Tinnitus Awareness Week – AWH Solicitors

Tinnitus
LLB (Hons) & LPC Annabel Chadwick
Written by: Alice Williams Legally reviewed by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Annabel Chadwick Updated: In: Industrial Disease

Tinnitus Awareness Week

This week, the 7th-13th February 2022 the British Tinnitus Association are campaigning to make sure that everyone with tinnitus gets the support that they need, and also ask people to get involved with their #ThisIsMySilence campaign, which focuses on showing the impact that tinnitus can have on those who experience it.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is most often described as a ringing in the ears, but it also sometimes presents as a roaring, hissing, clicking or buzzing. It may be soft or loud, high or low pitched. It is a symptom that something is wrong with the auditory system, which includes the ear, the auditory nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain, and the parts of the brain that process sounds. Some people find that they aren’t particularly bothered by tinnitus, but for others, it disrupts their daily lives. In many people, tinnitus is caused by one or several of the following:

  • Medications
    Several medications may cause or worsen tinnitus. These medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and certain antibiotics, cancer drugs, water pills (diuretics), antimalarial drugs and antidepressants. The higher the dose of these medications, the worse the tinnitus becomes.
  • Head or Neck injuries
    Trauma to the head or neck can affect the inner ear, hearing nerves or brain function linked to hearing. Such injuries usually cause tinnitus in only one ear.
  • Ear infection or ear canal blockage
    If there is a build-up of fluid or dirt in the ear, then the pressure may build up in the ear canal and cause tinnitus.
  • Hearing loss
    The tiny, delicate hair cells that exist in your inner ear (cochlea) that move when your ear receives sound waves. This movement triggers electrical signals along the nerve from your ear to your brain (auditory nerve). If the hairs inside your inner ear are bent or broken – if, for example, you are regularly exposed to loud sounds – they can ‘leak’ random electrical impulses to your brain – causing tinnitus.

How to Prevent Tinnitus

If you work in an environment that exposes you to loud noises, then it is important that you are provided with the right protection. This includes:

  • Wearing earplugs if you are going to be exposed to loud sounds of over 85dB
  • If you do wear earplugs or hearing aids, then make sure that you keep them clean
  • Take regular breaks, as your ears are able to cope better if you give them regular breaks when in a noisy environment

Read more on our hearing loss claims page.

Legal Protection in Your Working Environment

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (the Noise Regulations) came into force for most industry sectors on the 6th April 2006. The music and entertainment sectors came into force later, on 6th April 2008. The aim is to ensure that worker’s hearing is protected from excessive noise at their workplace, which could cause them to lose their hearing and/or to suffer from tinnitus.

As part of their duty of care, employers must always provide hearing protection at 85dB and the level at which employers must assess the risk to worker’s health and provide them with information about the risks.

It is important for those who have been affected by unreasonable workplace noise to know that they deserve legal support. At AWH, our specialists have experience in dealing with many people who have suffered from tinnitus. We can help you to make a claim for compensation.

Get in touch today for expert help and advice.

Tinnitus Week 2022 is taking place from 7-13 February and we are calling for the establishment of a Tinnitus Biobank. Find out more below or sign up now.

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