Imagine this: 47 Years old, at the height of your career, happily married with 4 young children, you are thriving. Everything is running smoothly, better than you’d dreamed possible and kabam! you are hit with a sudden, debilitating ringing in the ears. This is the story of a longtime patient we’ll call David.
A successful business consultant of 20 years, David recalls how back in 2006 while driving his 4 kids home from a fishing vacation, he was struck with a bothersome static in his head that did not go away. Some call it ringing, others buzzing, whistling or chirping; whatever one perceives the niggling sound as, it can be very bothersome. These internal sounds are referred to as tinnitus.
Unfortunately, David’s experience is not uncommon. It is believed that 1 in 5 people suffer with some level of tinnitus which can range from occasionally bothersome to completely debilitating. David’s condition quickly became debilitating.
For the next six months, David dealt with a constant headache along with the static. As an independent business consultant, he could continue work as able. For him, that meant he attended only the most crucial meetings. Taking valium to manage the symptoms, he was unable to drive. His wife drove him to meetings and waited until the meeting was finished to drive him home. The noise allowed him fitful and short nights of sleep. For him, getting a solid hour of sleep was a successful night.
Those around him were also affected by the condition. His roles as father and husband were greatly limited by the constant headaches, bothersome static and fatigue. He was irritable all the time, tired and had no interest in participating in activities. He recalls that a conversation with neighbors was impossible due to pain and an inability to focus. There was no blocking the internal noise; the static and headaches persisted. And no one could help.
Through his 6 months of suffering, David saw at least 7 doctors, from general practitioners to neurologists, to ENT specialists. One doctor told him he looked as if he had spent 20 years standing next to an active cannon. They prescribed steroids, anti-depressants, painkillers, prescription sleep medications, and a variety of other medications for conditions they erroneously suspected. While he bounced from one medication to another, each with accompanying side effects, none touched the brunt of the issue. The exhaustion caused by living with tinnitus left him in a fog, losing weight along with his excitement for life. He lacked energy, lost 20 pounds and his hope for relief faded.
Finally, he found an audiologist who prescribed hearing aids and a Neuromonics device, a tinnitus management tool used to promote new neural pathways in the brain. When no one else could, this provider explained what exactly was happening in his head and how the devices would work to alleviate his suffering.
That night, after six months of suffering, David’s headache disappeared. Amazed, the next day he immediately purchased the devices. After 4 months of using the hearing aids and his Neuromonics device, David was happy with a good level of functioning. After 6 months, he was back to a high level of functioning. The headaches were gone and the static was manageable. Some nights, the static would disturb his sleep; he needed merely to reinsert the devices to sleep again. David felt renewed. When he had lost hope for any sense of a normal life, someone had finally correctly diagnosed David’s underlying condition: severe hearing loss accompanied by tinnitus. Today, David’s tinnitus is managed with Widex Zen therapy, a hearing aid device that conveys sound stimulation using fractal technology to relax the brain.
Although it can be attributed to other things, underlying hearing loss usually accompanies tinnitus. Many tinnitus sufferers have been told by multiple experts to “just live with it” and don’t believe anything can be done. At Hearing Associates of Las Vegas, Robyn Edgson knows how to manage tinnitus. She uses a variety of methods depending on your unique situation. If you know what it’s like to live with tinnitus, make an appointment with us today to get real tinnitus relief. Ms. Edgson understands tinnitus and can help return you to a high quality of life in spite of the ringing in your ears.