Calling attention to Tinnitus
Post on 26th January 2021
It’s a hidden condition that affects one in ten adults and raising awareness of the need for help and research will be spotlighted in Tinnitus Week (1-7 February).
There is no cure for tinnitus, which is often described as a buzzing or ringing in the ear. The British Tinnitus Association (BTA) will use the week to campaign for everyone with tinnitus to get the right information, from the right place, at the right time.
It is concerned that negative experiences have a serious impact on how people manage their tinnitus and on their mental health.
Tinnitus can strike at any age and to varying degrees, although it is more common in those who have hearing loss or other hearing problems.
The exact causes are not known, but it is generally agreed that tinnitus results from some type of change, either mental or physical.
It is often linked to some form of hearing loss, including the inner ear condition Ménière’s disease – recently brought into the spotlight by British singer Jessie J who suffered from a bout of the disease before Christmas. As well as tinnitus, Ménière’s disease also causes severe vertigo, hearing loss and a feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear.
Other conditions that can trigger tinnitus include diabetes, thyroid disorders or multiple sclerosis, and also anxiety or depression as well as the use of certain medicines.
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or yoga and finding ways to improve sleep, like cutting down on caffeine, can help people cope with tinnitus. Avoiding stress, using self-help techniques recommended by the BTA and joining a support group are also recommended.
Frequent, prolonged exposure to loud noise increases the risk of getting tinnitus, or of making it worse. It makes sense then for all of us to take care to avoid very loud sounds, or protect our ears against them.
Looking after your hearing is worth it because damage caused cannot be undone.
If you have any worries about your hearing you can find help, advice and free hearing checks at your local Scrivens branch.
For more information on tinnitus visit the British Tinnitus Association website at www.tinnitus.org.uk