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Tinnitus Awareness Week: What is the hearing condition, how it's caused and what support is available

In the serious injury team at Irwin Mitchell, we deal with all manner of life-changing injuries sustained by our clients from brain injuries to fractures to amputations. Our clients often have a range of symptoms as a consequence of suffering a serious injury.

Once such condition is tinnitus. While many people will have heard of tinnitus, many are probably unaware just how serious and life-changing it can be. This week is Tinnitus Awareness Week, seven days dedicated to raising awareness about the condition.  

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition which leaves victims hearing noises in their ears or head when there is no external noise present. It's often described by sufferers as a constant background noise, such as humming, buzzing, ringing or whistling. According to the charity Tinnitus UK, one in seven adults in the UK are affected.

The effects of tinnitus can be wide reaching. From simply needing to have the TV on a higher volume setting to struggling in conversation with people, it can effect a sufferer’s daily life and can impact upon mental health and wellbeing. 

While it's common for those who've worked in loud environments to suffer with tinnitus as a result of noise-induced hearing loss, we also often support clients who suffer with tinnitus following a serious injury, such as a road collision. There's currently no cure for the condition but suffers can get access to specialist help, support and therapies to help live with tinnitus. 

The Tinnitus Biobank

The focus of this year's Tinnitus Awareness Week is the need for a ‘Tinnitus Biobank’; a database of anonymised biological information collected from people with tinnitus. It's hoped that such a bank could help in identifying causes and help make strides towards a possible cure.

The introduction of a ‘Tinnitus Biobank’ could help researchers in developing treatments and perhaps even a cure for tinnitus. 

Any such developments would be welcome news for tinnitus sufferers but could also lead to increased claims being made for newer treatments.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting people affected by tinnitus at our website.