Chesterfield tinnitus sufferers urged to get help

“I was struggling to do my job and felt like I couldn’t go on.”

Sunday, 19th January 2020, 8:00 am

These are the words of a Derbyshire tinnitus sufferer who says a support group has transformed her life.

Tinnitus is a condition characterised by ringing or noises in the head or ears, which can affect sleep and concentration.

And sufferer Judith Power says seeking help can massively reduce the stress.

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The 65-year-old retired carer, of Pilsley, says: “I had been suffering with tinnitus for many years.

“I had always had a poor sleep pattern, but due to the stress of caring I was almost unable to sleep at all, leaving me exhausted and unable to concentrate.

“I was struggling to do my job and felt like I couldn’t go on.”

She was encouraged to seek help from the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Tinnitus Support Group after meeting founder member Audrey Carlin – and says her life has been “changed for the better”.

Ms Power says: “Listening to Audrey inspired me to join the group and it has changed my life for the better.

“I have learned how to use mindfulness and meditation to cope with the tinnitus and other stress in my life and by talking and listening to other members of the group we can help each other, as well as ourselves.

“All the information at the group is valid and reliable and access to current research is interesting and helpful.

“The group is extremely supportive and inclusive and has given me a more positive outlook on life.”

Members are now reaching out to other sufferers to let them know help and support is available.

A group spokeswoman said: “The onset of tinnitus can be frightening and lead to anxiety and depression. Many sufferers feel isolated and it can affect their daily family and social lives.”

They have organised an information event, as part of tinnitus awareness week, from February 3-9, where sufferers can go along and find out what help is available from both the group and the British Tinnitus Association. The event is at Monkey Park, Chester Street, Brampton, on Monday, February 3, from 1-3pm.

Mrs Carlin, aged 76, of Morton, who regularly volunteers for the support group, as well as the Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team, says: “Our group helps those suffering develop a ‘toolbox of techniques’, to help them manage the condition.”

BTA representatives will be at the meeting to talk about the research the charity is involved with.

Support group member Sarah Richards has been involved with research looking at the relationship between tinnitus and stress.

The 69-year-old, from Chesterfield, says: “Studying the relationship between stress and tinnitus using whatever means – in this case sampling the cortisol in hair – may help in the overall understanding of tinnitus.

“And while this research is not attempting to find a cure to the condition the more we understand what may cause the tinnitus the better.

“I believe my tinnitus is at least partly to do with stress so I considered myself to be a suitable candidate.

“Furthermore, I am particularly interested in the findings because in between the two meetings, August and mid-November, a close member of my family had an unforeseen serious medical problem.

“The stress this caused me may or may not have shown up in the hair samples taken at the two sessions.”

For more information about the meeting or to get help and support with tinnitus, call the support group on 01246 380415.

Tinnitus

The NHS says: “Tinnitus is the name for hearing noises that are not caused by an outside source.

“t's not usually a sign of any serious conditions and generally improves over time. There are treatments that can help.

“Tinnitus can sound like: ringing; buzzing; whooshing; humming; hissing; throbbing; music; or singing.

“You may hear these sounds in one or both ears, or in your head. They may come and go, or you might hear them all the time.”

Sufferers are urged to see their GP if it is regular, constant, worsening or bothering them.