New Welsh online support group for tinnitus sufferers launches

A new online support group to help Welsh-speaking people with tinnitus is being launched by the British Tinnitus Association. The first meeting will take place 7.00 – 8.30pm on Wednesday 23 March and every fourth Wednesday subsequently.

It is estimated that around 345,000 people experience tinnitus in Wales and 7.1 million people across the UK – around 1 in 8 adults.

Facilitated by volunteer Clare Young, who has tinnitus herself, the group will enable people with tinnitus to meet others with the condition, hear useful tips on coping methods, find out what help is available and hear about the latest research.

Clare said: “I was diagnosed with tinnitus in 2000 after an operation was conducted on my ear drum. Over the years I have experienced a range of different sounds and as a result been through the process of attending countless ENT appointments. In recent years I have finally learnt how to manage and accept being able to hear my own brain speaking to itself! I now accept that it is just a part of me.

I have been a college lecturer in North Wales for the past 21 years therefore I understand the importance of being able to communicate in your native language. For this reason I decided to volunteer to start a support group through the medium of Welsh, to give Welsh speakers the opportunity to discuss their experiences with each other.”

The Grŵp Cefnogi Tinitws Cymraeg Ar-lein is supported by the British Tinnitus Association (BTA). Colette Bunker, BTA Head of Services, commented: “Being among people who have tinnitus, listening to their experiences and how they manage it, can be a tremendous help. I witness this first-hand when attending group meetings. It is amazing seeing the difference it makes to people, especially those who have recently been diagnosed.”

Tinnitus is defined as the experience of sounds with no external source, most commonly ringing or buzzing, but sometimes experienced as whooshing, clicking or even music. Around one in eight adults experience persistent tinnitus. Many people aren’t troubled by sounds they hear, but for around 10%, the condition has a significant impact on their quality of life, often linked to stress, anxiety or sometimes depression.

Colette adds: “Tinnitus can be an isolating condition, with friends and family struggling to understand how it feels to adapt to the presence of loud or persistent noises. This group will hopefully mean that people feel less isolated due to being able speak to others in the same situation and in their preferred language.”

All are welcome. Spaces can be booked at https://www.tinnitus.org.uk/welsh-online-tinnitus-support-group

 

 

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