National Tinnitus Week 2-8 February
Tinnitus isn’t something you hear about all the time but according to NHS figures 6 million people in the UK / 10 % have mild tinnitus and 600,000 experiencing it more severely. Chris Martin from Cold Play is apparently plagued by the daily buzzing of his tinnitus and Plan B suffers also.
Whilst it is not harmful sufferers do say that it can affect concentration and sleep. Sleep loss also leads to concentration problems and may lead to depression.
Tinnitus is more common in the over 65 age group and is a sound heard from within the body, most people experience it in one or both ears and the head.It can be one of many sounds;
- grinding or hissing and can be constant or intermittent, loud or quiet, low, medium or high pitched. Some have even likened the sound to music itself.
Older people may experience tinnitus because their auditory nerves have become less sensitive and in younger people it may be because they have been exposed to excessively loud music. Other causes include, a blockage of earwax, middle ear infection and glue ear. Anaemia can cause tinnitus as can a perforated ear drum. It is often made worse by stress or when lying or sitting down.
Whilst there is no quick fix treatment for the condition, medical experts suggest distraction methods, such as the TV or sound generators to disguise the noises heard and cognitive therapy.