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"It was literally driving me completely and utterly mental. I’ve never been so depressed in my life. You can’t escape it and the more you get wound up the worse it gets."
Matthew Hood’s first experience of tinnitus was as a young teenager on a German exchange programme. He went to a disco, and remembers his ears ringing for days afterwards. A couple of years later, he attended a loud Bon Jovi concert and the tinnitus started again – only this time it didn’t go away.
By the age of 25, the strain of living with tinnitus was severely affecting Matthew’s mood and his ability to sleep. His parents recommended visiting a hospital, where he was told that he would have to get used to it and given a white noise generator.
Things improved for a while, then, in March 2012, Matthew moved house. His new flat was quieter, and all of a sudden he noticed his tinnitus a lot more:
“It was literally driving me completely and utterly mental. I’ve never been so depressed in my life. You can’t escape it and the more you get wound up the worse it gets.”
It was at this point that Matthew read in the Daily Mail about The Tinnitus Clinic and Acoustic CR® Neuromodulation, and booked himself in for an assessment. While Matthew’s tinnitus pitch was too high for Acoustic CR® Neuromodulation therapy, the Clinic’s Principal Scientific Audiologist Mark Williams was able to apply an acoustic prescription to Matthew's tinnitus pitch using customised hearing devices.“When I first had them I was using them for a minimum of six hours. Then I slowly stopped using them in the day and just used them in the evening when I was watching TV."
Alongside wearing his device, Matthew has undertaken a course of treatment known as Tinnitus Desensitisation Therapy™ (TDT). While this hasn’t cured Matthew’s tinnitus, he finds that he can now cope with the noise much better. He finds that he no longer has to play loud music to drown out his tinnitus. Instead, he knows he can get relief by listening to the acoustic prescription programmed into his device.
“Sometimes if I am tired or a bit stressed with work or something then the ringing’s really loud… then I will just get the device and put it in my ear and give myself a bit of break. I can turn it up loud or quiet depending on how I feel and that makes me feel more in control.”
When we interviewed him recently, he said, “I am in a very quiet room and I am focused on talking... Right now as I’m talking to you, I can’t really hear the ringing.”
For someone who, a year ago, described himself as being at ‘rock bottom’ because of his tinnitus, this is an incredibly positive change.
"I am in a very quiet room and I am focused on talking... Right now as I’m talking to you, I can’t really hear the ringing."
Watch our video to learn about the neurological causes of tonal tinnitus.
The Tinnitus Clinic has clinics throughout the UK
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.