Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the ears or head where no external source is present. Most commonly referred to as "ringing in the ears."

Hyperacusis, which sometimes accompanies tinnitus, is a health condition characterized by an over-sensitivity to certain frequency ranges of sound (a collapsed tolerance to normal environmental sound).

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One of my current goals is to connect musicians and music lovers who have tinnitus and/or hyperacusis for collaboration and support, emphasizing productive thinking and action.

At present, there is no certain cure for tinnitus or hyperacusis, and those of us who have it—over 50 million in the U.S. alone—are stuck with it, at least for now. But we are not powerless. We can come together, both in localized and global communities, to learn from each other and collaborate together. We can give each other more reasons to see our tinnitus and hyperacusis in a new, positive manner.

The record label I have recently started, A-Sharp Records—the pitch of my tinnitus—was created for musicians and music lovers with tinnitus and hyperacusis. My website and label will focus on growing a new T/H community that focuses on musical collaboration and positive support. We all need to go through our own processes, but I've dealt with tinnitus and hyperacusis for four years now. I've tried a number of therapies and products including neuromonics, sound generators (TRT), acupuncture, myofascial release, cranial sacral therapy, massage/body work, ring-stop, lyrica, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some of these helped, some did not.

Some very effective approaches are perhaps less obvious: activities designed to reduce stress, such as exercise, yoga, meditation, or acupuncture; changing your emotional response to the ringing; and finding creative outlets for expression, whether it's playing music, painting, talking, or whatever helps to clear your mind. Another way to help cope is to simply accept your T/H, which does not mean that you stop trying to learn or find new cures, but rather that you stop putting your life on hold for your condition and start living in the present, a great source of strength.

Finally, as you try to approach your T/H, you can ask yourself some questions: Who have I met because of my T/H? What opportunities do I have now that I didn't have before? What have I discovered about myself because of my T/H? What can I do that's positive for myself, and others who have T/H? Of course, not everything you discover will be positive. And this process can be very challenging—it's something you have to re-commit yourself to every day. But allowing yourself to be open—however counterintuitive that might seem, at first—is a good place to start.

It is important for us to listen to each other's trials, but my hope is that through my website, newsletter, and forums such as the American Tinnitus Association's Facebook Page and the Chicago Tinnitus Support Group's Facebook Page, we can also share our successes in living with tinnitus and hyperacusis.

Questions? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you.