Tinnitus Awareness…  1 in 10 Irish people experience tinnitus

A series of events and information days are being held across the country as part of Tinnitus Awareness in February, supported by Chime and the Irish Tinnitus Association.

Tinnitus is the name for the condition whereby people experience sounds which do not have an external origin. The noises may be heard as ringing, buzzing, whistling, roaring, rumbling, whining, clicking or other variations. One or both ears may be affected.

Tinnitus can result from a number of events and conditions. Exposure to loud noise is a common one; it can also be associated with ageing, head or ear surgery or certain drugs. In some people, tinnitus develops after a cold or flu, an ear infection or a period of severe stress. Temporary tinnitus following a night at a loud party or nightclub is common, but repeated exposure to loud noise and music can result in long-term ear damage, including permanent tinnitus. In some cases there is no known cause for tinnitus.

Tinnitus is not a psychological illness, but it can cause psychological distress. One or both ears can be affected. At the present time there is no cure but the condition can be managed.

The condition can have a serious effect on a person’s quality of life, particularly in the period after the person is initially affected. Coping with tinnitus noises can be debilitating, leading to anxiety and depression; loss of interest in work, leisure activities and relationships. Sleep may be disturbed and concentration affected. Little understanding by others of a condition that is not visible can increase a person’s isolation. It is estimated that about 10% of people report persistent tinnitus, and about one in ten of these are significantly troubled by the tinnitus. However, with time, the great majority of people do learn to live with tinnitus, and have a good quality of life in spite of it.

Tinnitus Awareness is from 4th - 8th February 2019. Find out about services available to you or tinnitus awareness events in your area. The Irish Tinnitus Association are on hand to support you and provide a designated helpline on Thursday morning. Alternatively, you can call any of our resource centres to speak to one of our tinnitus experts who can provide you with support and advice. 

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