Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Bloody Tinnitus

I've not blogged on here for a while - apologies to any long suffering followers.  Simply though music has taken a bit of a backseat recently.  In middle of April I started to get a buzzing in my left ear.  I've had this before on and off for a long time - must be close to 20 years now.  I went to see my old doctor about it when it first happened (that's how I know it must be in the 90s some point - she retired in 2001).  She shrugged then and told me not much you can do about it.  Since then it has come and gone at irregular intervals - often with years between episodes.  Now when I started having balance and vertigo problems some while back I put 2 + 2 together and diagnosed myself with Meniere's Disease which my Grandma suffered with.  The way they treated it years ago was to drill into her ear drum leaving her profoundly deaf.  Many times we'd sit in her living room the tv on so loud the shelves were shaking and you still couldn't hear it as her hearing aid was whislting so bloody loud!  We'd have to shout at her that it was whistling - madness.

Well anyway - the vertigo was put down to Migraine associated vertigo.  The tinnitus... well I just lived with it when it happened.  Until like I say, middle of last month, the buzzing started.  I've had it before I hunkered down expecting a week or so of discomfort.  But firstly it just got worse and worse.  Not a continual slope but a stuttering one.  One Saturday night I went to bed with a really annoying bout in my ear - by now it was constant, disorientating, distracting, wearing.  I was woken on the Sunday morning to the worst sound possible - well at least I hope it is never worse than that!  A tone around a G like a synth accompanied by the loudest white noise ever over a wide frequency range - all accompanied by a really loud high pitch wail.   I just wanted to stuff a knife in my ear!  I went into the garden and worked for a few hours just to distract myself but my wife having to shout at me from a couple of yards away that she had a cup of coffee attested to the fact that to all intents and purposes I was deaf.  I still did nothing about it as it calmed later that day.  But finally that week I saw the doctor. 

Guess what... he shrugged and said there isn't much they can do!  I knew that.  However I told him about the symptoms, esp the pain I get in the ear which basically is like you're landing in a plane and you want your ears to pop but simply they won't.  He hmmed... then erred...   He suggested we try a drug "That probably won't work".  I'm to see him in a few weeks and likely be referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat clinic.  I've been taken the tablets, as directed,  3 a day.  I read the leaflet - they are a Histomine Analog - which is designed to lower the pressure in the inner ear for patients suffering with ... Meniere's disease!

The good news is after a couple of days it significantly eased.  Within a week the rush/rumble in the left ear is either not there or only there if I sit and force myself to hear it - almost to the point where I now think I'm making it up!  The high pitch white noise is still there - it has been for years and years constant that I can't deny.  I'm a bit my distracted by it now but i think I'm over sensitive given the last 6 weeks or so.

Good news though is that music is not painful - it is actually a good distraction from the high pitched noise.  Many happy faces.

BTW - I'm just listening to this great new song by my friend Nic... - go listen it is terrific!


  1. I hope it continues to improve. Best wishes!

  2. Thank God for modern medicine, right? I mean, imagine if that stuff had been around in your granny's time? I can't wait to see what they have 20 years from now.

  3. Mmm. Sympathy to you mate.

    I have had the classic "High pitched whistle" for a very long time.
    Too much time testing guitar amps (mainly Burman) in the studio.
    Just wish I had taken more care back then.

    If you have found some relief, that's a result.
    Let's hope it stays that way.

    Cheers. :)

    1. When a teenager I used to lust after the Burman combos in a local shop...

  4. Fingers crossed that you're on the mend

  5. Dear Graham,
    My cochlear implant doesn't "hear" music anymore.
    My other ear is too deaf to hear much.
    I play guitar, piano and sing.
    I went through a big depression, and still feel sad.
    In the future they might make an implant software that is better able to understand music.
    I don't mean to be a downer. I just wish I could hear your music!
    I can hear birds, although they sound like alien birds! Ha.
    I can hear the doorbell now, and the phone ring!

    1. Really sorry about you suffering like that Wendy. Having music just be distorted and painful and that buzz affecting everything for a few days/weeks was enough to start me down a road of depression so I have some empathy for your loss.

      However - there are no doubt many who'll tell you not being able to hear my feeble attempts is a blessing!