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      New study reveals four out of ten dont know what tinnitus is

      2 November 2011

      ... and a quarter think it's an allergy to metal!

      A ground-breaking survey by the charity Action on Hearing Loss has revealed that most people don’t have a clue what tinnitus is.

      The study asked 1000 people what tinnitus is and 39 per cent of people said that they didn’t know. A further 22 per cent said they thought it was an allergy to metal and 11 people thought it was a repetitive strain injury.

      Tinnitus is a ringing in the ears which can be brought on from listening to loud music at festivals and gigs or through mp3 players. Action on Hearing Loss, formerly RNID, conducted the survey as part of its campaign to raise awareness among music lovers to look after their ears by wearing hearing protection such as earplugs when listening to loud music at gigs and festivals.

      A staggering 56 per cent had hurt their ears at a live concert because the music was so loud. But only 33 per cent have ever worn earplugs or tried other forms of hearing protection.

      Emma Harrison, Action on Hearing Loss Director of Public Engagement, said: ‘Nearly a quarter of a million people in the UK suffer from tinnitus, which can destroy a person’s quality of life. Tinnitus is common amongst young people who go out clubbing regularly or listen to music a lot.

      ‘Many don’t realise that ringing in your ears after a night out is a warning sign that you could be permanently damaging your ears. There’s currently no cure for hearing loss or tinnitus. We want to make more people aware of what tinnitus is and that there is hearing protection available, such as wearing earplugs, when going to concerts or festivals.’

      Action on Hearing Loss conducted the research over the course of the festival season. Other key findings include:

      • 11 per cent of people said it didn’t matter if you damaged your hearing.
      • 7 per cent of people of people thought there is a cure for a tinnitus.
      • 9 per cent of people thought there is a cure for hearing loss. 

      Notes to Editors:

      1. 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.