When tinnitus arrives, either suddenly or gradually, it is so important to talk to someone who has studied the condition and understands it well. For me, fortunately, Dr. Kristen Keener was that person. I ‘d had low volume tinnitus for ten or fifteen years. I could hear the high-pitched ring anytime I wanted to, but if I didn’t try to hear it, it wasn’t there. Then, in September of 2021, the volume increased three-fold and was unrelenting. Like so many others with this condition, the early months following onset were unnerving and stressful, I felt like my life had changed for the worst permanently. I had dark thoughts. I didn’t think I would ever go to a movie or restaurant again. There were so many things listed online reported to cause tinnitus that I felt caged, and the outlook for the rest of my life was looking bleak. (The results of internet searches on tinnitus are terrifying and often predatory, be very careful about doing this and reading too much of what’s out there. It’s saddening to see how many people are willing to take advantage of people in distress.)
To address my problem, I did what most people do. I went to ENT’s who confirmed that I had high-frequency hearing loss and that was the likely cause of my condition. One ENT suggested I talk to a psychiatrist right away and consider anti-depressants (that may be the right path for some). Another suggested I had TMJ and that I should see a specialist to correct it, which I did. The TMJ specialist confirmed I had the condition, but the treatment which was quite costly, did not work. I also called and visited several audiologists who advertised that they specialized in tinnitus, only to find out the extent of their treatment was providing hearing aids. Hearing aids do work for some but not all, and they did not work for me. I could not find anyone in the Houston area who truly understood tinnitus and knew how to psychologically treat it. There is no cure, but I now know there are ways to come to terms with it, and to reclaim your life.
By chance, I searched online for an audiologist in Austin who specialized in tinnitus, and I found Dr. Keener, what a blessing. My first appointment did not disappoint, Dr. Keener clearly understands tinnitus and can help you come to terms with and manage the condition. You will learn how to reclaim your life. She made such a difference for me and I am so grateful. Today I do nearly everything I did before tinnitus reared up on me. Restaurants, movies, outdoor concerts, parties, coffee and medications, all included in the list of things I thought I would never do again; I now do on a regular basis. If you are struggling, I encourage you to see Dr. Keener, she can help you.
Wishing all of the best,