Tinnitus forces London choral singer to give up music

Released on: May 28, 2008, 6:43 am

Press Release Author: BeyondPR

Industry: Healthcare

Press Release Summary: Allison Mason of Palmers Green in London began singing in a
choir when she was eight years old. Thirty years later, she had to give up choral
singing, her passion and joy in life, because of tinnitus.

Press Release Body: Allison Mason of Palmers Green in London began singing in a
choir when she was eight years old. Thirty years later, she had to give up choral
singing, her passion and joy in life, because of tinnitus - noises in the head or
ears that cannot be heard externally. Now 41, Allison can only hope research will
one day identify a way to eradicate tinnitus and ease the agony of millions of

She endured a series of ear infections around five years ago, during which time
tinnitus became a constant unwelcome companion. After many courses of antibiotics
and visits to the ENT hospital in London, her infections were finally flushed out.
But the tinnitus remained. Whilst they treated the infections successfully, they
didn't suggest much to help the tinnitus. "So I turned to the internet to learn what
I could about tinnitus. What I found out is that although research is ongoing, the
treatments on offer today aren't very effective. And there is currently no cure,"
says Allison.

Her main symptoms are static noises in her left ear and a ringing in her right ear.
"I work for a law firm and a stressful day can make the tinnitus sounds worse, as
can tiredness and illness," she says. "At the end of the day when you're exhausted
and all you want to do is go to sleep, that's when it's the worst. The only thing
that works for me is having the radio or TV on in the background, with some talk
programme. I use the technique most nights by setting the timer on for about an hour
so that it switches off once I'm asleep," Allison explains.

Having to give up singing is what saddens her the most. "Music has been such a part
of my life for so long. I play the flute and the piano as well. But choral singing
just became too difficult and stressful with tinnitus. I still listen to music, but
I have to be careful. A crescendo can hurt my ears, and I do get a bit apprehensive
when I listen to a piece of music for the first time."

Although tinnitus has affected her social life, Allison hasn't given up on it yet.
It's a difficult experience going to a bar," she says, "but I have learnt ways to
cope like not getting too close to loud speakers." She's lucky to have an
understanding husband who has even quit the choir as a gesture of sympathy and has
been a huge support in helping her deal with the distressing symptoms.

"There is not enough research being done. I suppose it's low priority because people
are almost embarrassed to admit that they hear noises in their heads. But it's not
an old people's disorder. There are so many young sufferers of tinnitus. Something
has to be done to cure it!" Allison implores.

Deafness Research UK is the country\'s only charity dedicated to finding new cures,
treatments and technologies for the deaf, hard of hearing and other hearing impaired
people including tinnitus sufferers.

Vivienne Michael, Chief Executive of Deafness Research UK, said: "Over six million
people in the UK are affected by tinnitus and it can have a devastating effect on
their quality of life. Not enough is known about this very complex condition and we
are 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," she added.

'Deafness Research UK has produced a useful guide called 'Managing Tinnitus'. To
receive a copy telephone 0808 808 2222 or email info@deafnessresearch.org.uk. For
information on research into deafness and other hearing conditions, log on to the
website, www.deafnessresearch.org.uk

Web Site: http://www.beyondpr.co.uk

Contact Details: Press enquiries
Jon Gardner, BeyondPR. Direct line 0114 275 6996. Mobile 07930 697773. e-mail:
Ref: DRUK0050 - Allison Mason

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