hi i have just joined the BTA , ihave had T for about 3 years but in the last year the volume of it has increased significantly to a level that i am having trouble coping with i really enjoyed your blog but wish to say that i have never really been into music i prefer reading, for shame i hear you say! However i work for the National Autistic Society and our clients can be both challenging and very... Read more
Eddy's Tinnitus Awareness Week Diary - The Last Day
Today is the final day of Tinnitus Awareness Week, so those with tinnitus can finally go back to that zone of deliberate un-awareness and exhale deeply.
Looking back on the past seven days, I have mixed feelings.
On the positive side, there is an enormous amount of awareness of this condition, much more, I think, than before my tenure at the BTA.
Certainly, much, much more than when I was young and the relationship between my ears and my brain was less dysfunctional. We have, once again, saved a lot of ears and brains by evangelising about proper ear protection, and we've seen some interesting new ideas in treatments and therapy to alleviate it.I also discovered that deaf people can get it, so it is therefore not an 'ear' problem, as I'd thought, but a brain issue.
This week has also put into focus how far we have to go.
Some interesting questions have come my way via Twitter. The most popular one is 'do you think venues should impose sound limits?'
I feel very strongly about this and want to state, publicly, that I am 100 percent against sound limits. I am against prohibition in general. What I am for is knowledge and education. I just want people to make an informed decision, something I never had when I was growing up. I thought the ringing in my ears was part and parcel of the 'going out to gigs' experience. Nobody told me I could permanently damage my brain.
See - that sounds bad doesn't it? 'Damage my ears' doesn't sound so bad, certainly not bad enough for the government to do anything about it. If the civil servants making these decisions were informed of the facts, that it's brain damage we're talking about, then perhaps we'd see less apathy and more action.
One in ten people suffer from tinnitus, and this will rise because of mp3 players etc. And we'll get a spike in the figures from the thousands of soldiers who'll come back from Afghanistan and Iraq with it.
Tinnitus sufferers are ignored. More to the point, the people who don't have it are ignored, and without the knowledge, without the education, 10% of them will get it.
Would it not be more intelligent, more caring and responsible to use some of the money allocated to these sorts of public information campaigns for educating people with the truth about tinnitus? That they can permanently damage their brain just by walking into a pub, or a club, or a gig. Surely there must be a plaque, a sign, on display, next to the one that says 'licensed to sell alcohol' which reads 'You can permanently damage your hearing if you do not protect yourself in this venue'. Is that really too much to ask? Wouldn't a law that makes it the venue's responsibility to supply earplugs for sale behind the bar make social and economic sense?
Please contact your MP and let them know how you feel about this. We are the one in ten and it's time we were taken seriously.
With love and respect,
claire blaker over 1 year ago