Tinnitus Awareness Week will take place from Monday 6th until Sunday 12th February 2012. The 2012 campaign will aim to encourage better tinnitus awareness among primary care practitioners and GPs, as well as among the general public.
Tinnitus is a term that describes the sensation of hearing a noise in the absence of an external sound and it is experienced by approximately 10% of the population in the UK.
The BTA will be striving to ensure that primary care practitioners are able to gain an improved understanding about tinnitus and of the services available in secondary care. As part of Tinnitus Awareness Week the charity has produced ‘Top Ten Tinnitus Tips for GPs’, which is available to download from www.tinnitus.org.uk/TAW2012. Members of the public are being encouraged to use and share this with their local GPs to encourage improved awareness and understanding of tinnitus.
A recent study into the practice of care for tinnitus among General Practitioners1 in England identified that many GPs have an unmet need for specific GP training on tinnitus management. The BTA believes this situation is leading to inconsistent and inadequate advice being given to tinnitus patients throughout the country, and is resulting in widespread dissatisfaction and unnecessary distress among many of the 10% of the population who experience tinnitus.
David Stockdale, CEO of the British Tinnitus Association, said: “Thousands of tinnitus patients are being short-changed by their GPs. They are being either completely dismissed, told to ‘learn to live with’ the condition and are being given inaccurate information, or are not being referred to tinnitus clinics for specialist care. Tinnitus is poorly-understood among many primary care practitioners, and we aim to readdress this problem during our Tinnitus Awareness Week campaign so that more tinnitus patients are given accurate advice and are referred to authoritative information widely available via the BTA, the NHS and other sources.”