'I always thought the noises I heard were normal' 

Paul Burrows has had tinnitus for as long as he can remember. He reveals what it's like to live with it.

"I only realised I had the condition in 1994, when my doctor diagnosed me with hearing loss and told me I also had tinnitus. Until then, I always thought the noises I heard were normal, that everyone else heard them.

"I've decided to name all the different sounds I hear because there are so many. The names I give them describe exactly what they sound like. The most obvious one is the sound of the sea.

"I also get whistling, which a lot of people with tinnitus experience, and there's one that I call a flock of seagulls. I've also got one I call television, although it's more like hearing a television in the next room as you can't actually hear what's being said.

"The worst thing about my tinnitus is that I might have the flock of seagulls noise in one ear and the television noise in the other.

"I'm also profoundly deaf, and one night I woke up in the middle of the night and thought I could hear again. I said to my wife, 'I can hear the clock ticking', but it was a sound caused by my tinnitus.

"My hearing loss bothers me but my tinnitus doesn't. It's always been there."

Page last reviewed: 26/06/2015

Next review due: 31/10/2017