Danny: “When I try to sleep, all I can hear is the ringing”

By Tom Brookes

Danny Fairfax, 22, suffers from Tinnitus, a disability that affects his inner ear causing a piercing ringing noise inside his head that can’t be cured.

“There’s no way of proving I’ve got it,” he says. “It’s just something I hear and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

The Woodhouse-born welder has worked in loud factories since he was 16, which the doctors say is likely to have contributed to his Tinnitus.

But the real trigger was when he attended his first ever live music event, The Big Reunion, which has left a permanent scar on Danny’s life.

He said, “Ever since that weekend, I find it impossible to just relax. I can’t remember the last time I had peace and quiet.”

Tinnitus fact box

Nearly everyone has suffered from some form of ear-ringing after a loud night out. But in Danny’s severe case, the deafening noise has never faded in his right ear.

There is no actual cure, but after living with it for nearly a year and a half, Danny has come to accept it.

Over time Danny has developed different coping methods, for example using some form of background noise, like loud music, to try and drown out the ringing.

But the hardest parts are trying to get to sleep and waking up in the morning.

He said, “It’s loudest when I try to sleep. Most nights I’m up til 2am or 3am watching telly hoping I’ll just fall asleep. And then I wake up and I’m instantly reminded it’s there.”

The year before the onset of his Tinnitus, Danny was involved in a car crash that snapped both bones in his right arm, broke six of his ribs, fractured a vertebra and lacerated his liver.

Danny car crash
Danny: “I was put on quite a lot of gas and air after the crash, so I asked the paramedic for a picture.”

Danny says, “All that physical pain I suffered, just doesn’t compare to the mental pain that this causes me.”

There are currently clinical trials taking place in Sheffield on a quest to find a cure. Danny is keen to get involved.

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