Tinnitus Awareness Week
5th February 2020
5th February 2020
This week is Tinnitus Awareness Week. Normally described as a ringing, whooshing or hissing in the ears, tinnitus is often triggered after being exposed to loud noises like music.
One in ten people in the UK have experienced it at least once, but for around 10% of the population the persistent sound never goes away.
Despite the earliest reference of the condition stemming as far back as Ancient Egypt, scientists are still baffled as to why the brain creates this repetitive sound. Mark Atkinson, Chief Executive at Action on Hearing Loss says: “Tinnitus can be an isolating experience that leaves people feeling helpless. Celebrities Phillip Schofield, Susanna Reid and Will.i.am have in the past opened up about their ongoing struggles.”
One sufferer is Jessica Berg, who has been living with tinnitus for 3 years. Although she has found a way to manage the condition, her journey is an ongoing one. She says:“One morning I woke up with a high-pitched noise in my head. I didn’t know where it came from, there was no big moment, no loud bang, not even a big night out the night before, but two weeks down the line it had not stopped. My local GP sent me to an audiology clinic and the doctor concluded that my tinnitus was most likely to have been caused by exposure to loud music over a period of years.”
She adds: “I’m a bit of a rock chick and I love going to gigs and listening to loud music. But in my defence, I had never even heard of tinnitus and certainly had never been advised to wear ear protection in loud places, and neither had anyone else I knew. I started suffering with depression, feeling anxious in crowds, and my self-worth took a nosedive. Tinnitus was fighting me on all fronts, making everything I used to do feel impossible.”
Jess explains: “Life changed for me when I agreed to go on a trip with my friends. I almost didn’t go – but my friends are very persuasive, so reluctantly, I agreed to join them. The trip flipped everything back around. Although I still had some difficult days and sleepless nights, I also remembered what life was all about: having fun with my friends, meeting amazing new people and witnessing breath-taking scenery. As my self-esteem started to grow again, I realised I had let tinnitus take over my life but knew I couldn’t let it any longer.”
Jess fronted the #DontLoseTheMusic campaign last year, urging people to wear ear plugs when in noisy venues.
If you think you have tinnitus, the first step is to see your doctor. They will check your ears and refer you to a specialist for tests and support if needed. Should you need ear plugs to protect yourself during music events – such as those at The Pantiles – head to Imperial Pharmacy in The Pantiles where they have a wide range of solutions. You can also ask their experienced team about any troubles you are having with your hearing, and they can offer some useful advice.
For more information on tinnitus and how to manage it, visit: actiononhearingloss.org.uk
Via: Action on Hearing Loss