We may pierce it, bend it or complain about the size of it - but the ear is a truly wonderful organ.
Normally it brings us positive things. Those sighing sounds that babies make when they're content; your favourite bit in 'your' song; or the calm and relaxation that comes from background music. Sometimes you're not even aware of sounds and noises, they are simply sonic wallpaper in your busy life.
The problem comes when something happens along the way from the flaps on the side of your head to your brain. The auditory system is complex.
For instance, your ears may start ringing when there is apparently no reason they should - especially if you are in a very quiet space and not actively listening to anything. This is usually okay. It's your perception of the quiet noises your auditory system makes when it's not working. It's a bit like the scratching we used to get when we played a vinyl record. You hear it more when you have nothing else to listen to.
But sometimes this goes wrong. The quiescent sound of the auditory system (which you should mostly be unaware of) increases until your awareness of it becomes more of a factor in your life. At this stage you need to ask yourself a few simple questions:
If the answer to all of these is 'no' then you are in the clear. You are part of a large percentage of the population who experience some form of tinnitus, but it's just a part of your life and doesn't cause too much bother.
If you answered 'yes' to one of the questions then you fall into a different category.
But yours is an issue of such delicacy that no online blog could begin to do it justice. There are many possibilities - and I would welcome you to contact me for further advice.
Call 0141 954 6030
Or drop by the clinic at 538 Crow Road, Glasgow