Share Your Sound - ask for help Reach out and ask for help if you’re living with tinnitus By its very nature, tinnitus is different for everyone who lives with the condition, from the type and strength of internal sounds people hear, to how it impacts on their day-to-day lives. However, one thing is strikingly common: the benefits people with the condition feel when they can open up and talk to others about how their tinnitus is affecting them. Our study has revealed almost two thirds (sixty one percent) of people living with tinnitus feel isolated, and more than half of those people (58 percent) think a lack of understanding from others about their condition creates those feelings of isolation. The survey of 483 also found 40 percent stated their isolation was caused by the changes they had made to their social life because of their tinnitus and 33 percent said they felt their problem was too easily dismissed by those around them. This research certainly makes for difficult reading but it reinforces our continued calls for more awareness of the condition, amongst the medical profession and the general public, too. Approximately 1.05 million GP consultations for tinnitus take place each year in the UK and it’s estimated the condition costs society £2.7 billion per year. Equally, around half of patients report finding it moderately or severely distressing, with complaints of intrusiveness, emotional stress, insomnia, auditory perceptual problems and concentration problems. But there is hope and tinnitus can be managed. We just need to work hard to ensure GPs have the right information and guidance, and that patients feel they have an outlet and can talk openly about their condition. Our survey results reinforce this point, finding that 67 percent of respondents think better public awareness about the impact tinnitus can have would make a difference to their isolation and, more than a third (34 per cent) believe better support from their GP could make a difference. We released guidance for GPs earlier this year, after we found more than half of tinnitus patients were ‘unsatisfied’ with their doctor’s response to their condition, but it’s clear more work needs to be done. So, today, on the back of our research, we’re launching our Share your Sound campaign in a bid to get people with tinnitus talking. We want to unite the tinnitus community and empower people living with the condition to talk about their own experiences more openly, whether it’s through our charity, the British Tinnitus Association itself, their friends and family, or importantly – their GP. We have a Share Your Sound pack available to download here, which includes resources we hope patients will take to their GP to give them immediate access to our guidance – in turn, helping them to inform and support their patients better. A pack can also be requested by post by emailing [email protected]. Also, there’s lots more information about how people can get involved with the campaign, including a range of icons we’ve created to portray some of the different forms of tinnitus. To find out more about Share Your Sound and to download a GP tinnitus support pack to share with your GP, please click here.