23 October 2018   |  Last Updated 09-02-2015 09:17

      Sunday 08, February 2015

      Cases of tinnitus amongst Manchester's young people could surge, warns support group

      Credit: Manchester Tinnitus Support Group

      CONSTANTLY listening to loud music through earphones and standing by speakers in clubs could trigger tinnitus, warns the leader of Manchester Tinnitius Support Group.

      Lianne Riley made the comments on what is Tinnitus Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness to GP’s about what support is available to those diagnosed with the incurable condition.

      Speaking to Quays News, she said: “Prolonged use of music players will be a cause [of tinnitus]. They reckon that tinnitus is increasing and will be more prevalent in the younger generation soon. Because we’re all plugged in to our IPods aren’t we“.

      Currently one in 10 people in the UK suffer from tinnitus, which is caused by hearing loss and results in a constant ringing in the ears and can be “very distressing”.

      Campbell Robertson has been living with tinnitus for several years and attends the support group meetings in Manchester. He also hopes to warn youngsters about the damage they could be doing to their hearing.

      “I tell you something actually about young people today. I watch them going around with these ear plugs in attached to a machine and sometimes I’m sitting on the trams and even I can hear the noise. They don’t realise the damage that they’re doing to their hearing”.

      Speaking to Quays News, he said some people who have the condition can be so distressed by it that they feel suicidal.

      “The sounds can be anything from a whistling to a howling or crunching , well actually it can be any type of sound. Everybody’s sound is slightly different. Mine is mainly a hissing sound.

      “It’s a long ongoing mind-blowing situation sometimes. And people certainly have in our group have suffered to the point where they really felt like jumping in the canal.

      “I always emphasize the word support. It’s a tinnitus support group. We’re there to support the people, to listen to their stories to talk to them and just reassure them that it is possible if you can manage to reduce your stress “.

      This week Action on Hearing Loss called for tinnitus sufferers to receive better care from the NHS.

      Lianne says in her experience of talking to people at the support group in Manchester, GP’s are unclear where to refer those diagnosed with tinnitus to.

      She said: “Most GP’s will tell somebody suffering with tinnitus that they just have to live with it. Which makes them feel very distressed and alone . The NHS does offer counselling and management schemes that GP’s can refer to. But they’re [doctors] just not aware of it”.

      Despite this lack of understanding, sufferer Campbell Robertson says he understands the point of view GP’s take in diagnosing the incurable condition, saying that ‘you won’t get comfort from your GP because he can’t do anything’.

      “I manage it anyway because I’m a bloody minded person. And I just think of this thing just go away I’m not having you rule my life”.

      Last week journalist Suzanna Reid announced she been suffering with the condition for a decade. Other high profile stars with tinnitus include Oasis brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher and Chris Martin, the Coldplay front man.

      Manchester Tinnitus Support Group aims to provide an information service and a peer support group for those diagnosed with tinnitus and struggling to cope with it. Meetings are free and take place on the first Wednesday of every month at Manchester Deaf Centre.


      By: Vicky Barker