A Play and Tinnitus

My wife, son and I chose to see a playhouse show at the Broken Arrow Community Center that is dear to my heart because it was the reason that got me into public speaking and theatre when I was a junior in High School called GOD’S FAVORITE by Neil Simon.  The show was wonderfully pulled off by the cast which has to have a strong lead actor for the part of Joseph Benjamin.  During the third act there is a scene in which they show the house burnt to the ground with the family in distress.  There was a smell of burning in the theatre that I was impressed with the authenticity of the show, while a problem popped up:  a fire alarm piercing each audience member with a shrilling high pitched sound.  At first most people believed that it was part of the sound system but as it went longer, I could not stand it with my hearing aids in or out.  Many of the audience were from Methodist Manor (and a few of my patients in that group) were becoming uncomfortable holding their ears trying to hear the play.  I finally left because of a headache developing as did others.  The show was canceled and graciously given refunds if requested which wasn’t their fault.  We were disappointed not to see the whole show as the cast was upset as well but all understood.

As an Audiologist who wears hearing aids but doesn’t have tinnitus (ringing in the ears) I started to think about tinnitus in a different way.  Now the whole audience had that unique opportunity to see what 15 minutes of continuous and disturbing tinnitus might do to one’s life.  I had a new sympathy that I am not sure that I didn’t have before this play.  We are currently working with several promising therapies and protocols relating to tinnitus.  If you are experiencing this problem, please contact us.