This offers information on tinnitus and how the Kingston Hospital Tinnitus Support Group can help you.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the medical term for the perception (awareness) of sound, in one or both ears or in your head, when there is no external sound source. People often describe it as ‘ringing in the ears’, although sounds can vary and are unique to each person.
Most people with tinnitus are not significantly bothered by it. We recommend you make a GP appointment if it does bother you.
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus is rarely a sign of a serious health problem.
It is often associated with one of the following:
chronic (persistent) exposure to noise
trauma (physical injury)
ear blockage, for example ear infection or ear wax.
Strategies to help manage tinnitus
The following strategies can be extremely helpful.
You will probably feel better when you find out more about the condition, learn that it is common and realise that you are not alone.
If the noises seem louder at quiet times, particularly during the night, it may help to have some environmental or natural sound in the background. This can be from a CD, a sound therapy system or even a fan or ticking clock.
Learning to relax is one of the most useful things you can do. People who practise relaxation techniques say this can reduce the loudness of their tinnitus and help them to manage it.
Correcting hearing lost
If your tinnitus is accompanied by hearing loss, it is often helpful to try and correct this loss with hearing aids.
Techniques such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be helpful, either as a standalone therapy or combined with sound therapy.
What is the Tinnitus Support Group?
The Tinnitus Support Group is made up of people with tinnitus and audiologists from Kingston Hospital.
Some members of the group are new to tinnitus. Others have long-term experience of it. We can help one another, and support you, by sharing our experiences.
The more you know about your tinnitus, the more you will be able to manage any negative impact of tinnitus and understand activities that can help with the process of ‘habituation’. Habituation is the process that allows you to become less aware of, and troubled, by the unwanted sound.
What does the Tinnitus Support Group offer?
The Tinnitus Support Group offers the following:
A safe space to talk, listen and be heard without being judged.
An understanding community of people who know the impact that tinnitus can have.
General advice on ways to relieve tinnitus. (This is not a substitute for medical advice, but it is a useful addition.)
News of research into tinnitus.
Occasional guest speakers who share their expertise and advice.
How can I find out about Tinnitus Support Group meetings?
You can find out about our regular meetings by using the Facebook link (see More information section). If you do not use Facebook, you can find out about our meetings by emailing us (see Contacts section).
Who can attend group meetings?
Anyone with tinnitus can attend, as well as their partners, friends, family and carers.
When and where does the group meet?
Meetings take place every month. They are usually held on the 3rd Thursday of each month. They start at 6pm and end at around 7.30 pm.
The meetings take place in-person and sometimes online.
Online meetings take place using Microsoft Teams. Face-to-face meetings are held at Kingston Hospital in the Aspen building (Audiology and ENT department). Refreshments are provided at face-to-face meetings.
Please speak to a member of staff before or during your visit to the hospital if you require translation.
Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 8934 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
For information accessibility please visit Kingston Hospital AccessAble www.accessable.co.uk/kingston-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust
Visit the hospital website, ask a member of staff, or ring us for details.
Switchboard 020 8546 7711
‘Find Us’ page for maps, transport, registering a blue badge, disabled access
Information, advice and support for patients and relatives (PALS) 020 8934 3993
Please speak to a member of staff before or during your visit to the hospital if you require translation support to access Patient Information. Please ring the phone number on your appointment letter, if you have one.
Request More Information
Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 893 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
For detailed information on accessibility at Kingston Hospital visit Kingston Hospital AccessAble (https://www.accessable.co.uk/kingston-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust).
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