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Author: admin, 07.07.2015
This week is Tinnitus Awareness Week 2015 and we at Signal are supporting local tinnitus support groups to get the message out. Tinnitus is the perception of sound within one or both ears where no external source is present. Anyone can get tinnitus, with about 10% of the population living with some level of tinnitus at any one time.
I am now in my 40s and my hearing has deteriorated over the past few years, particularly in my left ear. This was an opportunity for people with tinnitus to get together in a friendly place and chat about the condition – among other things. In my role within Signal I understand the importance of communication and the need to reduce isolation. As an organisation which supports individuals concerned by and groups and services concerned with hearing loss and deafness, one of Signal’s roles is to raise the profile of conditions such as tinnitus.
Although it is often assumed that tinnitus occurs as a result of disease of the ears, this is often not the case.

I was coming home from school when I was hit by a speeding motorcycle travelling at over 60 miles an hour in a 30-mile-an-hour zone. I did, however, also have glass from the motorcycle’s headlight embedded in my left ear, but which luckily did not rupture my ear drum. Over the past three years I have also developed tinnitus in the one ear where the glass had been lodged.
I had some really nice conversations and found out a number of things about tinnitus which I had not known before.
Tinnitus can be a barrier for many people, but tinnitus support groups can help people over this barrier and this is why Signal will continue to support such groups however we can.
However, for myself the importance of this week takes on a personal slant, as I myself have tinnitus.
Visits to my local Audiology and Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) departments showed that I had only sustained mild hearing loss in my left ear, but I was told that this would possibly worsen as I aged. The Audiology and ENT diagnosis is that this is most likely linked to the trauma I received when I was hit by the motorcycle.

Judging by the smiles on most people’s faces, it looked like most people had a really good time. My tinnitus is a high-pitched, ringing squeal which goes up and down in volume at different times.
Sometimes yes – particularly when I am in a quiet environment the ringing gets to a very high level – but most of the time I am not bothered by it. It amazes me sometimes how this very clear sound which I hear is not heard by anyone else around me, but that is tinnitus and unless you experience it yourself it is difficult to comprehend what it is and what it means to those who have it.
After a brief discussion of how hypnotherapy works, she went on to explain how the technique can be used to help tinnitus sufferers learn to cope better with their symptoms.

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