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Tinnitus Awareness Week - 5th February to 11th February

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Tinnitus Awareness Week - 5th February to 11th February

Tinnitus Awareness Week is an annual event aimed at bringing awareness to a condition that affects millions of individuals globally. Every year healthcare professionals, organisations and individuals come together to provide information and promote strategies on how to manage and live with the condition.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is often described as the perception of noise or ringing in the ears without any external source. In simple terms picture yourself alone in a room making no noise, however, the person hears noise such as ringing, hissing, or buzzing sounds. Different individuals can experience tinnitus in diverse ways meaning that one individual may experience tinnitus constantly whereas the next person could only experience tinnitus intermittently.  

It is estimated that 7.6 million people within the UK experience the affects of Tinnitus, with 1.7 million individuals experiencing severe tinnitus on a daily basis. Even though tinnitus is more common in individuals over the age of 65, it can still affect people of all ages.

Causes of tinnitus

Causes of tinnitus can vary but some examples include exposure to loud noises, age related hearing loss, Meniere’s disease, and traumatic injuries. One of the most frequent types of tinnitus stems from exposure to prolonged sounds, which can include places such as your workplace, sporting events or concerts and even service within armed forces.

Although tinnitus is not curable, this does not mean that you are unable to reduce the symptoms you may experience. A common treatment is the use of sound therapy devices, which include hearing aids to reduce the awareness of tinnitus. Cognitive behavioural therapy is also available to try and reduce the negative impact tinnitus may have upon an individual’s life.

Is tinnitus preventable?

It is cautionary to note that you can try and prevent tinnitus with the below methods, however it is not always possible to prevent tinnitus.

It is documented that protecting your ears from prolonged exposure to loud noises can avoid developing tinnitus. This includes listening to music at a high volume which can also cause long term damage. It has been estimated that 24% of 12–34-year olds listen to music regularly on an unsafe level.

The recommended level of exposure to noise should not exceed 85 decibels.

Should you see a medical professional?

It is advised and recommended that if you are continuously and regularly experiencing ringing within your ears to seek advice from a medical professional. If required, your GP can refer you to a specialist for further treatment and tests.

Personal injury

Here at Stephensons our personal injury team have experience with dealing with tinnitus claims involving individuals who have been exposed to excessive noise in the workplace without adequate measures in place, traumatic injuries sustained during car accidents and injuries sustained while being an active member of the armed forces.

If you feel you have been exposed to excessive noise and have now developed hearing loss, deafness or tinnitus as a direct result or you feel that your employer has failed to implement the appropriate safety procedures to reduce the noise you are exposed to, contact us on 0161 696 6235 for advice. If you find talking on a telephone difficult then please contact us by using our online enquiry form.

By Joseph Carney, graduate paralegal