|The scene of my unwelcome epiphany.|
It was a cold night in the tent when Sue bemoaned the absence of a cricket chorus. It had been cacophonous in our previous August visit, but now she heard nothing.
Said John: "What? I hear crickets. How come I hear crickets with my hearing aids out when you sharp ears can't hear them?"
I figured that my ears were simply playing tricks on me.
Early next morning I could hear a rumbling sort of motor.
"Wait a minute! We're way out in the country. There are no motors out here."
I realized in a rather in-tents (heh heh) and unwelcome epiphany that my miserable body had developed the symptoms of tinnitus to go along with all of my other problems — such as diminishing brain capacity, which is something, believe you me, that I cannot afford.
Ever since that night, I have been aware of a constant sort of roaring, mostly seeming to be in my left ear. The crickets prefer my right ear and are frequently, at least partially, drowned out by the motor-like rumble of the other, louder noise.
Great: two noises for the price of one.
Apparently, when I had previously rejoiced upon being able to hear crickets with my sadly depleted hearing back in August, I had been actually hearing the sound of my own head going a bit bonkers.
How long I have had this condition I know not. I think that for awhile I have assumed that I was simply hearing ambient noise, but that night in the tent in the country revealed that not to be the case.
Fortunately, I manage to put the intruding noise into the background much of the time.
But when I realize that it's there, like right freakin now, I hear it loud and clear.
And I am greatly irked.
From the Mayo Clinic web site
(Kraft or Hellman's, I wonder? What mayo has to do with tinnitus, I know not.)
Tinnitus (TIN-ih-tus) is noise or ringing in the ears. A common problem, tinnitus affects about 1 in 5 people. Tinnitus isn't a condition itself — it's a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.
Although bothersome, tinnitus usually isn't a sign of something serious. Although it can worsen with age, for many people, tinnitus can improve with treatment. Treating an identified underlying cause sometimes helps. Other treatments reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable.
A common cause of tinnitus is inner ear cell damage. Tiny, delicate hairs in your inner ear move in relation to the pressure of sound waves. This triggers ear cells to release an electrical signal through a nerve from your ear (auditory nerve) to your brain. Your brain interprets these signals as sound. If the hairs inside your inner ear are bent or broken, they can "leak" random electrical impulses to your brain, causing tinnitus.