Thursday, January 21, 2016 07:37 AM

THE SOUND THAT COMES FROM NOWHERE

Melanie West, 63, has had a ringing in her ears as long as she can remember. When she was a kid in the 50s and 60s, it was a high-pitched sound in both ears that her doctors did not believe existed. I would go from doctor to doctor explaining, I hear this sound inside of my head, and it wont let me sleep. I was having a hard time concentrating, and they would tell me that I dont have it, she says. When West was stressed, or hadnt had enough sleep, it would get worse and her grades would plummet. Once, the noise made her so tense that she broke a hairbrush she was holding.

The trouble with tinnitusthe medical term for ear-ringingis theres really no good way to measure a sound that only the patient can hear. Interest in and recognition of the condition has improved in the past couple decades, partly thanks to advances in brain science. But when West, now the CEO and chair of the board of directors of the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), was young, it was less understood.

Over time, she adapted. She read a lot of psychology books and says those helped. She started to ...

News source: The Atlantic

See also: Nashville ENT