Tinnitus affects your whole life says Lancashire girl
Released on: October 26, 2007, 6:15 am
Press Release Author: BeyondPR
Press Release Summary: Rachael Nugent of Bury in Lancashire has suffered from tinnitus for six long years.
Press Release Body: Rachael Nugent of Bury in Lancashire has suffered from tinnitus for six long years. Countless visits to doctors and experiments with treatment have left her no better off and she still has the same 'whooshing' noise in her ears.
"It's sort of in time with my heartbeat, and some days it is much louder than others, although there doesn't seem to be any pattern to it," says Rachael, 30.
The unpredictability of Rachael's tinnitus means that it has affected everything in her life, from her career to her love of the theatre. She now works for JD Williams fashion catalogue as a personal assistant, a role which is livelier and more of a distraction from her tinnitus. Her last job was in a very quiet environment which, ironically, made it difficult for her to concentrate. "I never go to the cinema anymore as it is too hard to concentrate on the film", says Rachael. "The theatre is also very difficult, but I still go as it is a passion. However it can be very upsetting when I can't focus on the play."
One might think that a sufferer of tinnitus could do with a relaxing holiday, but even this pleasure is tainted by the symptom. "Holidays are futile as it's just too hard to relax - I constantly need a TV, radio or iPod on for background noise. I can't even read as much as I used to. I only read at night now, and sometimes I have to force myself not to give in and put the book down."
After an initial referral to the ENT department and a number of visits to different doctors, Rachael still feels disheartened by the lack of support or sympathy for tinnitus sufferers such as herself. "I had a few appointments with one doctor who was distinctly unhelpful and disinterested and also said my weight might be a factor. I have since lost the excess weight which has made no difference to the tinnitus at all. A doctor at another hospital was a lot nicer but ultimately told me that there was nothing they could do." Rachael was eventually offered white noise therapy, but the demands of work meant it was impossible for her to try it. She has tried a masker in the form of a speaker pillow, but with little success. She visited an acupuncture clinic, where she was told that she had had tinnitus for too long for the treatment to work, and she has even visited a hypnotherapist, but found this to be no help either. Something that has been beneficial for Rachael is counselling. It has helped in dealing with her anger about tinnitus; a side effect that can be equally damaging as the symptom itself. However, she had to pay for this privately as it is not a treatment that the NHS will provide.
With regards to those who haven't experienced tinnitus, Rachael pleads, "If you have a loved one who has tinnitus, please make a real effort to remember they are going through hell. In my experience, friends just forget that you have it, given that you can't see the symptom.
"On a positive note, my mum, dad and sister have all been wonderful and I would have gone under without them."
The UK-based charity Action for Tinnitus Research focuses on funding medical and scientific research in pursuit of a cure and raising awareness is a key part of its work. Operations director Nick Doughty said: "It is estimated that over five million people in the UK are affected by tinnitus and it can have a devastating effect on their quality of life. Not enough information is available about the very complex symptom and we are one of the few organisations determined to do something about it. We are committed to funding leading edge research and providing practical information to health professionals for the benefit of sufferers," he added. For more information on Action for Tinnitus Research, logon to the website at www.tinnitus-research.org, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0115 925 4065
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