At my office, there's a defective air conditioning vent on the wall behind my desk. So, from about April through
the end of September, the air roars through like an industrial fan and the temperature can't be controlled, despite various
attempts to fix it. The only solution is to turn the air off completely - in the entire building. That option
is a non-option in the middle of summer for both my colleagues AND me.
Prior to my pulsatile tinnitus, I complained
about the vent noise. A lot. And my office felt like a meat locker - so cold!
But Summer 2009 was
different - my first summer with pulsatile tinnitus. The roar of the air conditioning was my best friend! I happily
brought a wool sweater with me to work each day and was grateful for the air vent that masked my newly acquired whoosh.
Then fall arrived. The air conditioning in the building has been turned off, and oh, how
I miss the white noise. The heat comes through a different pipe, and that pipe works well. Quite, QUIETLY well.
Time to find another way to adjust my office surroundings and manage my whoosh until next summer.
me to www.SimplyNoise.com, a Web site that provides free and easily accessible white noise on their homepage. And no, they're not paying
me to write this; in fact, I found THEM, and I chose to post this because I think the service they provide is great for whooshers.
Plus, the sound files they provide are free of charge.
The lovely people at SimplyNoise.com provide a quick and easy
way to make your own perfect noise masker stream right from your computer. All you do is pick the kind of noise (white,
pink, or brown/red) that best masks the sound you hear, and then you adjust the volume. Voila! You can even choose
the oscillating feature, so that the sound goes in and out, a little bit like the sound of ocean waves. I find that
the steady, non-oscillating sound is a better masker for my pulsatile tinnitus, but the beauty of SimplyNoise.com is that
you create what works for YOU.
These days, the first thing I do when I get to the office is turn on my computer,
connect to the Internet, go to SimplyNoise.com and take a minute or so to create my own white noise stream. I minimize
the window and let it run all day. I find this approach to be much more convenient for my work space than using a traditional
So, dear whooshers, give SimplyNoise.com a try. I think you'll be glad you did! Let us know
what you think.
It occured to me today that I've been whooshing for 8 months. Here's a rough summary:
Oblivion. Just barely noticing the whoosh. It's there, but it's no big deal, right? It'll go away.
Two: A discovery: the whoosh is called pulsatile tinnitus. Googling. Too much Googling. Googling pulsatile
tinnitus is like asking for an anxiety attack. Admission to family and friends: Yes, I hear noises. It's just
one noise, really. It sounds like my heartbeat in my ear. Remember when you were little and you'd put one of those
big shells up to your ear to hear the sound of the ocean? It's like that, but it pulses. Whooooosh. Whooooosh.
It's constant. Yeah, it's like the ocean, but it's not peaceful. Trust me.
Month Three: Anxiety.
Appointments with doctors. Frustration. Missing work. Depression. WORRY. I now understand why
William Shatner almost killed himself because of his tinnitus. I get it. And they say that the beating sound of
pulsatile tinnitus is often worse (and more difficult to mask/ignore) than non-pulsatile. It may be an indicator that
something in my body isn't right. Great. Hello, doctors? Help me? I walked out of a movie and a lovely
classical symphony concert because I couldn't concentrate on anything but the whoosh. This is crazy. CRAZY, I
Month Four: Good days and bad days. Okay, more bad days than good. Finding ways to cope.
Trying all sorts of things. Everything. Seeking advice and pep talks from fellow whooshers. Started this
site. So glad that other whooshers are finding it. There are so many whooshers like me! Some have been whooshing
for years. DECADES! How is this possible? I didn't even know what pulsatile tinnitus was four months ago.
Buying all kinds of weird looking things and devices to mask the sound (I'll end up throwing most of them out). Still,
open to ideas. All except those "cure pulsatile tinnitus by taking this pill" ads that show up as I'm Googling.
Note to self: at some point in life, sue those people for misleading advertisements and for taking advantage of DESPERATE
people like me.
Actually, I challenged them right here on Whooshers.com to contact me with evidence that their claims are legitimate and I haven't yet heard from anyone. Still waiting.
Still not believing a word of it. If you're behind one of these miracle pills and can send me PROOF your pills work
like a charm, or if you're a whoosher who has had relief from said pills, I'd still looove to be proven wrong. But I
Month Five: More bad days than good days. More whooshing. Is it getting louder?
Missing SILENCE. Tired.
Month Six: Trying not to focus on the whooshing. Taking a mental summer break
from the worry related to whooshing. Theoretically, anyway. More appointments with doctors. Moody.
Month Seven: More appointments with doctors. Moody. Still. whoosh. ing.
More good days than bad days. How come? No idea. Maybe all those cheesy songs about time being a healer
are right. The bad days are still pretty bad, but they are less frequent. Still searching for answers. Finding
balance so as not to make myself crazy.
Thanks for voting! If you missed
this poll, it's not too late to participate! Leave an anonymous comment below or send an email to email@example.com with your location and we'll add it to the statistics.
BBC News: "Technique Can Pinpoint Tinnitus" UPDATE
A recent studyat Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan suggests that, with the help of a new imaging technique called
magnetoencephalography (MEG), doctors can isolate the part of the brain that is activated when someone experiences tinnitus.
I'm not a doctor, but my hunch is that this is particularly good news for people who suffer from "regular"
tinnitus (the non-pulsatile kind), since the underlying cause is often more difficult to find in those cases. Nevertheless,
this new technique may provide answers or hints to treatment for us all.
A big thanks to "Steve" for
passing this news along to Whooshers.com!
Also, many thanks to Dr. Susan Bowyer and Dr. Michael Seidman from Henry
Ford Hospital for their work on this study.
UPDATE: CLICK HERE to read an article featuring a pulsatile tinnitus sufferer, written for the UK paper, The Independent, in response to the
Here's an interesting question: Could your dentist have the answer to the underlying cause of your whoosh?
of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), a joint located on each side of your head in front of your ears where the lower jaw
meets your skull, are sometimes responsible for a variety of symptoms, including pulsatile tinnitus.
It's important to point out that many TMJ disorder sufferers do not experience pulsatile tinnitus. However, of the
TMJ disorder sufferers that report hearing varying kinds of noises, many have described the sound as like a heartbeat or a
whooshing, swooshing, throbbing pulse sound in one ear.
Some TMJ disorder sufferers are whooshers! In fact,
if a TMJ disorder is idenitfied as the cause of pulsatile tinnitus, it can often be corrected and cured. Yes, cured!
Are you a whoosher or former whoosher diagnosed with a TMJ disorder? It would be helpful to hear from you about
your symptoms and the circumstances leading to your diagnosis. What kinds of tests did your dentist or physician use
to aid in your diagnosis? Please leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.