- Published on 04 February 2021
Many patients are unaware that tinnitus symptoms may be tied to hearing loss, say almost one-fifth of audiologists surveyed by the British Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA).
Airing its concern during Tinnitus Week (February 1 to 7, 2021), the manufacturers’ association has underlined the statistic that among the one-in-eight people who suffer from tinnitus, of which two thirds also have hearing loss, the latter condition might be the cause of many of the tinnitus cases. Although 82% of the audiologists questioned from BIHIMA's research panel stated their patients are aware of the link between hearing loss and tinnitus, BIHIMA points out that a “worrying” 18% believe their patients are unaware of the connection.
The breakdown of these figures shows a big difference between the answers of private-sector audiologists and those working in the state sector: while 26% of private audiologists believe their patients are unaware of the link, only 4% of the public sector professionals noted this lack of awareness.
˝It is quite common for people to assume incorrectly that it is their tinnitus rather than their hearing loss that is causing hearing difficulties. So it’s essential we educate people of the connection between tinnitus and hearing loss to avoid unnecessary suffering,˝ pointed out the BIHIMA Chairman Paul Surridge.
Tinnitus Week has also brought a warning by the British Tinnitus Association that lack of referrals to psychologists for tinnitus sufferers during the pandemic is leading to a major mental health crisis.