Documentary on OneWhite Noise

As heard on Documentary On One

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Orla Higgins does not know what silence sounds like. She has Tinnitus. In her head, she hears a constant parade of storm troopers crunching along on loose gravel. Crunch, crunch, crunch. And there are others like her. 1 in every 10 Irish people has Tinnitus. And they want you to know what it sounds like for them.

Orla Higgins

The high-pitched whine of a dentist’s drill, a steady buzz or hiss, a jackhammer-like pounding, every person hears something different. Orla gathered several tinnitus sufferers together for the documentary, White Noise, to work with a sound engineer to compose the sound of their tinnitus, the secret symphony they hear in their heads every day.

Orla Higgins with fellow Tinnitus sufferer, RTÉ Producer Kevin Brew

The documentary places the listener in the position of someone who lives with the condition, in order to help them understand what it is like to experience it. Orla consults experts who explain some of the causes of Tinnitus. Fellow sufferers talk about the difficulties the condition causes in their daily lives, their careers and their personal relationships. The documentary features a letter written by Welshman James Ivor Jones who, in 2015, took his own life. James had been told that there was no cure for his Tinnitus and there was limited hope of any improvement. In White Noise, we meet the people carrying out ground-breaking research that they hope will one day lead to a cure.

Listen now on Documentary on One : White Noise..

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