7 million people in the UK are affected by ringing in ears
Posted Jan 13 2011 3:53pm
Imagine wearing a pair of headphones that are playing the sound of a whistling kettle. Imagine wearing those headphones all day, and all night, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Horrific it might sound, but that’s the daily torment millions of people across the UK endure, as next month marks the start of Tinnitus Awareness Week (4th-11th February).
The Royal National Institute of the Deaf (RNID), estimate that seven million people in the UK have experienced tinnitus at one time or another. Three million have visited their GP about it, and there are many more who have tinnitus but do not know what it is or how to manage it. For at least half a million people, the effect on their lives is severe. It can happen at any age.
Suffolk audiologist, Karen Finch, is one of those that has suffered from the condition, and she is looking to lend her support to help raise awareness of the condition by organising an exhibition in Ipswich Town Centre.
“My tinnitus was relatively mild in comparison to some, but I recently had a patient who said that the noise in his ears was so loud, he was surprised that I couldn’t hear it”, said Karen, who is Managing Director of the award-winning Hearing Care Centre.
The hearing specialists, based at High Street, Ipswich, have organised a tinnitus awareness exhibition, which will take place on Tuesday 8th February (10am-3pm), inside Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre, in Ipswich.
Trained tinnitus lay-counsellors, from The Hearing Care Centre, will be on hand to offer information, advice and support. They will be supported by members of the Suffolk Tinnitus Support Group and a hearing therapist from Ipswich Hospital. Visitors will also be able to collect free tinnitus information packs, learn more about the condition, most importantly finding out about treatments that are available to help.
Karen went on that over 60% of people with hearing loss also experience some level of tinnitus, which can exacerbate the anguish. She stressed that having a hearing check is very important and encourages all those experiencing both hearing loss and tinnitus to take action and visit an audiologist. Free hearing assessments can be booked at the ‘Tinnitus Awareness Exhibition’.
“With the patient I mentioned earlier, we tested his hearing and discovered he did have a significant hearing loss, and fitted him with hearing aids. I won’t say it was a miracle cure, because it wasn’t, but he told us it had changed his life. Now everyday sounds he hadn’t been able to hear because of the noises in his ears, were clearly audible, and they in turn, suppressed the aggravation caused by the tinnitus,” said Karen.
The Awareness Week is organised by the independent charity the British Tinnitus Association (BTA), which is hoping to reach thousands of people of all ages across the country.