People from Barry who suffer with tinnitus are being invited to attend a new group which could provide a life line for people with the condition.
The Barry Hard of Hearing and Tinnitus Support Group, supported by Cardiff & Vale Health Charity through the Make It Better Fund Third Sector Grant Scheme and one of more than 100 groups supported by the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) across the UK, is holding a meeting on Friday 8 February as part of Tinnitus Week 2019.
Colette Bunker of the BTA will be guest speaker at the event.
During the week, which runs from 4-10 February, activities will be taking place up and down the country and this year there is a particular focus on isolation. It is hoped the Barry meeting will provide a safe haven for people with the often debilitating hearing condition to come together and share their experiences.
The newly-formed group, which meets every two weeks, is supported by Cardiff & Vale Health Charity through the Make It Better Fund Third Sector Grant Scheme, the BTA and is run by Wales Council for the Deaf (WC Deaf) which also manages groups in Aberystwyth, Pontypridd, Rhondda and Pontyclun.
Lucy Payne, from WC Deaf who facilitates the group, said: “Barry is a new group and this will only be our second meeting but we really wanted to be part of the Tinnitus Week activities and let people in the area who have tinnitus know that we are here to support them.
“Tinnitus can be an incredibly isolating condition affecting many areas of a person’s life and we know having the opportunity to share those experiences with others who are going through a similar thing can be extremely helpful.
“We have been contacted by a number of people so far, many of whom have tinnitus linked to working in noisy environments their entire life such as on the roads, down the mines or in factories and heavy industry and are isolated. They are really keen to have somewhere to go to talk about their stories and coping strategies. We welcome anyone who has tinnitus and thinks a support group could help and hope as many people as possible will join us for our next meeting on 8 February.”
Tinnitus is described as a sensation or awareness of sound that is not caused by an external sound source. Approximately half of those patients find it moderately or severely distressing, with complaints of intrusiveness, emotional stress, insomnia, auditory perceptual problems and difficulties with concentration.
David Stockdale, chief executive of the BTA, said: “It’s estimated that six million people live with the tinnitus in the UK and according to our research, sixty one percent of people with tinnitus say their condition makes them feel isolated.
“Throughout Tinnitus Week we will be issuing tips and guidance on isolation topics including tinnitus and sleep, relationships and social situations and highlighting the benefits of our UK network of support groups.
“We’re delighted to now have more support groups in Wales, including Barry which is supported by Cardiff & Vale Health Charity through the Make It Better Fund Third Sector Grant Scheme, as we know with the right support network in place and the right guidance, people with tinnitus can live perfectly normal lives. We’d like to thank the Wales Council for Deaf People for all their support.”
The Barry Hard of Hearing and Tinnitus Support Group meeting will take place on Friday 8 February between 1.30pm-3.30pm at the Age Connects, Cardiff & The Vale Senior Health Shop, 38 Holton Road, Barry, CF63 4HD.
To contact the Barry Hard of Hearing and Tinnitus Support Group please email firstname.lastname@example.org.