Ellie, Leila and
Author Sandra Lawrence
Illustration & Design by Kate Smith
Ellie is worried. She is hearing a strange sound inside her ear.
Sometimes she can’t hear what her teacher is saying
because it is so loud.
“What is the sound like?” asks her friend Jack.
“It goes buzzzzz,” says Ellie. “Like lots of angry bees.
I don’t like it.”
“I sometimes hear crackle, crackle,” says Jack.
“Like rice crispies. It is called tinnitus. Lots of people get it.”
“I sometimes hear a hummmmm,” says Leila.
“Maybe you have tinnitus too, Ellie.”
“The angry bees make me feel scared,” says Ellie.
“Sometimes I can’t get to sleep.”
“My humming sound doesn’t bother me at all,” says Leila.
“The rice crispies used to make me feel scared,” says Jack.
“But I talked about it with my mum and dad and the doctor.
I learnt how to do some breathing exercises and my tinnitus
has almost gone now.”
Mum takes Ellie to the clinic. The doctor looks inside her ear
with a special instrument called an otoscope and gives Ellie a
The doctor tells Ellie that she has tinnitus.
“Why does it go buzz like a bee?” asks Ellie.
“Because your brain is thinking about lots of things all at once
and it’s become confused. Your brain has started to think
about one noise it thinks is special, even though it isn’t,” says
the doctor. “Let’s see if we can find ways to make your brain
think about something else.”
Ellie and her mum and dad sit with the therapist and Ellie’s
teacher. They talk about things Ellie can try to make her tinnitus
She learns how to do some relaxing exercises.
She listens to some soothing music.
She plays with her toys
She does fun things in class
Ellie’s brain is so interested in all the new things she is doing
that it forgets to think about the tinnitus and it gets quieter and
Jack and Leila come to play at Ellie’s house.
“Listen to what I’ve got”, says Ellie.” She has a music player
by her bed that is playing sounds very quietly.
“Mum’s downloaded some sounds of the sea’s waves.”
“It sounds like the seaside,” says Jack.
“Yes, it makes me feel like I’m on holiday all the time”, says
Ellie. “And my tinnitus is much better now!”
This leaflet is targeted young people in Key Stage
(1 for the under 8, 2 for the 8-11, 3 and 4 for the 11+).
Information for those in other age groups is also available,
please contact us for copies.
Whilst the BTA makes every attempt to ensure
the accuracy and reliability of this information,
it is not a substitute for medical advice.
You should always see your GP/medical professional.
(Ideally this text should be in a coloured box or otherwise highlighted)
Full details of all the information consulted in the production
of this leaflet are available on request.
This information has been produced by the BTA and
conforms to the Principles and Requirements
of the Information Standard.
Issued September 2014. Version 1.1.
To be reviewed September 2017.
© British Tinnitus Association
The British Tinnitus Association
Ground Floor, Unit 5,
Acorn Business Park,
Helpline: 0800 018 0527
The British Tinnitus Association.
Registered charity no: 1011145.
Company limited by guarantee no: 2709302.
Registered in England
© Design & illustrations by Kate Smith 2014