The 36-year-old award-winning singer/songwriter revealed to reporters she has been experiencing ringing in the ear symptoms for the past 3 years, the ringing in the ear she describes as “really frightening.”
It began when she attended a Spice Girls concert in 2008. Tunstall’s notoriety as an A-list pop singer earned her top-notch front row seats to the famed Spice Girls reunion. Unfortunately, being close to the stage also means being right in front of giant speakers, blasting out deafening decibels of noise. Following the concert, Tunstall began to hear a constant high-pitch whining noise in her left ear, a sound which is typically associated with tinnitus hearing damage.
At first, she hoped the ear buzzing would go away in a few days. “I didn’t know what it was and at first just hoped it would go away, but it didn’t and it started to drive me mad,” she said.
The relentless ringing in the ears began to interfere with Tunstall’s professional life. As a musician, Tunstall is expected to recognize variances in musical tones and pitches, a talent which is severely hampered by even minor hearing problems. Understanding that there is no long-term cure for tinnitus, she has learned to adjust to the background ear noise, hoping that it does not get louder.
KT is no stranger to hearing disorders; she has a young brother, Daniel, who was born deaf. She witnessed the challenges her brother faced in dealing with his disability and eventually overcoming it.
Tinnitus symptoms include constant ringing sounds in the ears, which are only heard by the tinnitus sufferer, and are not related to any actual outside noise. When asked to describe their tinnitus sounds, patients refer to them as buzzing, ringing, whooshing, clicking, screaming or hissing sounds. Duration, pitch and volume can vary by severity. Tinnitus causes are old age, noise-induced hearing loss, chronic ear infections, drug interaction and puncturing of the eardrum.
Today, KT Tunstall is one of many celebrities who support the Hear the World campaign. The Phonak-funded global initiative offers updated news on tinnitus treatments, hearing loss prevention and a wealth of multimedia events aimed at raising tinnitus and hearing loss awareness. Famous singer/photographer Bryan Adams has captured the images of celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan, Josh Groban, Sting, Jude Law and Amy Winehouse on film, posing in the characteristic hand-to-ear Hear the World pose. Ringing in the ears can be very serious. If you think you are suffering from symptoms of tinnitus, such as ringing in the ears, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Photo Credit: MusicMp3