I have recently developed tinnitus in my right ear; high pitched whine accompanied by a feeling of intermittent stuffiness in that ear. I went to an ENT doc and had an audiologist work up. Turns out my hearing is still good, overall: some high frequency loss in the right ear but overall not bad.
I have read some of the other tinnitus threads on A'gon. I am feeling afraid right now that this ailment will "ruin" my enjoyment of this wonderful hobby.
I am interested in how others of you with tinnitus are doing with your audiophilia. Are you still able to take pleasure in listening to music on your systems?
Thanks. I guess I just need some encouragement.
You will definitely get used to it and be able to enjoy music. I developed tinnitus a couple of years ago as a result of taking Accutane. (the doctor never told me that it was a possible side effect) At first, it was really noticeable when I was or wasn't listening to music, but after a couple of months, my mind filtered it out, in the same way analog fans filter out groove noise and pops, and all was well. I don't have a severe case, but sitting here in a quiet room right now, it's easy to hear the high pitched ring. I was very worried about it as you are now, but I really think you will stop noticing it 90% of the time. Let us know how it is going for you.
Here's the main point, your hearing ability is still judged to be good. So you're still able to listen to and enjoy music. Just be careful and avoid loud listening levels at home.With really good audio components you don't need loud levels for enjoyment anyway.Get a good SET amp, they are engaging at even low and moderate sound levels (hint).
Shortly after I got involved in higher-end, I had my hearing tested because I thought there were issues. Yup. High frequencies on the left ear ain't what they used to be.

Someone suggested to me that left-side weakness was due to us, in our younger years, driving with the window rolled down. Interesting...

Fast forward: Both my wife and I have tinnitus, and we both love to listen to the music. It never really bothers us *while* we're listening. We have Magnepans, and they need a bit of oomph to really shine, so the music tends to occlude the tinnitus.

But, lying in bed in the morning after, we can tell that the ears have been 'disturbed.' The same is true if we drive our Prius, or worse, our pickup truck with fairly loud pipes. After only 1/2 hour in the car, things are ringing.

In short, no, it doesn't bother us while listening, only in the "quiet room", as Roxy54 says. Perhaps we might be missing something in the quieter music passages, but it's difficult to determine what you're NOT hearing due to the raised noise floor inside the head.