This article is from the Tinnitus FAQ, by email@example.com (Mark Bixby) with numerous contributions by others.
Here is one sufferer's advice:
What caused my tinnitus? Everyone asks that question.
For some of us, there was an illness, injury, or incident that
seems directly related to the onset of tinnitus. I'm not sure how
valuable being able to answer this question is, but at least it
seems to be answered.
For others, the onset is sudden, but for no obvious reason. For
these people, it may be frustrating not knowing "why" but I'm not
sure of the value of dwelling on this question.
For others like myself, the onset was gradual, over the years.
Then, about a year ago, the pace of the onset increased to where
I am now aware 100% of the time that it's there. If I'm active, I
don't notice it. But if there's a lull in my mental or physical
activity or if I think about it, it's there.
The point I want to make with this post is: Just as "Sh-t
Happens", I'm afraid "Tinnitus Happens", too. And we're the
victims, albeit to widely varying degrees.
Unless it can provide a path towards treatment (and only your
doctor can determine this), I don't think it is useful to dwell
heavily on the "why".
In my case, I fired shotguns with no ear protection when I was a
kid & I listened to some too-loud music a few times. But that's
all irrelevant now.
I've got tinnitus. At present, there's no known treatment for me.
So, here's what I'm doing about it:
* I accept that I have tinnitus and I've dispensed with "why".
* I recognize that it is my problem, not the problem of my
friends, family, & business associates. I don't complain
about it to anyone.
* If, because of my tinnitus, I need to ask someone to repeat
themselves, I simply ask. No apologies, no explanations.
* I will monitor my need to ask for repeats. If I have an
underlying hearing loss, I may need a hearing aid. As
unattractive to me as getting a hearing aid may be, it is my
responsibility to have my hearing evaluated & take
appropriate measures. It is not the responsibility of the
people around me to act as hearing aids.
* I will attempt the various herbal remedies, giving them
enough time to see if they're effective. However, for my own
sanity, I will accept my present condition as the "zero base
line". If a remedy helps, that's a "plus". If it doesn't, I
remain at the baseline. In other words, failure to be helped
by a possible treatment is not a negative. I will not allow
disappointment or despair at a treatment failure to get me
* Whatever the seriousness of my tinnitus, I will remember
that others have it much worse & still others have just been
diagnosed. These are the people who need my support and
encouragement. I will offer it when I meet them and by
posting to this newsgroup. I realize that by helping others,
I am also helping me.
Comments always welcome.