THE audiology team at Basildon University Hospital will host a cake sale and information stand in hospital main reception on Tuesday 27 June, 10am-2pm, to support Tea for Tinnitus month. They will also offer information and advice to visitors and patients. This national event is organised by the British Tinnitus Society and all funds raised will go towards supporting people living with this hearing condition.
Tinnitus is any sound that a person can hear from inside their body, rather than from an outside source. It is often described as a ringing in the ear, but a range of different sounds can be heard at varying volume levels. Tinnitus is not a physically harmful condition but it can cause distress and prevent sufferers from sleeping or concentrating.
Dawn Bramham, head of adult, children and newborn hearing, explains: “Tinnitus affects about five million people, in varying degrees. Depending on its level and other factors, it doesn’t bother some people but can really cause distress in others. In older people, tinnitus is often caused by natural hearing loss. In younger people, the condition can sometimes occur as a result of hearing damage caused by excessive noise.
“Tinnitus can swamp what you are trying to hear, prevent you sleeping and that in turn stops you functioning in daily life. Our job in the audiology service is to help people function with the noise. There is no cure but there are lots of things we can do to help you stop noticing it.”
Help for tinnitus sufferers includes hearing aids which help overcome the noise. In some cases ‘white noise’ can be fed into the hearing aids. Tinnitus can seem much worse at night when people take their hearing aids out. There are CDs and devices such as pillow speakers available that play relaxing sounds, although these may not be practical for the partner of the tinnitus sufferer.
Treatments offered by the audiology service also include cognitive behavioural therapy, to help sufferers relax and tolerate their condition.
For information and support about tinnitus www.tinnitus.org.uk ENDS