Everyday noises also caused me pain: the toilet flushing, plates clinking

One night at home in Greystones, Ireland in 2003, aged 25, I was watching a movie and noticed that my left ear felt as if it had water in it. At first I didn’t think much of it. Then the feeling persisted and got worse every time I heard a loud noise.

I went to my GP, who said I had a small hole in my eardrum and prescribed antibiotics. The hole healed, but afterwards I began to find certain everyday noises painful – and both ears were affected.

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