My tinnitus has been really bad in my left ear for about 6 weeks now.
I'm not able to sleep well and the noise is constant and very annoying. The only relief I can get is by listening to music or a running shower but it can't be loud as it will worsen the ringing.
I went to see an ENT specialist today who did a range of hearing tests on me and he's pretty sure I have an abnormality in my inner ear (cochlea) that makes me very prone to tinnitus.
Thankfully the sitaution in terms of treating tinnitus is not as grim as it was back in 1994 when I first got the condition. There is medication available and also ways to "trick" your brain into blocking out the tinnitus sounds via cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Research over the past 15 or so years, according to this consultant, points to tinnitus being both an inner ear and ear/brain condition of which there is an awful lot to still understand.
But I came away from my visit in better form and it's great to know that there is support out there now.
Link to Irish Tinnitus Association Homepage: http://www.deafhear.ie/DeafHear/irishTinnitusAssociation.html