chronic condition and I’ve been literally floored by it at times.

I manage to habituate though, but each time it flares up I fear I never will be able to. My daughter reminded me today that the last time it flared up about 6 years ago, I was saying the same things I’m saying now. I guess it’ll take time, but it always seems to happen when my life is running along perfectly.

I’m seeing my GP later and my hearing therapist in a couple of weeks. This is usually how I start to get back on track, so wish me luck 🤪

Take care xx


Thank you for sharing such a positive post, I'm sure it has given hope to lots of people reading!

Thank you, I know it can be lived with to a point of never hearing it even though it is loud.

At the moment I’m going through a really loud flare up. My GP says my eardrum is tight and there’s fluid behind the drum. It’s like hearing through cotton wool even with my hearing aid in 😭

Seeing my hearing therapist in a couple of weeks and getting my hearing aids retuned, so hopefully things will settle as they have in the past.

Ingrid xx

Thank you Buddie for your frank but inspiring postings. I acquired my T 3 years ago following a major op, and it was then made horrendous by an ear and throat infection. With the help of the hospital audiologist, hearing aids and Mirtazapine - not forgetting the BTA forum friends - I gradually accustomed to the noise to the point where it didn't bother me. Yes, there are days when it is annoying and bothersome but I know it will quieten down again.

Your posts will I am sure be of great help to all the newbies,


Angela xx

Thank you Angela.

Having a seriously bad time at the moment and all my old feelings have returned. Last time it flared up I promised myself I’d handle it better, but I haven’t.

I’m sure I’ll be back to normal soon, just get a bit panicky that this is how things are going to stay, but I know from years of experience that it only gets “better” with time.

Take care xx

Hi again Buddie, sorry to read that. It is a wonderful feeling when we realise that we momentarily forget that we have T isn't it? I can hear mine at the moment but it isn't too bothersome, though I would love to wake up one day and not hear it. Distraction works for me every time, but it can be so tiring can't it? How lovely to be able to just do nothing in complete silence.

Your brain knows that it will get better, so keep the faith. xx

Ingrid-p in reply to Angela-H

Hi Angela, I’ve just finished work and the ears are buzzing like mad. Going to have a couple of vinos to try and relax.

ps I don’t know why I called myself Buddie that’s my dog’s name. My names Ingrid xx

My dogs called Twiggy so my little granddaughters call me grandma Twiggy!

Clever move 😂😂

Hi Buddie123 Thanks for sharing your experiences with us . I guess some of us here will be both reassured and a little alarmed at the length of time you have suffered Tinnitus and how it ebbs and flows,high and then low frequency for you.Most people I meet with Tinnitus are seasoned sufferers who having Habituated say it no longer troubles them or troubles them rarely. I include myself in that bracket. I do have digestion and stomach issues wherby my Tinnitus is temporarily loud and annoying. You stating your Tinnitus was loud during your pregnancy I found interesting because I'm sure there is a connection between abdominal pains and Tinnitus. I guess I just love mysteries,if I'm truthful.I hope things improve for you soon.

I've had tinnitus for almost two years left ear, and can also hear heart beating, at first any loud noise was unbearable, but noise no longer bothers me, though the ringing is constant, and for the most part I've let it get to me, but recently I'm learning to deal with it, I actually lay on my left side and listen to it, sound crazy but it works, I was in work one day when a skip wagon was removing full skips and replacing with emties, at the same time a guy was using a neumatic drill, when it suddenly dawned on me I could only hear the noise in my ear, so i thought if I can ignore that din, I can ignore this, and now most of the time I do, when it is bothersome I find the noise of dissolving tablets, which I like, and can be downloaded, masks it completely, its basically sink or swim, lastly its accepting its not going away so you have to try and treat like other noise there no other way best wishes to you all

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