A hearing specialist in Milton Keynes has set up a much-needed support group to help people with tinnitus.
Acuitis Optical and Hearing Care, based in the Milton Keynes Centre, has joined forces with the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) to establish a dedicated group for people suffering from the often debilitating hearing condition to turn to for help.
The support group, which is officially the BTA’s 100th tinnitus support group in the country, will meet for the first time on Thursday, June 21, 11am to 1pm at the Jury’s Inn, Midsummer Boulevard.
Atish Keshav, audiologist at Acuitis, said: “We are delighted to be the 100th group in the UK and hope we will be able to provide a really useful network for people in this area who are living with tinnitus.
“During my career there are people I have seen where tinnitus has significantly impacted and taken over their lives. Some have quit work because of it, it has affected family relationships or they have been to GPs and hospitals for various tests and have just been told at the end of it that there’s nothing that can be done. This message can leave people with no hope and feelings of isolation and despair.
“I found all of this quite heart-breaking and wanted to be able to do something different and show people with tinnitus they are not alone, there is hope and things will get better in time. Being able to provide a place in this area where we can help them to manage their tinnitus and be in control of it is really important to us.
“Support groups can have a really positive impact giving people the chance to speak to others in a similar position, learn about management techniques and discuss their the impact of their tinnitus in a safe, welcoming place which can make a huge difference to their ability to manage so we hope as many people as possible will come along to our first meeting.”
Tinnitus, described as a sensation or awareness of sound that is not caused by a real external sound source, affects approximately six million people in the UK – ten percent of the UK’s population. Approximately half of those patients find it moderately or severely distressing, with complaints of intrusiveness, emotional stress, insomnia, auditory perceptual problems and difficulties with concentration.
David Stockdale, chief executive of the BTA, said: “We are thrilled that Milton Keynes now has its own support group which brings the total number of support groups across the country to 100. This is an incredible milestone for us to reach and one we are really celebrating as we know what a vital part these groups play in helping people who live with tinnitus to manage and talk about their condition.”
The British Tinnitus Association provides ongoing training, guidance and resources to the support group volunteers.
For more information about the Milton Keynes Tinnitus Support Group or to find out about the meetings, contact Atish.firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call 01908 533171.
For tinnitus support and a directory of support groups across the country, visit the British Tinnitus Association’s website at www.tinnitus.org.uk/find-a-support-group or call the BTA’s confidential freephone helpline on 0800 018 0527.