Thursday, 4 November 2010


Off to see the tinnitus nurse yesterday. Or should that be "off to hear the tinnitus nurse yesterday"? My hopes were not high.... “There’s good news and bad news Mr Hay. The good news is that your hearing loss isn’t severe enough, yet, to warrant a hearing aid. The bad news is that without a hearing aid your tinnitus will still bother you.”

Well, I know I’m a negative “glass half empty” type, but I was buggered if I could find the good news tucked away there. Oh. and thanks for the "yet".
Apparently. I have reverse “cookie-bite” hearing loss. What?? It was on the tip of my tongue to inform the nurse that “a” in this country we refer to them as “biscuits” and “b” other than ramming a rich-tea, a jaffa-cake, or some such into my lug, how the hell can biscuits cause hearing loss?

Not a Biscuit
But no. It simply refers to the shape of the wee graph produced from your hearing test.
Sadly I have full hearing in the “mid range”. That, apparently, covers most “normal” conversation. I say “normal” because I can’t really make out high pitched sounds, so quite often that hideous high pitched nasally whine that passes for speech in the DGP goes right past me (oh – there’s the good news).
Anyhoo. This biscuit induced form of loss means that bass sounds and high sounds are lost and replaced by the static hiss of tinnitus. So, as I pointed out to the nurse I’m twice dammed as I can’t really hear Arild Anderson bass solos or Andy Sheppard soprano sax solos, BUT I can make out my colleagues talking shite?
Strangely, silence makes the tinnitus worse (seldom a problem when working for civil servants). So it’s been suggested that having noise in the background can help. Now, this means noise that you don’t want to concentrate on as such. You don’t want to be distracted by it. Something bland…. Michael-bloody-Buble for example.
Sadly, for me, actively listening to music (i.e. concentrating on it) can heighten awareness of the dreaded hisssssssss as well. In general, having music on in the background is OK, but concentrating on it sparks it off. Bollocks. That's why I buy music ... to actively listen to it. If I just wanted background music I'd probably be able to get away with about a quarter of what I've got.
Now. I don't know what sort of "vibes" I give off, or indeed if the nurse had already spoken to someone who knows me, but apparently tinnitus can be aggravated by tension and stress (oh...goody). So it might not be a bad idea if I were to "try and lighten up a bit". Well, lets not hold our breath waiting on that one.

I was so despondent that when I came out I immediately headed down the royal mile to one of my favourite second hand CD shops ("Unknown Pleasures"). There I purchased five albums from my Jedburgh winnings that I shall now try to listen to "inactively".

I'm also going to fiddle about with my equalizer - see if I can't increase (slightly) the frequencies that I'm having problems with.

No comments: