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Walking the Camino with Tinnitus?

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Bjørk Søfelt

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(July-August, 2014)
I am to walk the Camino in about a month and I am very excited about it! There is just one thing that worries me: I have recently got tinnitus and now I am now not sure if I can go trough with it. I have read a lot about how peoples' mood and mental state had change on their Camino and I hope that my problem might be manageable. Is there anyone who can relate to this, or maybe tell me what I should consider before going?

I appreciate all answers .

Buen Camino!
 

homa_bird

Member
Hmmmm, interesting. Heartfelt compassion to you! I've had severe tinnitus for nearly 40 years. It was devastating in the first five years; the thought that the ringing would never stop, that there was no escape, was anguishing. In seeking home, I drifted towards the ocean, I'm sure for the comfort of the white noise (the cancellation of the ringing), and places where it is utterly silent like mountains (where the ringing is loudest) I would avoid.

But....I've come to just be at home with it. I stopped thinking of myself as a "tinnitus sufferer" a long time ago. There is silence within tinnitus. There is, oddly, comfort. It is uniquely yours, no one else can hear it: I pray you can come to a place of acceptance. It is, after all, the sound of your own blood stream flowing. Tinnitus doesn't have to interfere with your peace of mind, or your intellectual or spiritual progress. It may, in fact, as all adversity tends to, accelerate your progress.

I would say the Camino may be the best possible place to come to terms with this lifelong diagnosis. You will forget about it for hours on end with the challenges of the walk, the beauty of the surroundings, the unexpected connections. Awareness of the din may come crashing back as you lie in bed trying to sleep, but I think, honestly, we are all plagued and beset and haunted by one thing or another when the lights go out, from time to time.

Good luck to you, from one tinnitus pilgrim to another. Solve by walking, solve by loving. The Camino is so generous on both these fronts.
 

Bjørk Søfelt

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(July-August, 2014)
Hmmmm, interesting. Heartfelt compassion to you! I've had severe tinnitus for nearly 40 years. It was devastating in the first five years; the thought that the ringing would never stop, that there was no escape, was anguishing. In seeking home, I drifted towards the ocean, I'm sure for the comfort of the white noise (the cancellation of the ringing), and places where it is utterly silent like mountains (where the ringing is loudest) I would avoid.

But....I've come to just be at home with it. I stopped thinking of myself as a "tinnitus sufferer" a long time ago. There is silence within tinnitus. There is, oddly, comfort. It is uniquely yours, no one else can hear it: I pray you can come to a place of acceptance. It is, after all, the sound of your own blood stream flowing. Tinnitus doesn't have to interfere with your peace of mind, or your intellectual or spiritual progress. It may, in fact, as all adversity tends to, accelerate your progress.

I would say the Camino may be the best possible place to come to terms with this lifelong diagnosis. You will forget about it for hours on end with the challenges of the walk, the beauty of the surroundings, the unexpected connections. Awareness of the din may come crashing back as you lie in bed trying to sleep, but I think, honestly, we are all plagued and beset and haunted by one thing or another when the lights go out, from time to time.

Good luck to you, from one tinnitus pilgrim to another. Solve by walking, solve by loving. The Camino is so generous on both these fronts.
Thank you for this great answer!
This was in many ways what I need to hear. I am thrilled that I can go and enjoy my camino without have to worry too much about my "sound". I am also very glad to hear that you can, eventually, be comfortable with your tinnitus, as I am having quite some troubles accepting my condition.
I will return and let you know how my trip went.

Kind regards and Buen Camino!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
I am to walk the Camino in about a month and I am very excited about it! There is just one thing that worries me: I have recently got tinnitus and now I am now not sure if I can go trough with it. I have read a lot about how peoples' mood and mental state had change on their Camino and I hope that my problem might be manageable. Is there anyone who can relate to this, or maybe tell me what I should consider before going?

I appreciate all answers .

Buen Camino!
I do not know if listening to alternative sounds helps distract from tinnitus but I carry a tiny iPod on Camino. I really enjoy listening to music as I walk, not all the time but sometimes on long stretches, or to lift myself when the going is tough. I've also found it very helpful at night in the albergues, trying to get to sleep.

I will be thinking of you and asking that you find peace, even if not silence. Go well.
 

CaminoKris2013

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2014)
Having had tinnitus for years, I look forward to hearing nature as well. To me, it is not debilitating but annoying...sometimes I wonder if it is not related to all the artificial noises we are surrounded by.

My concern isn't during the Camino but after...that can be an issue, but I still would never back away from this experience for anything.


Sent from my iPhone using Camino de Santiago Forum
 

fortview

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances Sept/oct 2012 , Salvador, Primitivo 2013
Cotswold Way July 2014
European Peace Walk August 2014 (John)
Hi I am another one with tinnitus! I find it worse in very quiet places. But I want to tell you, that when walking the camino, I just hardly notice it. There's so much else to notice, so much joy, and people to meet , it fades into the background. Good luck with your journey, don't let it put you off, and buen camino!
Helen
 

ChristineW67

Member
Camino(s) past & future
June "2014"
I am to walk the Camino in about a month and I am very excited about it! There is just one thing that worries me: I have recently got tinnitus and now I am now not sure if I can go trough with it. I have read a lot about how peoples' mood and mental state had change on their Camino and I hope that my problem might be manageable. Is there anyone who can relate to this, or maybe tell me what I should consider before going?

I appreciate all answers .

Buen Camino!
Hello Bjork,

I am sorry to hear of your tinnitus. I was diagnosed in 2009 with Meniere's Disease. It comes with vertigo, hearing loss, and a good dose of tinnitus. I don't have ringing, but a roaring in the ear, kind of like holding a seashell to the ear. At first, it was overwhelming. I still get overwhelmed and cranky when there are competing noises - like TV, a fan, and conversations all happening at once. This makes going out to public places challenging. I used to take a small dose valium to help when going to noisy places. Now I just try to relax and accept the confusion as a temporary situation and understand that it is the condition and not others trying to wreck my day. Sometimes I use headphones or earplugs when really confused and annoyed. But I usually find that a hefty shot of vodka does the trick.

For me, I try to see the condition for what it is, a slight inconvenience that can't stop me. I hope you'll see it that way too. Good Luck,
Christine
 

musicagl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part 1 - May 2011
Part 2 - May 2012
Part 3 - June 2014
Finisterre (for mom) Fall 2016
I've had tinnitus since age 12 and am now sixty-something...As an earlier poster noted, there is so much going on on the Camino that the brain is able to ignore the whine, screech, whatever you have, in the ear. Its still there; you just don't notice it. When my tinnitus gets to me, I try focusing on another sense such as smell, touch or sight. And when I'm listening to birds or the wind, or leaves rustling in a tree, the focus on another sound dwarfs the tinnitus. Our brains (fortunately) do adapt and give us ways to not "hear" the tinnitus.

Don't let the tinnitus stop you! Buen Camino.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I've had Tinnitus for almost 40 years. It doesn't stop me doing anything. Why would it? It's not exactly a disability is it?

In time you will hardly notice it. The only time I'm really conscious of it is lying in bed at night, but it rarely bothers me that much. And hey, I have ADD as well, so maybe because I'm easily distracted I don't notice the Tinnitus so much ;)

Afternote. What type of Tinnitus do you have? Mine is the constant white noise. A high pitched whistle. I just researched Tinnitus, not having done so for decades....

It seems Coffee and Tonic water can make it worse! Well I'm not giving up my G&T. Besides after 3 or 4 G&Ts, who notices Tinnitus :rolleyes:
 
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chas999

Member
I am to walk the Camino in about a month and I am very excited about it! There is just one thing that worries me: I have recently got tinnitus and now I am now not sure if I can go trough with it. I have read a lot about how peoples' mood and mental state had change on their Camino and I hope that my problem might be manageable. Is there anyone who can relate to this, or maybe tell me what I should consider before going?

I appreciate all answers .

Buen Camino!
Hello Bjork,
Greetings from another fellow Tinnitus sufferer.
For information I have suffered from tinnitus for the last 20 years and I am now 65. I was always convinced that I got the condition from my previous employment but proving it would be another matter....
My 'noise' is the white noise = a constant hiss or hissing. It can drive you crackers at times if you let it. You have to somehow try and rise above it or try and ignore it in some way. The best ways that I have found is either trying to keep active or just turn the volume up a little more if you are listening to something. Carrying out DIY which involves a lot of noise also helps. You will find your own ways of adapting to this condition.
I find my 'noise' is usually constant and does not get any higher or lower but is still a nuisance. I find it is at its worst when I am trying to get to sleep but especially when I wake up. It seems as if it is at its loudest momentarily. You will get used to it and you will adapt.
I cannot offer any medical advice as I am sure that you may already know that there is no cure for it (as far as I know) and that you just have to live with it. But hey it does not stop you from enjoying life. It certainly does not stop me.
I do not think that it will affect your mood or mental state on YOUR Camino (it didn't affect mine). What will probably affect your mood are the bag rustlers, early risers, head light shiners and snorers.
Bjork, try and look on the bright side: If you are confronted each night with a lot of chronic snorers going hell for leather. Well, they will just drown out the noise of your tinnitus and you might even get a night's sleep!
Good luck, have a great Camino and look after yourself.
You are not suffering alone.
Charlie.
 

susanawee

susanawee
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
I am to walk the Camino in about a month and I am very excited about it! There is just one thing that worries me: I have recently got tinnitus and now I am now not sure if I can go trough with it. I have read a lot about how peoples' mood and mental state had change on their Camino and I hope that my problem might be manageable. Is there anyone who can relate to this, or maybe tell me what I should consider before going?

I appreciate all answers .

Buen Camino!
I also have Tinnitus and have had it for about 10 years now.....The only way it really interferes with my life is in loud and noisy places such as noisy restaurants or cafes where loud music is playing and everyone is talking loudly in order to be heard above the noise of the music or the conversations of others....this does tend to make me a little cranky sometimes and I actually have to get up and go outside to calm down the noise in my head. Having written that though, have to say that this did not impact on My Camino in any adverse way....I just dealt with it in my own way when I needed to.....Buen Camino...
 

Issy T

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I will be leaving Australia on the 26th May for Barcelona and will start the walk from Roncesvalles on the29th may.
I also have Menieres for aver 10 years which causes me to have a constant loud humming. I found when I went on a silent retreat that the hum got louder and I struggled, but the next year I was prepared for it. I am looking forward to my Camino and am leaving in 1 week and will embrace everything, including living with my constant hum. The thing I will struggle with most is probably at meal times when there are a number of people talking at once. Too many noises al together can get a bit much with the humming. Enjoy your Camino
 

daesdaemar

Camino-holic
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles - twice
I happen to be an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist and have seen may tinnitus patients over the past 30+ year. Coincidentally, I have tinnitus myself. Much of the advice given above is good.
First and foremost, I assume that you've medically evaluated and have typical tinnitus as opposed to secondary tinnitus due to an underlying medical condition which needs to be diagnosed and treated. If not, it is a necessity.
The worst part of this condition for persons who have recently developed it is the anxiety and stress that it can engender. I know it may sound curt, but only you can manage that anxiety/stress by coming to grips with the fact that you will adapt to the tinnitus and live a normal and enjoyable life in spite of it. This is a condition that affects millions of people and the only ones that cannot adapt are the ones that cannot get past the emotional component. They generally require intervention in psychiatric terms. That is actually exceeding rare. You will do well if you choose to do well.
Early on the best "remedy" is masking which simply means avoiding quiet places where the tinnitus is most noticeable. Any iPod-type music device is great for this. White noise is excellent, but likely a bit difficult on the Camino. The other aspect of learning to deal with it is simply refuse to think about it and to dwell on it. That's what will drive you crazy!
You will do well. I would suggest that you not consider giving up your Camino plans. Doing so would mean that you are already allowing it to control your life.
Buen Camino!
 

Larry from Sydney

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Will be starting at SJPDP on the 16th May 2014
I am walking the Camino and I have tinnisitus as well - try magnesium tablets helps with the ringing and also muscle cramps
 

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