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RNID launches new drive to silence tinnitus for good

February 3, 2021

A press release:

This Tinnitus Awareness week (1st – 7th Feb), RNID are launching a new drive to encourage more people to back vital research into tinnitus. The charity is already funding research into new treatments which could lead to millions of people with tinnitus being helped but we need your support now more than ever. 

Dr Ralph Holme, Director of research at RNID said;

We are learning more about the biology of tinnitus every day and exploring new ways to treat it. The progress being made gives us real hope of breakthroughs in the next few years that will bring us closer to effective treatments. In order to achieve this we need your continued support.

RNID, the national charity making life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus, is raising awareness of tinnitus and calling on supporters to help fund more research to help silence it forever.

Tinnitus is a ringing, hissing, roaring or any other sound in one or both ears or in the head, which has no external source. It is most frequently associated with exposure to loud sounds that damage the ear and ultimately cause changes to the brain.

Many of us will have experienced temporary tinnitus after a night out at a concert but for some people, tinnitus is permanent. 7.1 million people – that’s 1 in 8, have tinnitus in the UK. For many people it can cause serious anxiety and stress and in some cases lead to depression and sleep disorders.

Rich, 32, a teacher said his tinnitus started eight years ago.

“The first time I noticed it I was driving home from work. I could hear a whistling noise and I thought there must be something wrong with the car. It felt like the window was open slightly so made sure they were all closed and I could still hear that noise which I thought was really strange. The noise was just not going away and even when the engine was turned off it was still there. I ended up waiting in the car for around 20 minutes and it was completely silent – apart from this noise in my head.”

He adds:

“I was in panic, stressed, frustrated when it first started and would be ironing my shirt for work in the morning in floods of tears as it wouldn’t go away. But now I manage really well. It doesn’t impact on me as much as it did as I have learned ways to cope and manage it. Staying calm helps, as does exercise. I always tell people that it will get better, you just have to give it time.

I have listened to a few seminars during lockdown that gave me excellent tips to try. Once was about moving the tinnitus down the priority list in your head. It’s all about knowing that it’s there but trying not to make it something to worry about – because then it moves up your priority list.

RNID has invested over £1m in silencing tinnitus since 2012. The charity’s research in this area has increased understanding of the biological basis of tinnitus, knowledge that is now being used to develop treatments.

Donations have helped fund a PhD student to study how brain activity changes as tinnitus develops.  In time, this research will move us forward to find effective treatments for tinnitus. For every £1 we receive, 92p goes to help deaf people and those living with hearing loss or tinnitus.

RNID is asking for a future where tinnitus is silenced and asking supporters to donate today

·         £25 Would pay for a researcher to use a specialised microscope for one hour to study the inner ear to improve delivery of drugs to treat hearing loss.

·         £500 Would cover the cost of a brain scan for a person with dementia, helping us understand the link between hearing loss and dementia.

·         £10,000 Would support a small pilot study to carry out preliminary testing of a potential new treatment for tinnitus.

The charity also runs a Tinnitus helpline which offers free, confidential information about tinnitus. Call 0808 808 6666 (freephone) or Text 07800 000360.

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