Sash Dublish shares his experience of living with tinnitus and hyperacusis.

My tinnitus journey started in September 2018 following a manual cleaning of ear wax, though I believe tinnitus was inevitable due to exposure to loud music over the years - the ear wax cleaning was just a trigger.

I thought nothing of it

My tinnitus started fairly low, so I thought nothing of it and really continued life as normal. I was DJing, going to nightclubs and using headphones, although I was a little more cautious. Gradually each loud event would make my tinnitus worse, even though I went to events only three or four times a year.

In July 2019, I started experiencing hyperacusis following a house alarm. Initially I was really annoyed at myself, but it couldn’t have been avoided. I have a number of physical symptoms with hyperacusis and it sometimes accentuates the tinnitus.

I can hear it everywhere

Currently, my tinnitus is so loud – it feels around 90 decibels. I can hear it everywhere including the shower. My hyperacusis has improved but all sounds are louder.  I still have symptoms like sensitivity, ear flutter and ear burning. Apart from very loud noises, I have noticed my hyperacusis and tinnitus get a lot worse due to wind speed, when I experience intense migraines, fatigue and nausea the next day.

Unfortunately, due to tinnitus I have had to give up the activities I love like going to football matches, nightclubs, music festivals, DJing and using headphones. That has been the hardest part - it has curtailed my social life significantly. Even a once-a-year trip to an outdoor music festival worsened my tinnitus. Taking flights is hazardous due to changes in air pressure.

I am trying very hard not to focus on sound

I used to wear earplugs when shopping or driving but I hardly wear them now, which I think has helped as I am not so anxious about loud sounds. I am trying very hard not to focus on sound. Anxiety exacerbates my perception of tinnitus.

When I am busy, I do not hear my tinnitus even though it is so loud and noticeable. I do hear it in bed very loudly but luckily most times I am able to nod off easily. I find some form of pink noise doesn’t necessarily mask it, but it helps me sleep better.

I am starting to meditate

I am starting to meditate – it’s still early days but I can see why for some people it could help to distract the mind from the sound of tinnitus.

To beat tinnitus, accept it and try not to think about it – I know, more easily said than done! Keep busy and distracted. There will be ups and down: please do not blame yourself for spikes which will inevitably happen from time to time.

It also helps to talk to people about tinnitus. I have a very good Audiologist and is just nice to speak to someone who understands the condition, even though there is no cure. I am also about to start Tinnitus Retraining Therapy soon.


Tackling tinnitus by yourself can be daunting and can make you feel isolated and alone. The British Tinnitus Association can offer support through our freephone helpline, email, SMS/text and web chat services. Our tinnitus support team has many years of experience supporting people with tinnitus and all our support services are free. 

You can access the British Tinnitus Association's support services via: 

Freephone helpline: 0800 018 0527  

Web chat: www.tinnitus.org.uk  

Email: [email protected]   

Text/SMS: 07537 416841