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Tinnitus is one of the most common conditions experienced by people in the UK today – around one in ten people suffer from it. In many cases it can cause stress to the sufferer, however, in some cases it is stress that is making the problem worse.

Stress is experienced by nearly everyone at some stages in their lives; it can affect people very differently and can depend significantly on each individual’s capacity to deal with different situations. Stress usually occurs when the demands put upon you are not met by your biological, psychological or social capabilities. Stress can affect you in a multitude of situations such as when you have too much to do, or even when you have too little to occupy yourself with, but contrary to popular opinion, stress is not always bad for you.

A certain amount of stress, or arousal, is important for survival: the release of stress hormones can help us when deciding how to react in a situation, for example the fight or flight response when in danger. Situations like this evoke a swift increase in stress levels, usually followed by those levels declining as the danger passes. In some cases however that feeling of stress can continue long after the event, and in the long term prolonged adverse stress can be uncomfortable for both your body and your mind.

To understand the link between tinnitus and stress it is important to look at the role of attention. For example if you spend time in a room with a ticking clock, you may find that after a while you forget it is ticking – because you deem it unimportant and not worthy of your attention. If however the noise you can hear is felt to be threatening or stressful; ie the ringing in the ears as a symptom of tinnitus, you may consciously draw your attention to it, hence exacerbating the initial problem.

Managing your stress levels can help in the reduction of tinnitus symptoms. This can be done in many ways including looking into your thoughts, your physical reactions and your behaviour. It could be worthwhile to speak to your GP to see what treatments or support is available.

If your hearing was damaged through your employment you might have already developed Tinnitus and the associated stress that can go with it. Our solicitors have a great deal of experience in handling claims regarding hearing damage in the work place, and will swiftly be able to identify if you are entitled to claim for compensation. Contact us today to see how much your claim could be worth.

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