I've had tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, consistently for longer than I can remember. It was not something I paid attention to until a few months ago, when it kicked up a notch in volume. Imagine a subtle high pitched tone in your ear, that never goes off, ever. That's tinnitus.
It's not loud enough to make me stone deaf, but if you've ever sat with me in a crowded restaurant, you may notice that I have to turn my head or cup my ear to hear what you're saying. I literally can't make out words in those situations. You might say "So what did you do yesterday?" And I would hear something like "Sas vassid suyou sterday?"
This is great when people insult me, because I just nod my head and give them an idiotic smile. Which sort of takes the punch out of an insult. But if you're going to insult me, go &@^* yourself, really. (I just like writing that to you, oh dear reader).
Anyway, we picked up a product called Ring Relief from the local drug store. It is a homeopathic remedy, but thank God, it actually works. It doesn't completely stop the ringing, but reduces it significantly. The downside is that it is short term relief. The upside is that I'm not always going "Huh? Whaaa?" to Bri all the time.
The point is, don't go to 50 rock and roll concerts in your teens and 20s. Also, don't do drugs. And stay in school. And don't stay up late. And stop picking at that.