British Tinnitus Association calls for a biobank

This week is Tinnitus Awareness Week (7-13 February), and the British Tinnitus Association has called for the establishment of a tinnitus biobank.

An estimated 10% of the UK adult population experience tinnitus frequently. There is no cure for tinnitus and more than eight out of ten people are unhappy with their treatment options, creating a ‘revolving door’ for the NHS and costing the health service £750m, according to the BTA’s new ‘Sound of Science’ report.

The report shares the results of research into the experiences of 2,600 people who live with tinnitus. Among other findings:-

  • Tinnitus is relentless – more than one in three people think about their condition every hour, causing anxiety and sadness
  • 9.3% of people with tinnitus have had suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm in the last two years
  • People remain unhappy with the treatment options. Of those that don’t return to their GP following a tinnitus consultation, 40% think there isn’t any point and only 2.4% say this is because their treatment worked
  • 66% say the speed with which Covid-19 vaccines have been developed has given them fresh hope that science could hold the answer for tinnitus

The BTA argues that establishing a tinnitus biobank – a databank of anonymous biological information from people with tinnitus – could help researchers to identify the underlying causes and to find a pathway towards a possible cure.

For more details on the report, visit www.tinnitus.org.uk/biobank.

Check out Hearing Link’s guide to tinnitus and advice on managing tinnitus.

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