Zbigniew Pawel Soj (Paul), 22-year-old Politics student from University of Bradford, first developed tinnitus at the beginning of 2020 as a result of stress. He is sharing his story and completing a 100km walking challenge this month to raise awareness and vital funds.

Paul shared: “At first, I started noticing some quite high-pitch sounds in my left ear that were getting louder and louder.” After many medical examinations, including an MRI, Paul had no answers as to what had caused his tinnitus. “I was simply told to learn how to live with that on my own.”

“I was really struggling with my daily life that involved studying, working and socialising. The high-pitch sound in my head was often so loud that I could not focus on anything unless I had a device playing some white noise next to me. I also suffered from insomnia for a couple of months, which made me down every day as I lacked enough sleep. I started losing any hope that my life would ever get better. It was truly the darkest time I have been ever through so far.”

“Nevertheless, I found light at the end of this deep and black tunnel”.

Paul introduced new management techniques to his life which have helped him live well with his tinnitus. These techniques included, but were not limited to, neuromodulation, wearing a dental guard, physical activity and accessing our charity's resources.

“It is true that there is no one and universal cure for this issue as it has many possible causes some of which have not been deeply explained yet. Nevertheless, there are a number of ways you can try to make tinnitus bearable. In some cases, the total recovery is possible.”

“I attended group sessions and workshops organised by the BTA, which increased my knowledge of this illness and made me aware about a huge number of people at different ages who have the same problem. I have become a member of the association to support it on a way to creating the world where no one suffers from tinnitus any longer.”

“Having done all of this, my tinnitus got quieter by about 70-80%, which has totally changed my life. I do not think about it almost at all right now. I can sleep and work without some white noise put on my phone. I enjoy my life to the utmost and look at the future with great optimism and confidence.”

During Tinnitus Week, Paul was interviewed by BBC Bradford and BCB Bradford to share information about his experience and his challenge, and was featured in Telegragh & Argus and the University of Bradford's website. You can catch up on the radio interview from 1:38:45. 

He has walked 50k so far and raised £110 towards his £200 fundraising goal. Please help Paul reach his target by donating online and raise the vital funds needed to make sure people access the support they need now, and help us push for more tinnitus research.