Tinnitus Awareness Week

February 3 – 9 is national Tinnitus Awareness Week. Tinnitus is a noise perceived in the ears or the head, often ringing or buzzing. Persistent tinnitus, where the noise is ever present, can be a problem for the sufferer with, potentially, a serious impact on daily living. A noise that we produce within ourselves and that doesn’t go away, can be very wearing, even at a mild level. Steve is often approached about tinnitus and the ways he can help. This was recently the case when Penny approached him, having found tinnitus was having a profound effect on her life. We asked Penny about her experience:

How long have you experienced Tinnitus?    

Several years and it has got worse (louder) over the last year.

How does it affect you?

I had trouble getting to sleep/disturbed sleep. I found it hard to concentrate at work and at home.

Had you tried anything to alleviate the problems it causes?

I listen to music to help me ignore the noise but this does not always help. I also try to do some relaxation as I find stress can make the tinnitus worse.

Why did you decide to go to see Steve at our Hearing Centre?

It was only after talking to a colleague about it and found out that he too suffers from tinnitus and that he wears hearing aids to mask it.

What did Steve do for you and was it successful?

Steve assessed me, did a hearing test and then fitted some hearing aids. He also suggested I try a sound box at bedtime (which is fantastic and works). He is very easy to talk to and answered all my questions.

What changes have you noticed since wearing the aids? 

It’s brilliant! When I am wearing the aids the tinnitus just vanishes and it is such a good feeling and makes me feel more confident and less stressed. My hearing has improved as well (I now know I also have hearing loss – most people with persistent tinnitus, I now know, also have hearing loss).

What would you say to other people with tinnitus?

If you have tinnitus you don’t have to suffer with it, there is lots of help, advice and support available.

If you live in the Newbury area and suffer from tinnitus, please call to make an appointment with Steve, to get professional advice on ways to help. You can also find out more about tinnitus on the website of the British Tinnitus Association: www.tinnitus.org.uk