A leading tinnitus clinic is calling for ‘help and hope’ for the thousands of people living in Leicester affected by the condition, after a national survey revealed more than 90% of sufferers do not feel they were given sufficient health advice and guidance for their symptoms.
In a poll* by the leading provider of evidence-based tinnitus treatments in the UK, The Tinnitus Clinic, more than 80 per cent of respondents also reported feeling ‘disappointed’ about their options for treating the condition after consulting their doctor.
The survey by the Harley Street-based Clinic, which has a centre in Leicester, also found 91 per cent of respondents were told their tinnitus would be something they’d have to ‘learn to live with’ or ‘get used to’.
It is estimated more than 26,000** adults in Leicester have experienced tinnitus at one time or another, which is described as a ‘ringing in the ears’, but it can also be a whizzing, roaring, buzzing, hissing or another type of continuous noise. It may be high or low-pitched, and the volume may vary over time.
In some fortunate cases, the tinnitus will fade within hours or days. However, in others the tinnitus sound can continue for months or years, affecting sleep patterns, concentration and overall quality of life.
Now to mark Tinnitus Awareness Week Claire Marshall, Clinical Director at the Tinnitus Clinic in Leicester, is calling on GPs to ensure they do all they can to help patients with tinnitus.
She said: “Often patients come to us after finding a lack of support and understanding elsewhere. What tinnitus sufferers need at their first GP appointment is help and hope – to be offered support and reassurance their doctor will work with them to create a management plan aimed at reducing symptoms.”
The Tinnitus Clinic has published a GP Guide, with input and contributions from doctors and other healthcare professionals, as a resource to help the healthcare industry better understand the condition and what can be done to help those affected.
Added Claire: “The Guide has already been welcomed by a number of doctors as a useful and comprehensive resource in the management of this distressing condition for patients, and we are now encouraging Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the East Midlands and across the whole of the UK to upload the document to their Pathway Information Portal.”
*For the full survey results visit http://thetinnitusclinic.co.uk/tinnitus-treatment/survey/
**Calculated from 2015 Office of National Statistics adult population (18 to 90 year olds) in Leicester and the British Tinnitus Association research which states the number of people who live with persistent tinnitus is approximately 10%.