"I became aware of the tinnitus about five or six years ago. Although there was no catastrophic event that created the situation, I gradually started to obsess about it and that’s when it became an issue fairly quickly."
It was in 2010 when an unsuspecting Havant, Hampshire resident Gary Breadner was preparing for his impending retirement when he was struck by horrendous tinnitus and hearing loss.
The 65-year-old classic car collector and former European operations manager for a division of Hitachi shares his story with us:
“I became aware of the tinnitus about five or six years ago. Although there was no catastrophic event that created the situation, I gradually started to obsess about it and that’s when it became an issue fairly quickly.”
“The tinnitus had a major effect on my mood and there were points when I thought ‘this is my life; this is what it’s going to be like from now on.’ I didn’t share much about it with my family and kept much of it to myself to a large extent.”
“I was still at work at that point and I believe it did have a bad effect on me at work as my concentration was affected.”
“I went to see a psychologist and tried cognitive behavioural therapy. I also tried hypnotherapy — neither of which made any difference.”
“I then went on to do a huge amount of research to try and establish what my options were as I had been to see the GP and was told I was stuck with it, which I think is the common response. I thought to myself, ‘Well I’m not happy with that’ and did my best to find out more about the condition.”
“I eventually came across the research that was going on in Germany and I think at that point The Tinnitus Clinic had just opened its first clinic on Harley Street. I was reading about it and I thought this looks like something that is an evidence based solution.”
In May 2015, Gary contacted The Tinnitus Clinic to attend an initial assessment with clinical audiologist, Ms Naziya Ghulam and was recommended a combination therapy to help tackle more than one ear related condition simultaneously.
Gary was fitted with both the Acoustic Neuromodulation device to tackle his tinnitus and a digital hearing aid to improve his hearing.
He says: “Although it took me a couple of years before I went to see Naziya, I knew I was at a point where I had to do something about it. My experience with The Tinnitus Clinic has been brilliant and wonderful.”
“It was very important to do the therapy and to also address my hearing loss. The combination of the therapy has really helped me to the extent that it has and it was clear once I started using the hearing aids that I realised I had lost a lot of my hearing.”
“Without sounding too dramatic, I’ve got my life back to be honest and to the extent whereby I hardly notice the tinnitus at all now. The therapy has made a huge difference to my retired life. I am now able to do things without thinking what’s my tinnitus going to be like today.”
“I haven’t used the Acoustic Neuromodulation device lately and I think the last time I used it was two months ago and I sort of feel the job is done. Although I still do use the hearing aids for my hearing.”
“I would definitely say to others struggling with tinnitus and hearing loss that you don’t have to accept it. That’s the main point, you don’t have to accept it and you can do something about it”
Watch our video to learn about the neurological causes of tonal tinnitus.
An important part of my mission at The Tinnitus Clinic is to share our knowledge of tinnitus; its causes, how to prevent it and what to do if you are suffering from the condition. This blog will go some way in achieving this aim.