Mike Newbury was struggling to cope - but he found a way to cope thanks to an unlikely source
He was plunged into depression when he was told by doctors he would have to endure a high pitched ringing sound in his ears for the rest of his life.
Eighteen years ago, Mike Newbury from Hessle was diagnosed with tinnitus and he struggled to cope with having no control over this noise ringing out in his head.
“At first I thought it was quite a pleasant, gentle noise in my ear but then it didn’t go away and turned into something constant rather than something pleasant.
“I went through the usual procedure of going to see the doctor, having an ear test and then being referred to a consultant. They said if it was still there in six weeks it will be there forever.
“It didn’t go away and I started to feel quite down about it. It’s something you are not in control of and it feels as if it controls your whole world because it’s inside your head
According to Mr Newbury, who is now 71, the noise in his ears sounds like gas escaping. He went for constant check-ups but began to worry about the effect tinnitus would have on his life.
“I would worry about going to bed because we all need sleep," he said. "If you are in control and you can switch it off, it wouldn’t bother me but I couldn’t.
“I no longer had that blessing of hearing silence because that hissy sound was there.”
Mr Newbury, who was working as an accountant at the time of the diagnosis, had nowhere to turn and seemingly no way to cope with his condition.
That was until he stumbled across a poster for a tinnitus support group in Hull fronted by the late Bill Howard, who lived in Swanland.
He sent Mr Newbury a cassette of “seashell sounds” which he had recorded himself as a way of coping with tinnitus – and it had an immediate effect.
Mr Newbury said: “I would wear this walkman at work in a bumbag and walk around with it. That brought me some relief because I had some really dark thoughts and just to speak to somebody too, who had a great bedside manner, helped
He really put things into perspective and was the driving force in getting the CD out there.”
The step-grandad who lives with his wife Irene still has the noise in his ears but Mr Howard’s cassette, which has since been turned into a CD, has helped to alleviate his troubles.
He never worked with machinery in a factory and still does not know why he was diagnosed with tinnitus.
Since Mr Howard died, Mr Newbury took over the running of the tinnitus helpline in Hull and has continued Mr Howard’s legacy by sending out the CDs.
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