Anyone, of any neurotype, can suffer with tinnitus. The sounds that cause discomfort vary between individuals but they are likely to involve very high and/or deeply pitched, repetitive sounds such as hissing, buzzing and ringing. The key difference between tinnitus and other sound sensitivities are that these are internal sounds. In many ways, this makes them even more distressing, because we cannot shut them out.

Tinnitus has many causes and consequently it affects many people. A non-exhaustive list:

  • It can occur as a result of trauma to the eardrum, such as perforation.
  • Its onset can coincide with migraines.
  • It can be temporary or permanent.
  • It is often reported to be worse when experiencing greater periods of stress.
  • Certain prescription medications can cause or worsen tinnitus symptoms.
  • It is a frequently co-occurring condition for many neurodivergencies including:
  • Wearing headphones and listening to loud music both generally worsen symptoms.
  • Wearing ear plugs makes symptoms worse.
  • Silent environments make symptoms more noticeable.

The sad part about the last three points in this list is that many neurodivergent people are specifically employing all of those coping strategies to combat stress by reducing sensory overload from external stimuli. They are also very useful for improving our chances of a decent sleep. What a cruel twist that is.

There are a number of other strategies that help ease tinnitus for some people: Click here → for a link to Tinnitus UK and this link → will take you to their page on hyperacusis. There is a world of information on their site, including tinnitus simulations, a Helpline if your tinnitus is causing you distress or you need further advice. They also have information on local support groups.