DeafHear Regional News

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DeafHear Antoinette Barry 2013
(Antoinette Barry)

The Melody in my Brain

By: Antoinette Barry

Buzzing, Whistling, Whirring,
Have you heard my tinnitus?

High pitch, low pitch
Where’s the control switch?
You cannot be serious!

You are with me night and day
I want to sleep, you want to play
Buzzing, Whistling, Whirring,

Have you heard my tinnitus?

Humming, drumming never stops
But no one else can hear it
For sure the noise is really there
Yes, you better believe it!


If you are affected by tinnitus, there is support available:

  • The Irish Tinnitus Association (ITA) offer a weekly helpline every Thursday morning between 10.00am–12.00pm.
    Call 01–8175700.

  • DeafHear also offer short Tinnitus Retraining Therapy sessions: contact your local DeafHear Resource Centre for more information.

  • The next ITA Information Seminar is on Saturday, November 23rd in the Ashling Hotel, Dublin. Contact 01-8175700 or email for more information.

Irish Tinnitus Association

Story of the Month: A Personal Story of Tinnitus

This week’s Story of the Month appears in the current edition of DeafHear Matters, DeafHear’s quarterly magazine. It concerns a lady who got tinnitus following a road traffic accident. Tinnitus affects up to 10% of the population, and for 1% of the population it is an extremely upsetting condition. Many people with tinnitus also have some level of hearing loss.

A Personal Story of Tinnitus

My name is Antoinette Barry, I am 47 years old, the mother of two children. I live in Limerick, and work as an administrator. I was diagnosed with tinnitus in 2010 following a road traffic accident which also left me with a hearing loss in my left ear.

Initially I had no idea what the ringing in my ears was and the doctor in the hospital told me I had post concussion syndrome and head trauma. For months after the accident I experienced terrible headaches, balance problems, noise in my ear and horrific nightmares about the accident. My GP, who is excellent, prescribed medication for my headaches and balance problems. I was advised to see a psychiatrist about my nightmares but there seemed to be no one who could help me with my tinnitus. The general consensus seemed to be that once you experience tinnitus it never leaves you and there is no cure.

Initially I found it very diffcult to cope with my tinnitus, especially at night time when it just seemed to get louder and never go away. I had started to cut myself off socially, had become withdrawn in myself and felt lonely and isolated as I could not come to terms with what was happening to me or how I was feeling. I felt anxious in crowds and because of my hearing loss I was also struggling in group situations.

Tinnitus Support Helpline

It was only when I was in Galway visiting an audiologist that I saw a poster on the notice board of the waiting room with the contact details for a Tinnitus Support Helpline. I immediately made contact and was so happy to speak to a gentleman on the Dublin Tinnitus Helpline. He listened and understood me when I said I thought I was going mad with the noises in my head. He explained to me that tinnitus was not going to take over my life and that while there is no magic tablet to take it away, with help and support you can learn to live with it.

He gave me the contact details for DeafHear in Limerick and my GP referred me to Geraldine Colleran, Hearing Therapist. Geraldine was marvellous and has been and continues to be so understanding and supportive as she helps me to habituate to my tinnitus. I find it challenging, and particularly at night time, I listen to the CDs that Geraldine recommended. I also wear an in–the–ear sound generator eight hours a day.

On-going Treatment

I was also fitted with a hearing aid last year which has addressed my hearing loss and to some extent my balance issues. To this day I remain on medication for headaches and still have nightmares about the accident. However, without the support of Geraldine and the facilities of DeafHear I would still be in that lonely place of anxiety and isolation that I felt when I was first diagnosed with tinnitus.
I have recently started Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Geraldine as part of my on-going treatment for tinnitus and find that this type of treatment is working for me.

Happy Ending?

This is my story and like all stories you read, you wish for a happy ending which should probably read like I no longer have tinnitus and lived happily ever after. But as anyone who has tinnitus knows that is not the case. So the ending to my story is this: yes, I still have tinnitus but with the help and support I have received, in particular from DeafHear, I am learning to live with it.
Tinnitus is now part of my life, part of my being, and while if I am 100% honest I would say I don’t like having it, I will never again feel the way I did about my tinnitus the day before I made the call to the Irish Tinnitus Association because now I know there is help out there, there are people who listen and understand.

And at the end of the day no matter what problem or concern a person has, if you are listened to and understood and have professionally trained people to help you, you are certainly in a better place than when you started. And thats where I am.




more...Hearing loss costs an estimated €2.2bn every year in Ireland.


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