What is Tinnitis?

One of the things about a disability is that it may be misunderstood.  A diagnosis by a physician may observe many of the symptoms of what it is you are experiencing, but occasionally – even in modern times, diagnoses may overlook your own personal symptoms. I am an individual with sensorineural hearing loss.  As I type this article, the spell check doesn’t even recognize the word ‘sensorineural’.  Wikipedia defines sensorineurual as:

Sensorineural hearing loss can be mild, moderate, or severe, including total deafness…The great majority of human sensorineural hearing loss is caused by abnormalities in the hair cells of the organ of Corti in the cochlea…In the rarest of these sorts of hearing loss, only the auditory centers of the brain are affected. In this situation, central hearing loss, sounds may be heard at normal thresholds, but the quality of the sound perceived is so poor that speech cannot be understood.

In my case, they do not know for certain, but speculate at the cause of my hearing loss.  When I was an infant, I contracted measles.  Also, my grandfather & his twin brother, when they were both in their early 30’s, started losing hearing.  Each, by the time they reached their early to mid-40s, was almost completely deaf.  After my hearing test two years ago, my audiologist told me I was predisposed to losing my hearing, and to “make preparations.” Isn’t that what doctors tell you when a loved one’s condition is at a point where they can’t do anything more and it’s time for the person to die?

The good things is, my cup is half full, and the reason I am writing this article, is because I am inflicted with a symptom – and it is Tinnitus. From Wikipedia: Tinnitus (from the Latin word tinn?tus meaning, “ringing”) is the perception of sound within the human ear in the absence of corresponding external sound. Tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom that can result from a wide range of underlying causes: abnormally loud sounds in the ear canal for even the briefest period (but usually with some duration), ear infections, foreign objects in the ear, nasal allergies that prevent (or induce) fluid drain, or wax build-up…Tinnitus is common; about one in five people between 55 and 65 years old report symptoms on a general health questionnaire, and 11.8% on more detailed tinnitus-specific questionnaires.

Do you see anywhere, since this symptom is “common,” that it may be caused by sensorineural hearing loss?  In today’s modern times, it’s not even listed on a popular dictionary – so I am basically, misunderstood.  My head rings 24/7 – it sounds like bus brakes – or the emergency broadcast system playing right outside my left ear and in the center of my brain towards the back right side – very loud!  Fortunately, as a young boy, I learned to embrace this and not to fight it.  As a middle-aged man now, I can only imagine the difficulties of growing up if I would have fought this.  To give an idea of how loud this is, as I am writing it, I am talking out loud in a normal voice, and the sound of the right brain is drained out by my voice, but the left-brain sound is much louder than the sound of my own voice.  I am not complaining – I am merely sharing information.

In the dictionary, there is a suggestion outside of the article of definition for tinnitus, that sensorineural hearing loss also be included in one of the causes.  But it is NOT included – therefore, not even the editors approving the article of definition have gotten off of their tush and consulted with top physicians to confirm that, in fact, sensorineural hearing loss can be a cause of tinnitus.  If you need confirmation of that fact – I am it.

If you feel you are misunderstood about your disability, share it with others.  Make sure you find a format (writing an article or record a voice article and have someone help you get it typed – send it to me and I’ll type it for you) to get it published and get it out there for others to read.  Keep a positive perspective – every day is a beautiful day, we may have aches and pains and symptoms causing us to be uncomfortable, but do not let the disability overtake you – always be in control of your own psyche.  If you feel down or depressed, be sure to reach out and have someone to talk to.  Life is short – accept your disability (and in the case of me, mine is getting worse) – and share your strength in dealing with your disability with others.  Be well.  Thank you for reading.

7 thoughts on “What is Tinnitis?”

  1. Interesting article, @aaron021967 . It was chock full of information. I think what’s interesting about hearing loss that people don’t know, is that you can have hearing loss from a ‘malfunction’ in the brain, or it can be a physical abnormality or injury. Your experience with Tinnitus is interesting with having the sound, or ringing, present all the time. I would think that would be annoying, but maybe you are used to it.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience; now we know a little more about sensorineural than other folks–I guess the more people you talk to about it, the more the medical community will listen. I agree, sometimes the medical community, doctors, etc. are the last ones to ‘catch’ up with the information, and they do get it wrong, like others here, at ILWAD, have mentioned.

    I remember when I was a teenager I was tested for hearing loss; my mom thought I couldn’t hear her, because I didn’t do the things she asked of me. The audiologist concluded I was just being a defiant teenager, not listening to her, and that my hearing was fine. The thing though, is that my hearing (physically) is fine. But how my brain processes words, does not interpret the message correctly. I have an auditory processing learning disability, and it causes me to get a different message than what people tell me. I hear fine, but I misinterpret because my brain jumbles the meaning. Its really annoying and frustrating to hear people, but not get the right message they put out.

    You made another good point, which is that our own disabilities, are just that–our own. That makes it hard for doctors to diagnose, because they have to make some general assumptions about the majority of their patients. Though, they should really be asking us, as individuals, what to do or what we need. Glad to hear that the glass is ‘half-full.’

  2. Aaron thank you for sharing. It was very educational. Very informant for me regarding very personal things happening in my life. Such as my dad, he has worked in a production plant for over 30 years and they didn’t wear ear plugs at that time. So he got hard hearing and then it started getting worse. He gets the ringing sound in his head and it drives him crazy!!!! His hearing aids don’t help because he has such ear wax build up it constantly causes the hearing aids to break.
    And myself recently it has started feeling as it water is constantly splashing in my ears or as if they are plugged. All the doctor says is allergies.
    Your so right about writing about your disability. After I sat down and actually wrote about mine and saw it on paper it felt so good. I felt strong to know that I’ve went through all that and I’m still standing. This is going to sound silly but it was almost like an AA meeting or something. I felt like I was standing up and saying I’m Renae and I live with a disability (ILWAD). And I’m strong, I have good and bad days but I’m going to survive.
    It was a awesome article keep sharing!!!!! Please!!!!!

  3. It’s a good article Aaron,you talking about disability, and disabled persons.I want to tell you, my mom is I disabled, more than 88%,is not the same handicap as you talk,but, it always remains a handicap.

    My mom can hardly walk,it’s been a few days, she fell in the street doing his shopping.When she walks, she does not know how long his feet will hold up,but she still shopping, cooking meals for the family.When his legs no longer holds,she fall,in the street,in the kitchen…
    Before, there was no indication that reveals that,person in the family never knew something like this,but is happened.End of the world?Not at all!!!She knows she can rely fully on his family,she know she can be based on people who love her.The doctors,oh,the doctors,never, never agree with each other
    But she keeps morale, she knows that people who love her, will always be there for her.And that it’s true,when you know ,when you feel somebody who make everything for you,so you do not feel your handicap.
    A disability it’s a disability,be it by ear, the legs, or paralysis, or whatever,but,dont forget, that in life, there is always someone who wants your happiness and that it is able to take your handicap,even for one day, if it can make you happy.With tears in my eyes,that’s what I would do,to my mom,and not only for her,believe me.

  4. Wonderful comments and feedback about dealing with a disability and being grateful for the presence of someone you love – no matter what the disability. Love it!

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