Last updated on 19 April 2012
Meet Bill, of the Aintree Tinnitus Support Group
I’ve had tinnitus for over seven years now. When I first discovered this mildly irritating noise in my left ear, I assumed it was an infection and would soon go.
Some two years later, that mild irritation became one of the most aggravating things I’ve experienced in my life. The low hum/whistle was now akin to a hurricane blowing through a small gap. It was so aggravating that for the first time in years, I visited my doctor. I expected an acknowledgement that I had an infection, a prescription for some antibiotics and everything would soon be back to normal. Alas, it didn’t quite work out that way, she said that I probably had tinnitus and that although she didn’t know a lot about it - one thing she did know was that there was no cure and little I could do about it. Now it varied between its previous background hum and something that made me want to bang my head against a wall. Gradually, I came to accept it as ‘just one of those things’, but the fact that people didn’t understand exactly what I was experiencing was a major annoyance.
Then a friend mentioned to me about the existence of a support group for tinnitus in Liverpool and also sent me the link to their website. As I’d never known that one existed, I looked it up and it opened a door to me to more information about tinnitus than I’d ever known before. Not only that, it was positive in its outlook; sure, it couldn’t be cured but there were solutions around that could improve my life.
I attended my first meeting and was made to feel welcome immediately, and for the first time I began to feel better about it, more than I ever had before. Following the presentation, we sat around in small groups and chatted, it was good to talk with people that understood and were positive about coping with it. Those conversations made me realise that others were worse off than I; that tinnitus however aggravating and annoying wasn’t life threatening and most important of all there were measures I could take to improve the situation. The overriding thing, however, was that I was talking to people who knew and understood what I had felt because they’d been through it or were going through it.
Since then I have attended each meeting, am now a member of the BTA, and more importantly help other newcomers to the support group. To all of those who suffer from tinnitus, you’re not alone out there; see if there’s a support group near you and go along, for I’m sure you’ll find it as helpful and rewarding as I did.
(picture posed by model)
I was talking to people who knew and understood what I had felt