Brugués Meca turns 29 today. She is a girl with contagious vitality and easy smile. She lives in Barcelona, is an interior designer and is passionate about traveling. And she has tinnitus, which does not prevent her from leading a completely normal life thanks to habituation therapy. However, at first it was not like that. Not at all. The lack of knowledge about this pathology, the fear of rejection and the lack of effective treatment were a very heavy burden.
When does tinnitus appear in your life?
That I am aware, at thirteen years old. When I was very little, three years old, I had an ear infection that caused me to lose my hearing, but the ringing didn’t start until ten years later, when I started to notice the constant ringing. I noticed it especially at night and that started to make me anxious, because it wouldn’t go away and I couldn’t control it.
And how did you react?
The truth is that probably because of my age I didn’t know how to deal with it well, because for me it was a complex. How I also have a somewhat proud character, well I didn’t say it. And in class there were classmates who told me ‘Hey, can’t you hear me? Are you deaf or what?’.And the truth is that it was hard and I had to be strong so that everything seemed normal to the gallery. They didn’t want to be seen as someone different. Now, of course, I don’t see it that way.
Has tinnitus affected your school performance?
The truth is that if. It slowed me down a lot. I felt the beeping and couldn’t concentrate on classes and what the teacher was saying. Many times I had to leave the classroom and go to the bathroom. It certainly wasn’t the best way to learn.
And the specialists who treated you didn’t give you any solution?
The truth is that I did not discover that there was an effective habituation therapy until I was told about UMusic. But it took a long time and many anxious nights, crying and telling my parents what was that, that I was having a terrible time. And of course, imagining my entire life like this… Luckily, therapy and being able to control my tinnitus changed my life.
Wow, there was a before and after starting therapy…
Completely. Before I was an insecure Brugués in many aspects… I get emotional when I remember it, but I had a bad time… Afterwards I have been a strong, very confident Brugués. And now I’m getting my life back on track. It has given me brutal self-confidence.
When you started habituation therapy, did you notice improvement quickly?
I recommend having a little patience. It’s not something immediate. It is not like a pill that you take and notice the effect after a few minutes. But the truth is that therapy works, and even more so if you complement it with a healthy lifestyle, exercise and diet. What was quick in my case was the result with sound-focused therapy, which helps you get used to certain noises so that the tinnitus and ringing in your ear do not trigger.
One of the problems with tinnitus is that people don’t know what it is…
The truth is that since I have made my situation public, many people have contacted me through different means telling me that the same thing was happening to them. And of course, they didn’t know they had tinnitus. That’s why I think it’s key to make this problem known.
And it is important that they treat themselves, that they do the therapy, that they see that there is a solution.
Of course. It has a solution and they must know it. It is true that there is no cure and it does not go away, obviously, but with therapy you do reduce the discomfort of ringing and ringing in the ear to a point where you do not hear them. And that for the people who suffer from it, is a lot…
What advice would you give to someone who suffers from tinnitus or who has a child or family member who suffers from it?
First of all, go to a specialized center and start therapy. Because knowing that there is a way to calm that feeling is basic and very important. Therapy works and makes you recover quality of life, feel better and more secure. You have less stress and anxiety. And that is living better, without a doubt.