Published: Tue Jul 21 2009

For 24 year old Charlotte Booth of Skipton, Yorkshire, living with a hearing impairment has always been part of her life. But when she also started suffering with tinnitus last year, coping with the constant noise proved difficult to come to terms with. Believing that not enough is known about tinnitus, Charlotte now wants to support Deafness Research UK in raising awareness of the condition and finding cures and treatments.

"I have always had a condition affecting the nerves in my ears that I inherited from my Mum," says Charlotte. "I’ve never been given an actual name for this although my Mum and Grandmother also suffer from the same thing and it results in a hearing impairment. From secondary school onwards, my hearing has gradually been getting worse and despite all the visits to doctors and specialists, it seems that there is nothing that can be done. I do have two hearing aids but since I started to suffer with tinnitus in January 2008, I have stopped wearing them as I have found that they make the tinnitus worse." Although Charlotte has always coped with her hearing impairment well, tinnitus has proven a struggle for her to adapt to, and to come to terms with.

"The first six months were very difficult for me," says Charlotte. " With tinnitus it is just there all the time and you can’t get away from it. I notice it particularly when I’m tired or stressed. I found it especially hard to cope with at night when I am in bed and there is little background noise or other distractions. I am managing to deal with it better now but sometimes feel I don’t hear things at work or when out socialising. Luckily all my friends know my problems and are aware of this, but when I’m with new people I am conscious that I may appear ignorant when I simply haven’t heard something, " Charlotte explains.

Now learning to deal with the combined difficulties of suffering from hearing loss and tinnitus, Charlotte is keen to support the work of the charity Deafness Research UK as she is anxious to raise awareness of Tinnitus and see medical advances help sufferers of the condition.

Deafness Research UK is the country's only charity dedicated to finding new cures, treatments and technologies for the deaf, hard of hearing and other hearing impaired people including tinnitus sufferers.

Vivienne Michael, Chief Executive of Deafness Research UK, said: "About five million people in the UK are affected by tinnitus and it can have a devastating effect on their quality of life. Not enough is known about this very complex condition and we are determined to do something about it. We are committed to funding leading edge research and providing practical information to health professionals for the benefit of sufferers," she added.

For information on research into deafness and other hearing conditions, log on to the website at where you can access a wide range of information. People can call the Deafness Research UK freephone helpline on 0808 808 2222, or e-mail

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Ref: DR-UK0149 – Charlotte Booth

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