I was waiting for an opportune time to introduce a very important health topic: tinnitus and hearing loss. Now that it is Tinnitus Awareness Week, I can wait no longer.
My problem with tinnitus—ringing in the ears—started 37 years ago after I had my wisdom teeth pulled. That was in 1977, and I haven’t had a quiet day since. My struggle with this problem intensified recently when I discovered that my hearing in certain frequencies—mostly those that involve voices—had decreased markedly, which means not only that external sounds no longer serve to “mask” the internal cacophony very well, but I am starting to be left out of conversations.
But this conversation is just beginning, and I will be telling my story very soon and sharing more information. So please watch this space.
In the meantime, if you or someone you care about is suffering from tinnitus and/or hearing loss, please take advantage of Tinnitus Awareness Week and learn more from the American Tinnitus Association. Information from their website follows.
Tinnitus Awareness Week 2014
May 18-24, 2014
May 18-24, 2014 is Tinnitus Awareness Week, an annual event coordinated by ATA to raise public awareness of the condition and help develop resources to silence tinnitus. Tinnitus Awareness Week is traditionally held in May, which was designated as “National Better Hearing and Speech Month” by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.
Each weekday of Tinnitus Awareness Week, the ATA will issue a national press release, promoting a specific component or project in our ongoing mission to silence tinnitus. Below is a synopsis of the each day’s topics. Full versions of each press release will be available on the day of their publication at www.ata.org/TAW.
- Monday, May 19
ATA: Tinnitus an Unacknowledged, Underfunded Public Health Crisis
May 18-24 is national Tinnitus Awareness Week and the American Tinnitus Association (ATA) is using the occasion to call attention to the prevalence and human impact of the condition popularly referred to as “ringing in the ears.” Millions of Americans struggle with tinnitus–often to a debilitating degree–making it one of the most common health conditions in the country. The American Tinnitus Association urges the U.S. government to respond to this public health crisis by allocating additional funds for tinnitus research and including tinnitus management as a reimbursed service in Medicare.
- Tuesday, May 20
Treating and Curing Tinnitus Is Part of Our National Commitment to Veterans
Tinnitus is the leading service-related disability among U.S. veterans, with 9.7% of all vets receiving service-related disability compensation for the condition in 2012. To better serve this deserving population, the American Tinnitus Association urges Congress, the Department of Defense, and Department of Veterans Affairs to take a more proactive stance in the treatment of tinnitus and research towards a tinnitus cure.
- Wednesday, May 21
ATA’s Research Program: Tinnitus Patients Investing in a Quiet Future
The American Tinnitus Association, the nation’s premier advocate for tinnitus patients, is also one of the leading funders of advanced tinnitus research. To date, ATA has distributed nearly 6 million dollars in research grants, funding projects that have improved our medical understanding of tinnitus, developed new tinnitus management tools, and laid the foundation for future cures.
- Thursday, May 22
Workplace Hearing Protection Could Protect Thousands of Workers from Hearing Loss, Tinnitus
For nearly 30 years, noise-induced hearing loss has been one of the most prevalent occupational health problems in the United States. Simple steps can significantly reduce the threat to workers.
- Friday, May 23
ATA’s Annual Walk Event Raises Awareness and Resources to Silence Tinnitus
While national Tinnitus Awareness Week may end tomorrow, the effort to treat and cure tinnitus continues, unabated, year-round. The next major calendar item for tinnitus patients and their supporters is the American Tinnitus Association’s 2014 Jack A. Vernon Walk to Silence Tinnitus, an annual charity event to increase public awareness and resources for tinnitus. This year’s walk takes place Sunday, June 8, 2014 at Mary S. Young State Park in West Lynn, OR
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