In our latest guest blog, Dr Sarah Jarvis – GP and clinical director for Patient.info – lends her support to Tinnitus Week and speaks out about the importance of raising awareness of how tinnitus impacts on children and young people.

Tinnitus is different for everyone

For some, it’s a buzzing noise and for others, it can be a ringing, a hissing or whistling. For children and young people, however, it can often be bewildering and difficult to explain.

That’s why this Tinnitus Week it’s so important we work together to raise awareness of the fact the condition can – and does – affect the younger generation.

Tinnitus awareness 

The British Tinnitus Association’s research, revealed this week, has shown that the majority of UK parents are unaware that children can have tinnitus, with just under a third (32%) aware that children under the age of 10 can have tinnitus, and just 37% think it can affect children aged 10 to 16-years-old.

This common misconception that tinnitus only affects older people is unfortunately widespread and the research proves testimony to this, highlighting the need for better awareness.

Through my work as a GP, I know only too well the significant impact tinnitus can have on a person’s quality of life – young or old – but it’s important to know that it can be managed effectively.

By driving a better understanding of the signs of the condition in young people, we can empower those working closely with young people – such as parents, teachers and carers – to spot the signs and seek the support they need.

Feelings of anger and frustration, difficulty sleeping and problems with concentration at school are just a few of the indicators that could point towards tinnitus in a child.

However, if you don’t ask a child whether they’re hearing sounds in their head or ears, you may not know they are is living undiagnosed with the condition. And that means you won’t be able to get them the help they need.

Therefore, it’s great to see the BTA releasing much-needed guidance for parents and teachers this Tinnitus Week.

Hopefully, these new resources will provide people with the tools they need to learn about tinnitus, how it can impact on a child’s life and, ultimately, encourage parents and teachers to spot the signs of a young person who could be living with the condition.

To find out more about Tinnitus Week, visit www.tinnitus.org.uk/about-tinnitus-week

You can find Dr Jarvis at @DrSarahJarvis on Twitter and follow Patient at @patient and www.Patient.info