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      New survey shows nearly one in two people have experienced ringing sound in ears

      8 February 2016

      Nearly one in two people across the UK (43%) have experienced tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing sound in the head or ears, according to a new poll by charity Action on Hearing Loss.

      The poll was published to mark Tinnitus Awareness Week (8 – 14 February). The number rises to over half (53.4%) for those aged 18 to 24 years old in the UK.

      The condition that permanently affects 6 million people in the UK can have a detrimental effect on a person's life, their relationships with family and friends and their ability to sleep, concentrate and work.

      A third of people (34%) surveyed said that they are exposed to loud noise every day with over a quarter (27%) of respondents having experienced ringing in their ears or dulled hearing after work. At the same time a worrying 40% of people didn’t know that being exposed to loud noise can lead to permanent tinnitus.

      Over two thirds (70%) of respondents were not aware of a link between tinnitus and hearing loss.  

      Paul Breckell, Action on Hearing Loss Chief Executive, explained: ‘The new figures announced by the charity today demonstrate how widespread tinnitus is and highlight the fact that many of us are not aware of the potential implications of this condition.

      ‘Being exposed to loud noise for a long time, whether through listening to loud music or working in a noisy environment can trigger tinnitus and is an indication of damaged hearing. Almost half of us either experienced tinnitus in the past or already living with the condition, but worryingly 85% of people are unaware or unsure of the help available.

      ‘It’s imperative that tinnitus sufferers are referred to NHS Audiology by their GP’s to help them manage their condition. We as a charity run a free 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.’

      There is currently no cure for tinnitus, but there are effective ways of managing it and Action on Hearing Loss offers information and a selection of products that can help those living with the condition. Action on Hearing Loss also runs the largest donor-funded deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss research programme in the world, funding cutting-edge research to find treatments - which could be as close as five years away - to help silence the condition.

      Contact for media enquiries

      Gorki Duhra, Senior PR Officer, telephone: 020 7296 8057 / 07944 038635; email: gorki.duhra@hearingloss.org.uk and Twitter: @HearingLossPR

      Notes to editors:

      • 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.
      • 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.
      • 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.