Chronic Tinnitus: Driven to Despair


Tinnitus is known to most people as the ringing you hear in your ears after coming home from a loud concert or night out. It's usually a minor annoyance that eventually passes, but for those that suffer from chronic tinnitus, it's much more than this.

Chronic Tinnitus: Driven to Despair

600,000 People's Lives Affected by Tinnitus

Tinnitus can keep you awake at night, disrupt your ability to concentrate and cause depression. 1% of the UK's population are estimated to suffer from tinnitus so severe that it affects their quality of life, and 10% have tinnitus to some degree.

Tinnitus can vary from a ringing, to constant humming of different frequencies and pitches, and even thudding sounds like a helicopter. It can sometimes be accompanied by a condition called hyperacusis; an extreme sensitivity to sounds that wouldn't usually be an issue for others. This can aggravate the tinnitus and cause headaches nausea and dizziness.

Whilst tinnitus can be brought on by a head injury, it's often caused by damage to the hearing through noise exposure.

Man Found Hanged After Struggling with Chronic Tinnitus

Dr Mark Lawson, a 43 year old with a PhD in acoustics, became 'desperate' after developing chronic tinnitus. He was a successful acoustic sound engineer, and was concerned that the condition would interfere with his ability to work.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Maurice Atkins told the coroner during the inquest:

"He felt that it had come on while at work and it seemed to be unremitting. He felt that it would stop him working. He was quite logical, he said with no salary, he'd lose his house."

Mr Lawson's anxiety over the tinnitus became extreme, and he refused to take medication to control his anxiety as he believed they were what had caused the tinnitus. He voluntarily spent 5 days at a specialist unit to help his anxiety, but was sadly found to have killed himself in his room.

Work Related Tinnitus Claims

You can be left with tinnitus and permanent hearing loss if you work in a noisy environment without the right hearing protection. The damage can even be done by a single acoustic shock in the workplace.

Chronic tinnitus is life-changing, and knowing that it could have been avoided had your employer fulfilled their duty to take precautions can be devastating. If you suffer from chronic tinnitus and believe it is someone else's fault, our Personal Injury specialists could help you make a claim for compensation.

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