Hello All, I am a long-term sufferer (35 years). I think I first noticed my tinnitus after a tonsillectomy when I was 6, although it could have been brought on by a couple of high-volume episodes around the same time. Concert going and a career as a musician has over the years increased the level of my tinnitus and has knocked out my 6kHz range, making it hard to make out conversation amidst moderate background noise. I have to stare at people's lips these days, which is getting me a reputation as someone who can't make eye-contact. The level of my tinnitus is high. I can hear it most of the time. I avoid silence as much as I can, preferring to sleep with a radio on, which of course irritates my wife. Also, like many here I guess, I self-medicate with alcohol to help get to sleep. The ringing itself is a high-frequency whine much like the sound emitted by an old cathode ray tube TV when you first turn it on - white noise with a distinct dissonant overtone. Sometimes - and quite randomly – the level will suddenly increase in one ear for a few minutes. These episodes are sharply painful and block out all sound in the affected ear (usually the right one). Lately, my perception of the volume has increased greatly. What was just about tolerable is now unbearable. It's making me very depressed not least at the idea that I may lose my hearing altogether only for the tinnitus to remain. Apologies for the long introduction, but this is the first time I've laid it all out in one place. Looking forward to sharing stories and strategies.