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How I Beat Tinnitus

Roel van Gorkum, MSc BioMedical Engineering and Founder of Still Tinnitus points his fingers at his ears to depict that the ringing in his ears has stopped

If I can cure my tinnitus, so can you!

What?! No Cure for Tinnitus?

There I was, running to the bathroom again and closing the door. Was the high-pitched noise in my left ear still there? Yes…I could clearly hear the sound that started when a wave crashed on my ear while I was kitesurfing.

Scared about what was happing to me, I searched on the internet and discovered that I had tinnitus. What I read next made me even more scared: there is no cure. People online were talking about depression from tinnitus.

Was this really happening? Did the Harvard Medical website just tell me I had to live with a horrible noise in my ear for the rest of my life? That sent shivers down my spine…

Google search results for the search query: 'tinnitus cure' showing there is no scientifically proven cure for tinnitus which Roel van Gorkum found very disturbing when he first got tinnitus

When I saw there’s no cure for tinnitus, I panicked.

Ginkgo Biloba pills that Roel van Gorkum tried without any effect on his tinnitus, which is also proven by literature.

I even tried Ginkgo Biloba pills to cure my tinnitus, but nothing worked

I Tried Ginkgo Biloba Pills

The following months quickly became most frustrating time of my life.

Desperate to solve the problem, I struck upon Internet forums that claimed there actually was a cure for tinnitus.

I bought ginkgo biloba pills off the internet – to no effect. I listened to nature sounds all day to distract myself… only to pause and listen if the tinnitus was still there.

I started playing white noise sounds at night. I walked around with noise cancelling headphones all day to ‘protect’ my ears.

While these actions seemed to provide some immediate relief, they were actually making the ringing in my ears worse.

I Tried Ginkgo Biloba Pills

The following months quickly became most frustrating time of my life.

Desperate to solve the problem, I struck upon Internet forums that claimed there actually was a cure for tinnitus.

I bought ginkgo biloba pills off the internet – to no effect. I listened to nature sounds all day to distract myself… only to pause and listen if the tinnitus was still there.

I started playing white noise sounds at night. I walked around with noise cancelling headphones all day to ‘protect’ my ears.

While these actions seemed to provide some immediate relief, they were actually making the ringing in my ears worse.

Ginkgo Biloba pills that Roel van Gorkum tried without any effect on his tinnitus, which is also proven by literature.

I even tried Ginkgo Biloba pills to cure my tinnitus, but nothing worked

Then, Stress made it Much Worse

As I focused more and more on my tinnitus, other sounds started to appear. The constant, 7000 Hz beep was now accompanied by a lower, pulsating sound, as if I heard water running.

What, this might actually get worse?! I thought I had to beat this high-pitched noise, now I have another problem on top of it? Now the tinnitus was starting to affect not only my mood, but also my sleep.

I was becoming scared to go to sleep hoping it would be gone tomorrow – only to be disappointed again in the morning when I discovered the noise was still there. 

Trying to over-protect my ears, I even developed mild hyperacusis: oversensitivity to noise. By using earplugs in movie theaters and covering my ears at a party, I was apparently making this worse and worse.

Roel van Gorkum, Founder of Still Tinnitus holds his hands over his ears to depict that he was suffering from the ringing in his ears

The more I tried to push tinnitus away, the worse it became

Gehoortest van Roel van Gorkum die hij bij de audioloog heeft laten uitvoeren toont een lichte gehoorbeschadiging in zijn linker oor

A hearing test confirmed irreversible hearing damage in my left ear

Irreversible Hearing Loss

I decided to see my doctor – which is always the first and right thing to do. He recommended that I see a ENT specialist. I started to hope again! Perhaps they would find a physical defect that could be surgically corrected. 

My audio tests showed hearing loss in my left ear at about the same frequency of my tinnitus. However, this was irreversible and could not be operated on.

Even though I found the cause of my tinnitus, it didn’t help me. The ENT specialist confirmed there is no cure…“just learn to ignore it”. Sure, how could I ignore this horrible non-existent sound?!

I got angry at myself. Why did I not start wearing earplugs at parties when I was younger? If only I had worn ear protection while kitesurfing. Why did I stress out so much previously if I knew that could cause tinnitus? 

Irreversible Hearing Loss

I decided to see my doctor – which is always the first and right thing to do. He recommended that I see a ENT specialist. I started to hope again! Perhaps they would find a physical defect that could be surgically corrected. 

My audio tests showed hearing loss in my left ear at about the same frequency of my tinnitus. However, this was irreversible and could not be operated on.

Even though I found the cause of my tinnitus, it didn’t help me. The ENT specialist confirmed there is no cure…“just learn to ignore it”. Sure, how could I ignore this horrible non-existent sound?!

I got angry at myself. Why did I not start wearing earplugs at parties when I was younger? If only I had worn ear protection while kitesurfing. Why did I stress out so much previously if I knew that could cause tinnitus? 

Audiogram van Roel van Gorkum, oprichter van Still Tinnitus, waarop gehoorschade zichtbaar is rond de 7000 Hz.

A hearing test confirmed irreversible hearing damage in my left ear

“Later I realized that it doesn’t really matter what caused the tinnitus, whether it’s hearing damage, stress, illness, or something else. Because I was under severe stress and didn’t know what to do, I turned an insignificant beep into a hellish noise”

I developed a method

I started having nightmares that I woke up from sweating, with the noise much louder. My lost sleep and stress got to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore. 

Desperate to solve my problem, I applied structured problem solving which I learned during my Master’s in BioMedical Engineering.

I wanted to understand the mechanisms behind what was happening in my head. I needed to find out what was causing it, and what was making my tinnitus louder.

Learning from the best tinnitus experts in the world, I discovered the secret of what prevented me from getting better. Ever heard of the ‘fight or flight’ response?

Since the Stone Age, we’re wired to survive attacks by making our brains hyper-alert. Your brain thinks it’s under attack by the tinnitus sound. Unfortunately, this time the threat doesn’t run away like a tiger, it is always there. 

Overview of books and articles that Roel van Gorkum studied to develop the Still Tinnitus Relief Course

I discovered your brain activactes the ‘fight or flight’ response because it feels threathened by tinnitus – making it even louder!

Finally, Silence!

 

I managed to turn off my fight or flight mechanism by combining 3 scientifically proven methods: Cognitive Based Therapy, Mindfulness, and Tinnitus Retraining Therapy.

I also made some changes to my life in order to experience less stress. Once I was able to relax more, the filters in my brain started to mute the tinnitus sounds.

My method worked! A few weeks later my sleep improved, and I felt less stressed. The months after that were two steps forward and one step back, but after a year, I often did not hear my tinnitus anymore. Now, when I do hear it on the occasional bad day, it doesn’t upset me like it used to – and I’m back on the water!

I realized I could help others just like me avoid this emotional rollercoaster, so I spent over a year creating the 5-step Still Tinnitus Course. Combining several clinically proven theories and practical exercises, I’m convinced you will benefit. 

Roel van Gorkum Founder of Still Tinnitus kitesurfing in waves after treating his tinnitus

Me enjoying kitesurfing again after treating my tinnitus!

Roel van Gorkum Founder of Still Tinnitus kitesurfing in waves after treating his tinnitus

Me enjoying kitesurfing again after treating my tinnitus!

Finally, Silence!

 

I managed to turn off my fight or flight mechanism by combining 3 scientifically proven methods: Cognitive Based Therapy, Mindfulness, and Tinnitus Retraining Therapy.

I also made some changes to my life in order to experience less stress. Once I was able to relax more, the filters in my brain started to mute the tinnitus sounds.

My method worked! A few weeks later my sleep improved, and I felt less stressed. The months after that were two steps forward and one step back, but after a year, I often did not hear my tinnitus anymore. Now, when I do hear it on the occasional bad day, it doesn’t upset me like it used to – and I’m back on the water!

I realized I could help others just like me avoid this emotional rollercoaster, so I spent over a year creating the 5-step Still Tinnitus Course. Combining several clinically proven theories and practical exercises, I’m convinced you will benefit. 

Can I help you too?

At the beginning of 2023, I quit my job and decided to work full-time on Still Tinnitus. That starts with a goal: to help 10,000 people no longer suffer from tinnitus.

I now see the fact that I lack a ‘traditional background’ as an audiologist or psychologist as a strength rather than a limitation. Before I started Still Tinnitus, I had been hired because of my talent for making complex problems understandable and addressing them with a fresh outside perspective.

I hope I can save you some of the misery I experienced myself. Even though there is more healthcare for tinnitus available nowadays, you are still sent every which way. Long waiting times, misleading information and ‘just learn to live with it’ makes tinnitus worse than it needs to be.

Stay hopeful and don’t be fooled by negative messages because for many people tinnitus will diminish on its own. But if your tinnitus symptoms do not get better, make sure you get help as soon as possible.

Here’s to a happy life with tinnitus ❤️

Roel 

The goal of Roel van Gorkum of Still Tinnitus is to enable 10.000 people to no longer suffer from tinnitus

My personal goal is to help 10,000 people with tinnitus no longer suffer from it.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy Certification Roel van Gorkum, Founder of Still Tinnitus

Roel is one of the few Tinnitus Retraining Therapy trainers who is trained and certified by Dr. Pawel Jastreboff, inventor of the neuropysiological model.

Benefit from my experience to get tinnitus relief

  • Tinnitus Retraining Therapy trainer personally certified and trained by Dr. Pawel & Dr. Margaret Jastreboff
  • Masters in BioMedical Engineering from the Technical University of Delft
  • Trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy by Dr. Stephen Hayes
  • Trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
  • Studied over 250+ articles and books on tinnitus
  • One of the leading tinnitus experts in The Netherlands

Benefit from my experience to get tinnitus relief

  • Tinnitus Retraining Therapy trainer personally certified and trained by Dr. Pawel & Dr. Margaret Jastreboff
  • Masters in BioMedical Engineering from the Technical University of Delft
  • Trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy by Dr. Stephen Hayes
  • Trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
  • Studied over 250+ articles and books on tinnitus
  • One of the leading tinnitus experts in The Netherlands
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy Certification Roel van Gorkum, Founder of Still Tinnitus

Roel is one of the few Tinnitus Retraining Therapy trainers who is trained and certified by Dr. Pawel Jastreboff, inventor of the neuropysiological model.

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