Tinnitus Awareness Week 2016
Tinnitus Awareness week is an annual event organised by the charity The British Tinnitus Association to raise the awareness of the condition. This year will be the 10th Anniversary of Tinnitus Awareness Week and will focus on the theme of Prevention which, as a company that promotes noise control and noise monitoring in the workplace, we are delighted to support.
What is Tinnitus?
You may be familiar with this term but not quite sure what it involves. Tinnitus is a ringing in the ears caused usually by an intense and sustained high noise level. In this case, it is caused by the over-stimulation of the tiny hair cells attached to the membrane in the cochlea. The ringing sensation can continue up to 24 hours after the noise has ceased. The most common cause of tinnitus is exposure to loud noise although it can also develop as a result of infection, stress and allergies. The condition can be temporary (acute) or permanent (chronic).
Tinnitus is often described by sufferers as a hum, whine, whistle or rushing noise that is generated in the inner ear. Many people have experienced the ringing sensation that we get after a pop concert and this is as close as it gets to understanding tinnitus. In the UK, well over 300,000 people are thought to suffer from clinical Tinnitus. This is a distressing condition which can deprive sufferers of sleep or concentration. Famous people with tinnitus include: Charles Darwin, Ozzy Osbourne, Phil Collins, Neil Young, Gerard Butler and Will.i.am.
One way of avoiding tinnitus in a work environment is by preventing or controlling exposure to excessive noise levels.
In the UK, The control of Noise at Work Regulations specify action levels at which the hearing of employees must be protected. One accurate way of identifying whether these levels are breached is by assessing noise levels regularly and recording the findings and reviewing any changes.
Why not find out more about the subject?
Pulsar Instruments are running noise awareness courses for employers and safety professionals who want to further their understanding of key issues relating to noise in the workplace and how best to control it. This popular one day course includes a substantial section on the functioning of the ear and the short term and long term damage exposure to high noise levels can cause. This includes tinnitus.
You can also find out more about Tinnitus Awareness Week 2016 and how to get involved by visiting British Tinnitus Association website.