British television presenter, Kirsty Gallacher, last week stepped down from her role with GB News after a benign tumour was found in her ear canal, resulting in tinnitus.
According to the NHS, tinnitus is a hearing condition commonly described as ringing, buzzing, whooshing, humming, or hissing sounds in one or both ears. It affects one in 10 adults, increasing to 17 per cent of 40 to 69-year-olds and nearly a third of over 70s. An estimated 1 million GP consultations take place every year in the UK with the treatment pathway costing the NHS over £750 million.
According to the British Tinnitus Association (BTA), there are an estimated six million people living with tinnitus in the UK – and the Association expects the number to increase by more than 500,000 over the next 10 years.
Tinnitus Awareness Week, and the BTA is calling for the establishment of a ‘Tinnitus Biobank’ which aims to find an objective measure of the condition, a biomarker, and a set of subtypes which will develop a pathway to finding a cure to the condition.
A biobank is a large-scale database that contains the health information of participants which becomes accessible to researchers.
Unfortunately, tinnitus related research currently receives 40 times less funding than other hearing related conditions – the BTA says just £4 million would help lead to a cure.
Tinnitus is relatively common, with the main causes being:
- Hearing loss
- Ear infection
- Head or neck injuries
- Ear muscle spasms
- Ear bone changes
- Meniere’s disease
- Eustachian tube dysfunction
- Anxiety or depression
- Certain medications such as antibiotics, cancer drugs, water pills, antidepressants
- Chronic conditions such as migraines, thyroid problems, anaemia, and arthritis
While anyone is at risk of tinnitus, there are certain factors that increase risk:
- Excessive exposure to loud noises
- Old age
- Health issues such as high blood pressure
Post traumatic tinnitus
Post traumatic tinnitus refers to tinnitus caused by trauma, such as head or neck injuries, concussion, whiplash, brain damage, or post-surgery. This can be as a result of an accident and in some cases, can be misdiagnosed by a healthcare expert.
If you think you may have developed tinnitus as a result of an accident, it is crucial to contact a specialist legal expert with experience in personal and serious injury claims as you may have a case for tinnitus compensation. Our expert solicitors can guide you through the process.
Get in touch with our team here who will get you the compensation you deserve.