Tinnitus and Reading Books

Discussion in 'Support' started by steve-m, May 20, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. steve-m

      steve-m Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced from earbuds
      I've had tinnitus for about 6 weeks now and I'm finding it very distracting and irritating when trying to read. Has anyone else struggled with this and managed to find ways of getting their concentration back? Thanks!
       
    2. Reinier
      Not amused

      Reinier Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Explosion starting engine
      I can only say I have the same experience. I have had tinnitus for roughly one year and reading is still a problem.
      So I have not yet habituated to my tinnitus.
      But everybody is different. So perhaps other people habituate faster.
      Not much help, I know, just sharing experience.
       
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    3. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I read a fair amount, maybe 1-200 pages a week on average, more when I travel. Mostly fiction. I do most of that in silence.

      Tinnitus can be pretty distracting, but I'm not convinced that on the whole I am any more distracted reading than I was before I had tinnitus; it's just got a different focal point now.
       
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    4. Engineer
      Creative

      Engineer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/20/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely acoustic hearing loss
      Keep reading, it's fantastic for getting your mind off T. When I first got T it was hard, it took me 8 to 10 pages but then my mind would let it go. Don't give up, your brain will get better and better on focusing on what you want to do instead of the T. Best wishes, Trebor
       
    5. steve-m

      steve-m Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced from earbuds
      @Reinier I'm really sorry to hear that but thanks for the honesty. It is a depressing consequence of tinnitus, hopefully you will habituate soon

      @linearb and @Engineer Thanks, it's a relief to read your comments! I love reading too, especially fiction, and would hate to think that I've lost the ability to get completely absorbed in a good book. I've started to try masking but find that a bit distracting too just because I suppose I'm so used to reading in silence.
      I guess I should probably ditch the masking though as otherwise I won't be able to habituate... and it would be a bit strange to find myself in a world where it never ever stops raining!!
       
    6. Engineer
      Creative

      Engineer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/20/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely acoustic hearing loss
      I like your sense of humor! Yes, some of these masking tracks get old and repeatable :).

      Once you lose the anxiety associated with your T noise, your brain will not want to listen to your T any more than it wants to listen to road noise while driving, wind while walking, traffic, or any other noise that it regularly puts in the background. Unfortunately, it's a long and slow process.
       
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    7. V2016

      V2016 Member

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ear infection
      I read a lot! I'm a graduate student, so reading is part of what I do for a living. Oddly, I've found it much easier to concentrate on my "work" reading than the reading I do for fun. I think somehow reading denser texts means trying to follow the nuances of the argument absorbs my brain and distracts me from the T rather than the other way around.
       
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    8. IreneO
      Busy

      IreneO Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Dublin, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head trauma
      As others have said: it takes time, but keep trying and you'll be able to focus on reading again. I was only able to focus on "light" reading in early habituation, but I'm gradually getting back to my usual ponderous tomes, hooray.
       
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    9. Zug

      Zug Member Benefactor

      Reading? I'm planning on going back to writing them :p

      I used to read a lot, about 50/100 pages a day of Nonfiction and graduate level texts. At the beginning it was very hard. I was wrongly trying to get to my "old" level and felt constantly frustrated. What worked for me was taking a step back and starting again.

      I began reading magazines, then some longer articles, short stories and finally got to a book. I read my first book 6 months into T, and that was a much easier book than the types I would read before. Now I'm starting to take on more heavy challenges, currently I'm reading an advanced level 550p. long Finance book. It will take me some time but I'll do it.

      So, my advice to you is start easy, move on from there. Don't even try to compare yourself to "before". Also, if you're feeling frustrated (and you probably will, I even cried when trying to read that first book), let it be, give it a moment and try again another time.

      At first it was very hard, still is sometimes. but what is difficult is now getting easier, so I guess it's a one step at a time thing.

      If it's meaningful to you don't give up.
       
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    10. Lorac

      Lorac Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden profound hearing loss in left ear.
      Reading is what helped me cope in the beginning. I couldn't stand to be around sound. I hated the sounds of television and music. Reading in a quiet room was my best option.
       
    11. Sailboardman
      Frustrated

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.
      I read a book a week, fiction, mostly by Baldacci, DeMille, Crichton, Grisham, etc. I read in bed with a noise machine running. I could never read in a quiet situation. I can't even sit in a quiet room, without going insane with the noise!
       
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    12. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      I've had severe tinnitus and pulsatile tinnitus for six years now. In the beginning, I was devastated, because I couldn't stand to sit still in a quiet room and read a book as I used to.

      I started back gradually, reading short articles in magazines, then short stories, and finally finished a book several years ago. Now, I'm reading at my normal level again, and am a member of a book club. I've just finished reading "The Goldfinch", which was 771 pages.

      You can do it; just find a way to be comfortable, whether it's with a sound machine in the background or silence, and start slowly. It is possible to do the things you love again; just be patient, and don't be too hard on yourself!

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
    13. steve-m

      steve-m Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced from earbuds
      Just wanted to thank all of you for your advice and encouragement! I have persisted with reading and can fortunately say that my concentration has improved a good bit these last few days. The weather has been great lately and I've been reading a lot in my garden, where I don't really notice the T so much. At night I mask with rain sounds and even though at the beginning I found this a bit distracting, it is gradually getting better.

      I also use rain sounds to sleep at night and have been wondering if it's a bit overkill. It relieves my anxiety by taking my mind off my T but then I worry that I'm just preventing habituation as surely I can't live the rest of my life constantly surrounded by white noise?! Or who knows, maybe I'll have to!

      Anyway thanks again for all the encouraging advice! :)
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    14. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I have the same problem. Concentrating on things for a short duration is doable, but for long periods of time it's difficult for me now.
       

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