3 February 2014, 06:00
Experts at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge are warning of the dangers of listening to your music too loudly on your mobile phone.
The audiology specialists at Addenbrooke's are using Tinnitus Awareness Week this week to remind young people of the damage which can be done to your hearing if you listen to very loud sounds - or sounds for too long without a break; say 10 minutes in each hour.
Tinnitus is the sensation of a sound in the ear with no external source, often a hissing, whoosing or ringing noise.
It's not common in children, but experts at the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust have told Heart they are reporting a steady increase in the number of children with the illness coming forward.
It's still not known what causes tinnitus - there are some contributing factors like ageing, earwax, respiratory and ear infections, exposure to loud noise and high blood pressure. But the underlying cause is often unknown.
Dr David Baguley told Heart: "A third of people I see have some hearing loss and tinnitus is strongly associated with that.
In another third of cases, the tinnitus appears to have started at a time of great stress, bereavement, redundancy, illness or some other major life event. In another third, we just don't know the specific reason."
Nationally, around 1 in 10 of the population will be affected at some point in their life.
That's 6.3 million people with an unseen distressing condition.
The Cambridgeshire Tinnitus Support Group (CTSG) provides those with tinnitus, and their families, with support, an opportunity to meet others with a similar condition and access to current tinnitus information.
The main aim of the group is to encourage a positive outlook and help and support people to develop a strategy to be able to help themselves. Our meetings are held five times a year on a Saturday, usually with a speaker, and we also include at least one self-help session a year.
The group also enjoys a good supporting relationship with the Audiology Department at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
Leaflets, books and some sound equipment/CDs are also available at the group.
The group meet on occasional Saturday mornings from 10am to 12noon either at Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centre, Buchan Street, off King’s Hedges Road, Cambridge CB4 6XF, or Meadows Community Centre, 1 St Catherine’s Street, Cambridge, CB4 3XJ.
The next meeting will be at the Meadows Community Centre on Saturday Feb 15 (and then Sat April 19 at Meadows).