Tinnitus Awareness Week will launch in Australia from February 6-12, 2017. A joint partnership between the British Tinnitus Association, the American Tinnitus Association and Better Hearing Australia, this is the first time that focus on this condition has been addressed in Australia under a network of collective medical and allied health organisations.
Tinnitus is the often debilitating presence of sound in the ears or head with no known source. It may be a ring, buzz, whistle, hiss, hum or cicada like sound. This constant irritation can lead to depression, cause anxiety and greatly affect lives.
“Tinnitus can be a serious and debilitating condition which affects one in ten of our population, however, there is very little support or open dialogue about the symptoms or associated mental health impact on sufferers,” says Carol Wilkinson, from Better Hearing Australia (VIC).
“The lack of help has a severe impact on the community, as tinnitus is often related to anxiety, with sufferers needing support to alleviate distress. We aim to raise awareness within the medical profession, particularly GPs, so that patients can feel more confident about treatment options and will no longer be simply told to ‘just live with it’”, Ms Wilkinson adds.
Feeling isolated by her experience, tinnitus sufferer and Better Hearing Australia (VIC) board member, Victoria Didenko, launched an Australian awareness campaign in 2015. “MY EAR RINGS FOR PEACE” saw a collaboration between Better Hearing Australia (VIC) and Australian Jewellery Designer, Jan Logan, to raise money with the aim of establishing a national tinnitus support line in Australia. This campaign, along with Better Hearing Australia’s involvement in Australia’s first ever Tinnitus Awareness Week demonstrates the sheer determination of the organisation to put tinnitus on the national agenda.
Did you know?
- Tinnitus can happen at any age.
- Tinnitus affects 1 in 10 Australians – that’s over 2,000,000 of us.
- Anxiety and depression can be associated with tinnitus.
- Tinnitus doesn’t discriminate and can affect people from all walks of life.
As part of the Tinnitus Awareness Week launch, a Tinnitus Australia alliance has been formed, as well as a Tinnitus Australia website to house support information and advice for sufferers.
‘Together with Tinnitus’ will kick off with a TEA FOR TINNITUS event at Better Hearing House on February 6, at 5 High Street, Prahran.