"The loudness of music made the tinnitus louder and it took a very long time for it to go away. Many of the things that I would enjoy like social gatherings and parties, I didn’t do."

Diana Willis




Diana worked in the civil service, and took early retirement when she reached 55 and then did part-time home help for elderly ladies which she enjoyed.

It was about 8 years ago when Diana first noticed the tinnitus sound which was a mixture of whistling, buzzing sounds.

She noticed that when she hears a sharp loud noise like a dog barking it would make the tinnitus worse.

“I went and saw the GP as soon as I got the tinnitus. I just said I’ve got a funny noise in my ears. I didn’t have a clue what it was. I thought it would be something that would go.” He said, “we can’t do anything about it, you just have to live with it.”

"My GP told me "we can’t do anything about it, you just have to live with it."

“I eventually I went to see the hearing therapy people for about a year, it was nice to talk to somebody who understood what you were having to live with. I then got used to it and was able to deal with it. I was quite happy going to the theatre for example, however loud music I found hard to deal with.

Then 2 years ago, the old dog I had at the time got very ill and without realising it I became very upset, and when she went it seemed to make my tinnitus far, far worse.

I didn’t know what I was having to deal with really. So I went back to the GP practice again. By then I was in such a mess and depressed so the GP put me on anti-depressants to sort me out that way, then she referred me to the hospital to the hearing therapist. I told her that the previous Doctor had said there was nothing we could do and she said we can’t cure it but we can get you help to deal with it.

I was referred again to the hearing therapist at the hospital. I went back and it helped a bit, the therapist got me on a relaxation course, which does help to a certain extent because the calmer you are the more you can deal with it.

I love the theatre and I used to go to musicals but in those last couple of years I wasn’t brave enough to go because it made it worse. The loudness of the music made the tinnitus louder and it took a very long time for it to go away. Many of the things that I would enjoy like social gatherings and parties, I didn’t do. I avoided going anywhere where there was noise, such as the supermarket, going out for meals or the pub. I just didn’t want to go in because it was too noisy.

I still felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere and then I saw the advertisement for The Tinnitus Clinic.

"I saw the advertisement for The Tinnitus Clinic and thought there is nothing else that seems to be working, you’re struggling on your own, go and see them."

"I found that it helped, when you can talk to someone that understands – that’s half the battle in a way.”

Kathryn Paynter, Senior Audiologist at The Tinnitus Clinic in Cheltenham explained Diana’s audiological and tinnitus profile “Diana’s hearing test showed she had a mild to moderate hearing loss, worse for high-pitched sounds such as ‘s’ and ‘th’, which typically provide much of the clarity of speech. This is often worse in noisy environments or when listening to complex sound sources such as TV, where speech is accompanied by music and other background sounds. Diana’s tinnitus was about the same pitch as this area of her hearing loss.

Her treatment involved helping her to hear more clearly and reducing her awareness of the tinnitus through using very personalised hearing devices and supporting therapies. This gave her control over her tinnitus for the first time. Diana has responded really well to therapy and finds her tinnitus much less invasive and more manageable. I am so pleased that the treatment has also helped enable her to go back to some of the activities she enjoyed previously.”

Diana continues, “it has been a year since I have been treated by Kathryn. My tinnitus is much better, it has definitely helped. It is more in the background than it ever used to be.

It is definitely more than 50% better. I can have the television on louder and the hearing aids are no bother at all.

Now there are occasions where I am not aware of the tinnitus, if I’m talking to somebody I have forgotten about it, it’s gone out of my head.

I did go to the theatre in Cheltenham with a friend but it was only a play with no music and I dealt with that and the noise of the audience. That was at the beginning of the year, about 4 or 5 months after I started the treatment and had the tinnitus hearing aids.

Now after the treatment we went on holiday this year, for the first time in over a year and while we were away we went on a train, which before made my tinnitus far worse!

I think it is a combination of things that have helped me overcome the tinnitus, everything has contributed to it even just the talking to people. That is a huge thing, being able to talk to people who understand it.

You hear all these professional words about it, words you don’t understand and the more you hear the more it winds you up which makes it worse. The opposite of that is someone like Kathryn at The Tinnitus Clinic, who quietly explains something to you so you understand it and you feel some one cares.

I wouldn’t have got to where I am today without Kathryn, she has definitely helped, it was money well spent. I feel more in control, that you can deal with it. It has freed up my life a lot.

When I saw Kathryn last, she said “you are doing very well, carry on as you are.” She does feel like I could still get more improvement, which is nice to hear. It might take a while but she still thinks that it could get better.

I want to be able to say that she is the best person to go to. Go there instead of just going to the hospital because the hospital, the NHS, is limited in what they can do.”

"I wouldn’t have got to where I am today without Kathryn, she has definitely helped, it was money well spent. I feel more in control, that you can deal with it. It has freed up my life a lot."


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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.


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