Jamie Laing tells Good Morning Britain: Tinnitus made me fear I would never sleep again

Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing has said his tinnitus left him with such bad anxiety he feared he would never sleep again.

The 35-year-old reality TV star and former Strictly Come Dancing contestant was diagnosed with the condition eight years ago when he woke up one morning with ringing in his ears.

Tinnitus is the term for hearing sounds that come from inside your body, rather than from an outside source, according to the NHS.

It is often described as “ringing in the ears”, although it can also include buzzing, humming, grinding, hissing and whistling.

Laing, who is supporting the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) in its Silence Tinnitus campaign for Tinnitus Week 2024, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “You have to learn to accept it, which is a really hard thing to do.

“When you first get tinnitus they say ‘Well, this is forever, there’s no cure, you’re gonna have to live with it, it doesn’t go.

“I woke up suddenly and was like ‘What’s that ringing noise?’ I was looking around the flat for the ringing noise and suddenly realised it was coming from inside my head. And then I was like ‘Oh my god’.

“But you have to treat it like aircon or a fan. Or if you go on a summer holiday, and you can hear the crickets, and suddenly they stop at night and you realised there were crickets, you just have to tune out of it.

“You have to realise it’s not harmful. You have to try and forget about it. But it’s incredibly debilitating, it causes anxiety, and anxiety then makes it worse.

“It’s this vicious cycle, it makes it very hard to sleep. And people have to deal with it around the world and no-one talks about it.”

Tinnitus symptoms

According to the NHS

Tinnitus can sound like:

  • ringing
  • buzzing
  • whooshing
  • humming
  • hissing
  • throbbing
  • music or singing

You may hear these sounds in 1 or both ears, or in your head. They may come and go, or you might hear them all the time.

Describing how the condition has affected him, he said: “When it first started and you realise it’s not going to go, I was incredibly anxious.

“I thought I was never going to sleep again. I thought I was never going to be able to hear again. And it was so loud I couldn’t hear people talking to me at one point, it was that bad.”

He added: “I now use it as an alarm. I say it’s my annoying best friend. So, when it’s really high and I can hear it all the time I know I must be tired, I must be stressed, I must be anxious, I must be worried about something.

“And so then I know I need to have a rest, I need to relax. And if people start using it in that way, it really helps it.

“But there are some cases where people have had something like meningitis. They’ve woken up deaf, and all they can hear is tinnitus.

“When it starts it’s pretty scary. Meditation helps, exercise helps, all these things help it, and without a doubt, 100% you get used to it.”

GMB host Susanna Reid said she also has tinnitus but she believes hers is “quite low-level”, describing it as “a ssshing sound and then a high-pitched whistle”.

Sha said: “My advice is just is to tune out of it. I went very quickly to the doctor, who said there is no cure, but you can talk yourself out of it.

“Now I know that doesn’t apply to everybody. But it’s really interesting, the ringing that we ran just now, that’s triggered it so now I can hear it again.

“Because you have to make a conscious effort to tune it out.”


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