Last week the British Tinnitus Association launched their Share Your Sound campaign. It’s got 3 simple goals:
to encourage everyone to share their tinnitus experience and talk about the condition to others,
to encourage people with tinnitus to seek help if they’re struggling; and
to help the BTA get information to more GPs, who are so important in ensuring people with tinnitus get the right treatment.
Share your experience
Tinnitus can be hard to explain to friends, family and even your GP because it affects people so differently. Some people hear ringing in their ears; others get a whooshing noise; for some it’s a bit like white noise from an untuned radio; and for yet others it feels like hearing a heartbeat.
In my personal experience of tinnitus I hear a “ting ting ting”, and sometimes the plopping sound of dripping water, and even a squelching sound like pulling your wellies out of the mud at Glastonbury!
So, to make it much easier for those of with tinnitus to explain to others what our tinnitus is like, the British Tinnitus Association has created a series of images you can use to share your sound visually:
It’s easy to download and share your tinnitus image on social media, just click here (and if you’re wondering I think I’d pick the dark blue and red symbols for mine).
Ask for help if you’re struggling
A British Tinnitus Association study shows that almost two thirds (sixty one percent) of people living with tinnitus feel isolated. And around half of patients say they find tinnitus moderately or severely distressing, complaining of intrusiveness, emotional stress, insomnia, auditory perceptual problems and concentration problems.
There’s lots of information on the BTA website to help you manage your own tinnitus or support a friend or family member living with it. The BTA also has a helpline accessible by phone and email if you want to chat to someone who understands how you feel.
Help your GP understand Tinnitus
The British Tinnitus Association hears from people with tinnitus that GPs often lack information about how to manage tinnitus and where their patients can go for support. So, they’re inviting us to download an information pack and take it in to our GP practice. You can also ask for one by post by emailing email@example.com
As someone who has lived with tinnitus since I first lost my hearing in 2005 I know how frustrating, distracting and infuriating it can be. I also know how lucky I am that I received expert help early on. My goal now is to help as many people with tinnitus as I can to get the help they need and deserve.
If you’d like help to manage your tinnitus please get in touch. I’d love to support you to live well regardless of what you hear.