Oakwood Solicitors supports Tinnitus Awareness Week

 In Industrial Disease

Tinnitus Awareness Week (8 – 14 February) is an annual campaign devised and run by the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) to help raise awareness of, and support individuals with the condition and to let people know that help and support is available.

Tinnitus is a condition for which there is no standard cause or cure; it affects 10% of UK adults and one in ten sufferers also report severe, debilitating effects on their quality of life which can include anxiety, depression and sleep deprivation.

It is not always possible to identify the cause of tinnitus but it is often associated with hearing loss which, in younger people can be caused by damage to the inner ear as a result of excessive noise, an in adults could lead from working unprotected in a noisy environment. However, other causes include a build-up of ear wax which blocks the ear, a middle ear infection or glue ear.

Although there is a common misconception that Tinnitus is most common with the elderly, it can actually occur at any age, especially following exposure to loud noise. About ten per cent of the population experiences tinnitus all the time which can have an effect on their ability to concentrate at work and possibly cause sleeping problems.

Laura Mitchell-Ghafoor, Trainee Solicitor at Oakwood Solicitors has the following advice “We can all take some simple steps to avoid long-term damage to our hearing. To prevent hearing loss and tinnitus you should protect your ears from excessive noise exposure; wear ear protectors if you work in a noisy environment and avoid listening to music at a loud volume with earphones.”

“If you are continually hearing sounds such as a ringing, buzzing or humming then you should seek advice from your GP. If you are diagnosed with tinnitus caused by employer negligence, then contact a solicitor as they will help you claim some compensation that will help you with your expenses for living with the condition.”

There is currently no known cure for tinnitus, and most treatments are based on managing the condition; the most important part of the treatment is educational, and helping individuals understand causes, triggers and coping mechanisms.

More information can be found at www.tinnitus.org.uk. Local support groups are often available through the NHS too.

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