An aspiring DJ is calling for greater use of ear protection to ensure those in the music industry are not affected by the ‘life-changing’ effects of tinnitus.
Richard Gillis (39), from Moseley, Birmingham, works as an IT consultant and took up DJing as a hobby in 2016.
Within a couple of months of being around constant loud music and only using basic foam ear plugs, he started to notice a high-pitch ringing noise in his ears.
Hearing loss instigated by loud music is well-known, but many DJs and artists are not aware of the potential impact on their lives and careers it could cause until it is too late.
People affected by tinnitus hear a ringing, hissing or whistling sound in one or both of their ears or head not linked to any external source, often caused by exposure to loud noise or ear or head injuries.
Richard said: “My main worry that was getting me down was not the tinnitus itself as I am lucky it is only a mild form – but the real fear of it getting worse, ultimately becoming life-changing and stopping me from doing the things I love.
“I found out about The Tinnitus Clinic after doing some research online and the help and advice I received from The Tinnitus Clinic in Birmingham was very beneficial and useful.
“The main benefit I took from attending the Initial Assessment was gaining information - both in terms of test results, and verbal feedback on my accounts of my own experiences, understanding, and research.
“It was important to me to correct any misconceptions I might have had, so that I could take the correct action in protecting my ears without giving up all the activities I enjoy.
“The best way to do this was being able to get my questions answered by an expert who was up-to-date with the latest studies in the field, and Sylvia Kewish, Clinic Manager and Clinical Audiologist was excellent in that role.
“I have full confidence in her expertise, she was very forthcoming and communicated clearly and in a personable and friendly way.”
Added Richard: “Most importantly I would advise people to limit the hours they spend without correct ear protection in any loud environment – as the consequences you face could ultimately be life-changing.
“More information and awareness needs to be out there and available to help people such as myself to avoid the fear which often develops once diagnosed with tinnitus.”
Sylvia said: “Richard’s story is not uncommon – when the symptoms of tinnitus first strike, patients can be highly anxious so what people need at their first GP appointment is hope and reassurance.
“That’s why expert staff and clinicians at The Tinnitus Clinic have put together a GP Guide which features input and contributions from healthcare professionals and is designed as a resource to help healthcare workers in primary care better understand tinnitus, as well as what can be done to help patients affected.”
To download a copy of the GP Guide visit https://thetinnitusclinic.co.uk/downloads/GP_Brochure_Download.pdf.