The Perils of Hearing Loss & Tinnitus

Firstly, I’d like to apologise for not blogging much these past few weeks, life has been a bit hectic lately and it has been put to the back of my mind – I promise I didn’t forget about you lovely readers though. But enough of that and onto this week’s post…

This past week I have been reminded of just how much I rely on my cochlear implant. My husband occasionally works night shifts and I really don’t like these shifts, not for soppy reasons like I miss him (if he is reading this – I obviously do!!) but because I barely sleep a wink.

The reason for this? Although I live in a safe neighbourhood I am terrified that something might happen at night – whether that be a burglar breaking into the house, a fire starting or some other house related nightmare. I know most people might have the same fears at night, but it is all the more prominent when you cannot hear a thing.

When I take my cochlear implant out, I am completely deaf. Even if the house fell down around me I wouldn’t be aware of anything until the old lady from upstairs fell on top of me in my bed. For this reason, I obviously struggle sleeping.

Of course I make adjustments such as making sure the alarm is on and I also keep the hallway light on so that I can see if there is anyone in the house without having to reach across to grab my glasses (I’m pretty blind too!). Despite this I probably only get a 2/3 hours sleep before I have to get up for work myself. I find myself waking up pretty much as soon as I fall asleep and struggle to get back to sleep. I also find I go to bed much, much later than I would normally – about 1am or so and it takes me a long time to drift off as my heart is racing and my brain working overtime thinking of all the potential things that can happen.

Because of this I find not only am I tired throughout the working day (staring at computer screens doesn’t really help either) but that my tinnitus is louder, more aggravating and all encompassing. I think this is because I am giving my full attention to these noises at night, wondering If some of them are actual real life noises that my brain hasn’t fully adjusted to blocking the sounds out once my implant is on.

It’s annoying.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I genuinely thought my tinnitus noises were related to an emergency, scrambled out of bed running around the rooms turning every light in the house on, heart racing, to discover it was just my tinnitus playing puerile little jokes on me. Sometimes I think my tinnitus is just there to play practical jokes on me and get me all worked up. It’s a cruel move really.

So anyway, enough of me ranting. Below are a few tips for dealing with Tinnitus in the workplace, some of which can also translate to other environments and situations along with some facts on tinnitus.

In next week’s post I will be reviewing the Ditto from Simple Matters.

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3 thoughts on “The Perils of Hearing Loss & Tinnitus

  1. Tinnitus is something that irritates at different times but it does get worse in times or stress or when tired. i had a new sound the other night and was convinced it was a machine somewhere, but like you I cannot hear those noises without the CI processor on so was totally confused. Went around the house but the noise did not alter so slowly realised that this was a new tinnitus sound. Confirmed it by putting on processor only to find the noise had not altered at all. Once I realised this was tinnitus it was easy to ignore and relaxed after that getting to sleep. Have learnt over many years to ignore the sound as much as possible and it is easier when there is other sound around so night time is an obvious tension point. I can totally understand how some people find this condition very debilitating. Thankfully I have learnt to focus on other things when the sounds are really bad. But sitting here writing this now it is loud and irritating because I am thinking about it. Also tired as well. When you understand this it is easier to deal with.

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    1. Thanks for your comment gethearingwordpresscom. I am trying to ignore the sounds but my tinnitus seems to have no one sound so sometimes it is hard to distinguish from other sounds, especially in these type of circumstances. I’m slowly getting there, it’ll just take time 🙂

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  2. Hi Laura, Tony Long here. As you may know I am fortunate enough to have good hearing and no Tinnitus. Makes me feel guilty. But Sue has dreadful Tinnitus as well as extreme hearing loss which, as we all know is doubly cruel. She hates sleeping alone as well and has told people in the past that we are together only because she needs someone to wake her up when the alarm goes. And that’s cruel as well, why is sleep best when it’s time to get up? I don’t sleep well and often get up around four rather than disturb Sue, the reasons for my disturbed sleep are mainly pain due to two broken vertebrae in my neck that healed off-centre and pinch nerves. Not complaining though, I was told I’m lucky as a couple of millimetres more and I’d be in a wheelchair. But, I find sleeping easier if I sit up on the sofa. Might that help you? It doesn’t put so much pressure on the head at that angle and might ease the internal sounds. Please note the use of might – what do I know. But don’t doze with the TV on. Not only do you find some programmes are repeated during the night which can be confusing when you open your eyes but you can incorporate some of the shows into your dreams! Never something pleasant like your favourite actor. Sue’s dozed off and come round after dreaming of zombies – moaned to me that it should have been Harrison Ford instead.

    Sting was talking about hearing loss with musicians last night, his Tinnitus is like birds softly singing – git. Sue has jet engines and Abba songs – hates Abba anyway.

    Didn’t know I could add comments.
    Take care.
    Tony

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