Stephen is a learning difficulty and disability employer account manger for Pluss Health Works for Cornwall. This is his story about living with Tinnitus.
“I have recently agreed to becoming a British Tinnitus Association storyteller, to raise awareness of this horrible condition. Hearing is one of the senses we can take for granted, and I wanted to get the message out about looking after it.
“At University in London, like most students, I took full advantage of a packed social life. I enjoyed parties, nightclubs, and concerts for many years, before and after University. Little did I know the damage I was doing to my hearing, and I would now counsel anyone to use earplugs whenever possible.
“Noise damage from these events resulted in Tinnitus and hearing loss, which I could have prevented. But when you are young, you think you are invincible!
“Tinnitus now means I will never hear the sound of silence again, and at times it causes great anxiety, stress, and many sleepless nights.
“I wanted to highlight that no one with Tinnitus or hearing loss is alone. There are support resources available through the RNID or BTA. The BTA has a support phone line manned during office hours, or you can use text, email, or webchat to talk to someone if you feel overwhelmed. They also have online resources such as help videos for people with a new diagnosis. They can also signpost to the nearest hospital with an NHS Tinnitus service. Their website is a great source of help.
“The RNID also has a helpline and runs local support groups in some areas of the UK.
At HWC we help people with hearing loss and other health conditions back into the world of work. We are trained to help deal with stress or anxiety and are here to support people in building a good quality of life, supporting in whatever way we can.
Anyone who would like to know more can call 07546 411996 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more