Patsy Cullen | The Tinnitus Clinic

"The tinnitus took its toll. I couldn't eat or sleep properly, I couldn’t do anything. In 2014 I gave up on the NHS and started to do my own research and that is how I found The Tinnitus Clinic."

Patsy Cullen

Patsy Cullen, a retired nurse, noticed her tinnitus starting in 2010. It wasn’t gradual but suddenly came on one day. She first heard the noise, a buzzing sound when she was in the car and could still hear it when she got out. At first she thought it might be ear wax in her ears that was causing the problem, but the noise got worse quite quickly. She also occasionally experienced a whistling sound too but this was mild in comparison.

Patsy takes up her story. “The noise just got worse and worse and became a bit of a nightmare. I started to feel ill with it, I lost weight, two or three stone in fact. I felt dreadful I couldn’t do anything, I could’t go out and was often in bed for long stretches. The tinnitus was so loud and so intrusive. It got so bad I could’t even look after my dogs, my labrador and two terriers. And for me not to be able to get my dogs out, it must have been bad. Fortunately a friend took them and looked after them for awhile.

“I went to my local GP Surgery and two different ENT specialists and they were not able to offer me any help."

People say, “Oh tinnitus, well it’s not life threatening", but it jolly well can be. I have heard of people committing suicide. Anyway its just awful and I was like it for years.

During this period I moved to Cornwall on the coast. The tinnitus took its toll. I couldn't eat or sleep properly, I couldn’t do anything. In 2014 I gave up on the NHS and started to do my own research and that is how I found The Tinnitus Clinic. Their nearest clinic to me at the time was Cheltenham and that is where I saw Kathryn the audiologist who was lovely and very knowledgeable.

The tests were extensive and so much trouble taken over them. I was prescribed hearing aids for tinnitus and these were adjusted specifically for my tinnitus. I could hear the sound from the devices and it was quite pleasant and distracted me from the buzzing tinnitus sound. After a few months the buzzing was hardly noticeable. I only occasionally heard the tinnitus when I was in a car or when I laid down, but this sound was only temporary. One day I was surprised that when I put my hands up to my ears I hadn’t actually put the devices in, but my tinnitus was so quiet."

“After awhile my tinnitus was so much better I was able to lead a normal life again."

"More recently I noticed a slight increase in the tinnitus, but it was hardly noisy, it was just that I was so used to not hearing anything. So I thought I would get Kathryn to check up on things and see if the devices needed adjusting before using them again.

Kathryn explains the importance of adjusting the devices closer to the sound of the patients changing tinnitus. “At the beginning of treatment, audiologists at The Tinnitus Clinic perform a range of special tests to ensure the right device is chosen for the patient and at fitting it is fine tuned to provide the required relief from tinnitus. Patients may need their devices adjusting several times to maintain effectiveness against the changing tinnitus sound. So that’s why we include ongoing follow-ups within our packages of care. You can’t just buy any type of hearing aid for tinnitus management, neither can you always expect to use the original prescription indefinitely to obtain sustainable relief from the tinnitus."

Patsy continues to keep her tinnitus under control and in summing up Patsy says, “my whole experience of The Tinnitus Clinic was just brilliant and I would unreservedly recommend the Clinic."

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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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