“I oftentimes found myself wondering if I could just have a minute of silence.”
Ed Bennett’s first experience with tinnitus came one morning in 1979. Immediately upon waking, he could hear something that wasn’t there the night before.
“It sounded like someone fired a gun near my ear,” said Bennett. “It died down pretty quickly, but never fully went away.”
He is very familiar with that sound of gunfire. As a member of the military for a number of years and after a stint in law enforcement, Bennett experienced plenty of loud noises. But he can’t say his background with firearms is a direct link to his tinnitus. The only obvious correlation he has been able to make is with his medication for high blood pressure. Once when he changed the dosage, his tinnitus increased. After telling his doctor, he was able to reduce the dose and the ringing lessened, but did not disappear.
For a couple of years after his initial tinnitus outbreak, Ed lived with the low-level buzzing and ringing. Finally, it began encroaching on his quality of life. Seeking a treatment, he visited a general practitioner and underwent a few hearing tests and examinations. However, after each one, he didn’t get the answer he wanted. There was nothing that any doctor could do for him but tell him to learn to live with it.
By 2005, the ringing was out of hand. At that point, it disturbed him constantly, never lessening, no matter what he tried.
“I oftentimes found myself wondering if I could just have a minute of silence,” says Bennett. “That’s when I began wondering if death was the only solution.”
The first bit of hope for Bennett came one day when he was reading a local newspaper. He saw an ad for a local audiologist who specialized in treating tinnitus. Immediately, he made an appointment and shortly afterwards was fitted for a Neuromonics Oasis device.
“I find that the Oasis has a tendency to relax me,” says Bennett. “For the first six months I wore it every day for three to four hours. Now I just use it occasionally for tweaking when I need it. Finally, I found the relief I need.”