I’ve played in bands, recorded music, lived with headphones on, and had TV earpieces in for years. Because of that, I’ve had loud ringing in my ears for about a decade. It has become severe over the past year.
Because God has blessed me so much, I’ve felt self-conscious about discussing it. But after reading about the suicide of Kent Taylor and of how COVID has pushed many with tinnitus to the brink of despair, I wanted to let those suffering know what I’ve learned over the past year.
The COVID pandemic has been terrible for many with tinnitus. Doctors have told me that many of their patients have experienced more intense ringing over the past year. Part of this may be due to stress. Much of it probably has to do with people being in the quiet of their homes instead of in the office, walking through busy streets, and being surrounded by more ambient noise.
With tinnitus, silence is not golden; it is often a tormentor.
Fortunately, life will soon return to normal and you will be distracted by the sounds of your commute, the buzz inside your office, and the joys of your reengaged life.
A few weeks back when I was coaching my son’s baseball game, I noticed in the 4th inning that I had not been distracted by ringing all game. After focusing a bit, I realized the tinnitus was still there, but it was being washed from my consciousness by a stream of ambient sounds. If you are always working alone in a home office or generally finding yourself surrounded by relative silence because of the pandemic, this too will soon change.
Though there is no cure for tinnitus, research is moving forward and technology is advancing in this field. Beware of people promising quick fixes; there are none. Still, you will be amazed by how much it helps to just talk with someone else who is working through tinnitus.
I’ve also found that praying and mindfulness help, books on tape are a godsend, and that focusing on gratitude makes a big difference. Most importantly, know that you are not alone and that better days are ahead. I’ll keep you updated with any new research or treatments that I find. Please do the same.
You are in my prayers,