Deafness Research UK opens up expert knowledge base to tinnitus sufferers

Published: Thu Sep 18 2008

Deafness Research UK has organised a rare opportunity for the public to meet the scientists who are working to find treatments and cures for tinnitus, and find out about the cutting edge tinnitus research in progress. The event, ‘Meet The Scientists’, will bring together one of the UK’s most significant gatherings ever of tinnitus experts and sufferers under one roof, and will look at some of the following key themes:
How the hearing system works and where tinnitus can occur
Developments in research into drug therapies
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Meet The Scientists will take place on Wednesday 1 October 2008, between 2pm and 5pm, at the Friends Meeting House on Euston Road In London. The event is free to attend, but pre-booking is essential. To book, or for further information please visit the Deafness Research UK website, at, or call 020 7679 8965.
Journalist press pass requests are invited. Please e-mail your media request to
The event is the perfect opportunity for those whose lives are affected by tinnitus to find out more about the debilitating condition and current research into tinnitus. Speakers at this special event will include Dr Mike Mulheran from the MRC Toxicology unit at the University of Leicester and Dr Danuta Orlowska, a Clinical Psychologist working in the Department of Audiological Rehabilitation at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital in London.
As well as the presentations, there will be a Question & Answer session giving sufferers a chance to quiz scientists and clinicians. Sufferers can also exchange their tips and experiences of tinnitus with each other. There will be an Information Centre open throughout the event, where attendees can get information and advice about tinnitus and other hearing problems.
One person who attended the first Meet the Scientists event in March said: "It was a real encouragement to see scientists, patients and health professionals mixing together. Also, thank you for all the available literature and for no fee for attendance – brilliant."

Vivienne Michael, Chief Executive of Deafness Research UK, said "Our first Meet the Scientists event was very well received and we believe there is a real need for more events of this kind so that tinnitus sufferers can hear about the research projects that offer hope of treatments and cures.

"About five million people in the UK are affected by tinnitus and it can have a devastating effect on a person’s 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 sufferers and to health professionals to help people cope with 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.

Photograph and caption
Vivienne Michael, Chief Executive, Deafness Research UK

Notes to editors
About tinnitus
Tinnitus describes the noises that some people hear 'in their ears' or 'in their head'. These noises can take many forms, with descriptions ranging from whistling, humming, and tissue paper rustling to kettles boiling. Some people hear their noises as tunes and melodies. The common factor with all these sounds is that they do not originate from an external source. Tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom - like an ache in one of your joints or itching for no reason. Nearly all the causes are benign and in many cases tinnitus is a natural part of the ageing process. But, as decibel levels in today's environment rise, tinnitus is affecting increasingly younger people.
Noise is not the only cause of tinnitus, though can be a contributing or factor. Though more research needs to be carried out about the causes of tinnitus, medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and Basilar Artery Migraine are linked. A conservative estimate is that over five million people in the UK are affected by tinnitus. For over 3 million people - it has a significant effect on their quality of life and can be described as ‘moderately or severely annoying’.

For around 300,000 of these people it severely affects their ability to lead a normal life, and can be incredibly debilitating – leading to sleep deprivation and a total loss of any normal social life.

About Deafness Research UK
• Deafness Research UK is the country’s only charity dedicated to finding new cures, treatments and technologies for deaf, hard of hearing and other hearing impaired people.
• The charity supports high quality medical research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all forms of hearing impairment including tinnitus.
• The Deafness Research UK Information Service provides free information and advice based on the latest scientific evidence and informed by leading experts. The Information Service can be contacted on Freephone 0808 808 2222
• Deafness Research UK was founded in 1985 by Lord and Lady Ashley of Stoke.
• With effect from January 2008, Action for Tinnitus Research (ATR), became part of the Deafness Research UK family of charities.
• For more information on research into deafness, tinnitus and other hearing conditions, log on to the website at where you can access a wide range of information. Alternatively you can e-mail Deafness Research UK at
• One in seven people in the UK – almost nine million people - suffer hearing loss.

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