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      Charity highlights the invisible condition that affects six million people in the UK

      3 February 2017

      To mark national Tinnitus Awareness Week (6 – 12 February) charity Action on Hearing Loss has launched a tinnitus myth-busting guide to shed some of the common preconceptions about tinnitus which affects six million people in the UK.

      Tinnitus, a medical condition which is usually described as a ringing, hissing, buzzing, roaring or humming sound in one or both ears where there is no external sound source, affects around one in every 10 adults in the UK, increasing to nearly 17% of 40 to 69-year-olds and 25-30% of over 70s. It can have a detrimental effect on a person's life, their relationships with family and friends and their ability to sleep, concentrate and work.

      There is currently no cure for tinnitus, but there are effective ways of managing it, with the charity’s new guide highlighting the therapies and products that are available to help people effectively deal with it.

      Paul Breckell, Action on Hearing Loss Chief Executive, explained: ‘An Action on Hearing Loss survey suggests that while a quarter of us know someone affected by the condition, 85% of people are unaware of the help available for dealing with tinnitus. As a charity we are funding research to find a cure, which we hope will come within a generation, but while our scientists are working towards a breakthrough there are a wide range of treatments available from the NHS to help people to manage it, such as sound therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and products available make it easier to deal with.

      ‘As a charity, we have produced a myth-busting guide about the condition and we also have a dedicated Tinnitus Information Line which provides vital support to those affected and their families and we would like to encourage anyone affected not to suffer in silence, but reach out for support that is out there. For people that might need more support, I would urge them to make an appointment with their GP in order to be referred to NHS Audiology to help them manage their condition.’

      Paul continued: ‘Noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus are increasingly urgent health issues, with four million young people at risk of hearing damage from amplified music, so prevention is another important message this week - if you can hear someone else’s music from their own personal music player, they are probably doing their hearing some damage so they should turn it down a notch and get a pair of good noise cancelling headphones.’

      Action on Hearing Loss is the largest donor-funded deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss research charity in the world, it funds cutting-edge research to find treatments with the aim of curing the condition.

      Contact for media enquiries

      Gorki Duhra, Senior PR Officer, telephone: 0203 227 6046 / 07944 038635; email: gorki.duhra@hearingloss.org.uk and Twitter: @hearinglosspr 

      Notes to editors:

      • A range of case studies of people who have varying degrees of tinnitus are available for interview upon request. Spokespeople, Medical experts and infographics/images 
      • Listen to the Action on Hearing Loss tinnitus simulation (mp3 file) to discover how some people experience tinnitus via this link – under the section - What does tinnitus sound like? http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/loud-music/tinnitus-or-ringing-in-ears.aspx - The sound file can be sent upon request as an MP3 File
      • Action on Hearing Loss conducted a survey using Censuswide – from 30 January to 1 February 2016, with 1968 members of the public surveyed from over the age of 18 in the UK
      • Action on Hearing Loss is a national charity that helps people to confront deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss to live the life they choose.  Action on Hearing Loss enables them to take control of their lives and remove the barriers in their way. Action on Hearing Loss gives people support and care, develop technology and treatments, and campaign for equality
      • Tinnitus is a medical term to describe noise(s) that people can hear in one ear, both ears or in the head – such as ringing, buzzing or whistling. The sounds heard can vary from person to person, but the common link is that they do not have an external source
      • Tinnitus can have a substantial negative impact on a person’s mental health, relationships and ability to sleep, concentrate, and work.  Investment in research has the potential to not only improve the quality of life for millions of people across the UK
      • Department of Health (2009) Provision of Services for Adults with Tinnitus- A Good Practice Guide is available by copying the following link into your internet browser.
        http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130107105354/http:/www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_093810.pdf
      • The Action on Hearing Loss policy statement to support people with tinnitus is available via the following link: Tinnitus
      • For further information about Action on Hearing Loss or to become a member, visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk, contact the Action on Hearing Loss Information Line on 0808 808 0123 (freephone) or 0808 808 9000 (textphone) or email: informationline@hearingloss.org.uk