THINK YOU'VE GOT NOISY NEIGHBOURS? IT COULD BE TINNITUS!
1 in 4 people
with tinnitus initially thought the noises they could hear were
coming from their surroundings, such as their TV, traffic or noisy
neighbours! In fact thousands of people each year make noise
disturbance complaints of this nature to their local council, when
what they are actually experiencing is tinnitus. That's
according to new research released by RNID, the national charity for
deaf and hard of hearing people, and the British Tinnitus
Association (BTA) to mark the start of National Tinnitus Week,
running over the 19 February 2007 to 25 February 2007.
In a survey of more than 1,000 people with tinnitus conducted by the
2 charities, 25% of people said when they 1st experienced tinnitus,
they didn't realise the noises were coming from their ears or head.
Many people reported that they first thought their tinnitus was
noise coming from their neighbours, traffic, or from a household
appliance, such as the constant sound of their fridge or TV.
New investigations by RNID and BTA into noise disturbance complaints
received by environmental health services across the UK, show that
over 2,000 of complaints about noise nuisances received each year
are made by people who may actually be experiencing tinnitus, but
don't realise it.
Tinnitus is the medical term for any noise heard in the ears or in
the head and there are a reported 4.7 million people with the
condition in the UK. Many people describe it as 'ringing in the
ears', but the noise can take on many different forms, which
could lead people to think it's coming from within their
Astrologer and Broadcaster, has had tinnitus for 25 years, but
initially didn't realise the noises he could hear were inside his
ears and blamed it on noisy neighbours. He says:- "There are
almost 5 million people in the UK estimated to have tinnitus, and
perhaps even more who don't realise that the ringing sound they can
hear in their ears or head could be tinnitus. When I first
experienced tinnitus, I thought it was actually my neighbours
playing music loudly! There must be many more people like me, and I
urge anyone who thinks they might have tinnitus and would like help
to contact RNID and the BTA for information on what they can do to
During National Tinnitus Week RNID and BTA are
reaching out to those people who experience tinnitus but may not be
aware of the condition, to offer support and information on how they
can manage it. The charities are also issuing a guide on key
indicators to help people identify if what they're experiencing is
in fact tinnitus rather than a noise disturbance from an external
Dr John Low, Chief Executive, RNID, says:- "Tinnitus can be
extremely distressing for many people and can have a profound impact
on their lives. These survey results reveal that thousands of people
are potentially unaware of tinnitus, meaning they could be missing
out on vital support to help them manage the condition." He
continues:- "Through the work of RNID and our Tinnitus
Helpline, we are making a positive difference to the lives of
thousands of people each year by helping them to manage their
tinnitus. We urge anyone who thinks they may be experiencing
tinnitus to contact us - they are not alone and there is help
Ewart Davies, Chairman of BTA, says:- "People who think that
they are suffering from a noisy environment can check this out by
going to a very quiet place and ascertaining if the noises persist.
If they do then the answer is tinnitus and they should go to their
doctor or call the BTA (0800 018 0527) or RNID (0808 808 6666) free
helplines. Much information and help is available at these sources
and there are many special tinnitus clinics available in various
parts of the country."
RNID and the BTA urge people to make an appointment to see their
doctor if an external noise source is not confirmed by the
environmental health services after a noise disturbance complaint
has been made. It is important that people with tinnitus realise
that their doctor can offer support by referring onto an ENT (Ear
Nose and Throat) department. They could be experiencing tinnitus and
missing out on effective assessment and treatments which could give
them the help they need to change the way it influences their lives.
There currently is no cure, but there are many ways to manage
tinnitus through sound therapy, habituation therapy (this changes
your sound response systems so that you gradually become less aware
of the tinnitus), relaxation and hearing aids if a hearing loss is
present. RNID continues to invest in research towards treatments and
an eventual cure for tinnitus, to help the millions of people whose
lives are affected by tinnitus.
For information on please call the RNID Tinnitus Helpline on
Telephone 0808 808 6666. You can get information as well by Textphone
0808 808 0007 or
The BTA helpline on free phone
on 0800 018 0527.
information you can also visit the following:-
Top tips for identifying the difference between external noise
disturbance and tinnitus:-
If you can hear noise all the time, you may feel that it's not
coming from your head or ears, but from external sources. Sometimes
there is an external cause for noise, while at other times the
noises you can hear may be the sound of your tinnitus. So how do you
tell the difference? Asking yourself the following questions can
help you work out what kind of noise you are experiencing:-
Can anyone else
hear the noise?
If other people can hear the noise, then tinnitus is unlikely to be
the cause. Ask friends or family if they can hear the noise too.
Can you hear the
noise only in 1 place, or everywhere?
If you hear the noise everywhere - for example at home, in another
house or in another place - then it is probably tinnitus. Everyday
sounds can mask mild tinnitus, so that you may not notice it in the
street but do hear it when you're somewhere quiet.
Does the noise
only happen at certain times?
You may only notice mild tinnitus if you are in a quiet place. You
might find that your tinnitus is most noticeable in bed when the
background is quiet, and when you wake up in the morning. A more
definite pattern to the noise may mean it is coming from an external
Have you recently
been ill, or are you under stress?
A recent cold, ear infection or change in your hearing can sometimes
be a trigger for tinnitus, which may or may not be temporary. You
may also find that significant noise exposure can also trigger
tinnitus. If you are stressed, it can not only make your
existing tinnitus worse, but can also be reason for your tinnitus in
the first place.
Do you have any hearing problems?
If you are a hearing aid user, do the noises increase when you
switch the hearing aid on? If so, this might indicate the sound is
external as it is being amplified by the hearing aid. If the noises
you can hear decrease when you switch it on this may suggest what
you were hearing could be tinnitus, as the amplification of
background noise by the hearing aid will be masking the sounds you
could hear in your ears or head. If you have a hearing loss, it is
more likely that the noises you are hearing may be tinnitus.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT WORKERS 2007 PAY CLAIM.
FAIR PAY CALL BY
LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIONS
As fuel bills soar and inflation rises, UNISON, TGWU and GMB public
service unions will today submit a local government pay claim to
employers covering some 1.3 million workers. This will be a crucial
year for public sector pay, given that the Chancellor wants a 2%
ceiling. Local government unions will be warning of the folly of
sticking to such a pay ceiling.
UNISON Regional Head of Local Government, Ray Short, said:-
"During the past few years local public services workers pay has
fallen well behind inflation, fuel and housing costs. This has got
to stop. We urgently need a fair deal which keeps pace with living
costs and alleviates some of the financial distress and low morale
of, particularly, our lower paid members."
Peter Allenson, T&G national organiser for public services, said:-
"Our members pay over the last three year deal has not kept
pace with either the cost of living or the rise in average earnings.
It is time to put that injustice right. It is time for local and
central government to properly reward the army of low paid and
mainly women workers who are delivering the 'continuous improvement'
demanded of local councils."
The claim to be put to employers includes:-
1. One year only
2. 5% or £1,000
whichever is the greater
3. To ensure a £6.30
underpin on the minimum hourly rate
4. An increase in
annual leave of 1 day for all employees
5. An increase in
basic annual leave entitlement to 25 days per year as the minimum
entitlement for all employees
6. A reduction in the standard working week to 35 hours, without
loss of pay
7. To increase the night shift allowance over a 3 year period from a
time and a 3rd, to time and a half, to time and 3/4, to double time
in the final year.
8. An increase in the sleep-in allowance to £60
Workers covered by the pay claim include many groups, such as care
assistants, cleaners, teaching assistants, librarians, refuse
collectors among others, that are among the UK¹s poorest paid
workers with the worst annual leave entitlements. Over 60% of
those covered by the NJC pay claim earn just £15,825 or under
annually, some £8,000 less than the national average. 75% of these
workers are women.
A MORI Poll of 10,000 members in local government carried out by
UNISON in 2005 showed work morale to be low, with 57% of members
saying it had worsened over the last year. This was on top of
declining morale in previous years. And between 2004 and 2006
pay in Local Government rose by only 8.9%, falling behind the rise
in national earnings and the huge increase in fuel, housing and
living costs. Householders now have to pay on average £20 a week for
electricity and gas - £9 more than in 2003. And the Inland Revenue
panel of experts expect average earnings growth to run at 4.3%
School of fish!
something fishy going on in Liverpool’s school kitchens… The
city’s school cooks are teaming up with a friendly feline to find
out how to make his favourite food a favourite with kids. And
they’ll be looking forward to receiving the purr-fect guide to
cooking nutritious and tasty seafood dishes for children at all
Liverpool schools. ‘Murdoch the Cat’, a 6-foot-tall moggy mascot, and around 200 catering staff are uniting at a special
event called ‘Eat, Meat and Greet’, which aims to improve
food standards in school kitchens across the city.
Liverpool City Council’s Schools Catering team has just signed up to
the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), an independent charity which
promotes sustainable seafood. The MSC works to safeguard the world’s
seafood supply by promoting responsible fishing practices and urging
everyone to play their part in looking after the oceans. The
city council will now be promoting the MSC’s ‘Fish and Kids’
project, aimed at bringing sustainable fish into schools and
teaching children about marine environmental issues. And in
honour of the new partnership, MSC’s official mascot ‘Murdoch the
Fisherman’s Cat’. is attending the ‘Eat, Meat and Greet’
event as guest of honour.
Catering Business Manager at Liverpool City Council is Suzanne
Halsall. She said:- “This event is all about thanking our
heroic school chefs for their hard work, and equipping them with new
skills. It will be a fun, educational day which we hope will inspire
our chefs to serve up even more nutritious and delicious food for
children. And, of course, we’re delighted Murdoch the Cat will be
joining us as guest of honour! Our partnership with the MSC is
about us educating children about the importance of sustainable
fishing and caring for our seas. We’ll be working with schools to
ensure we only supply seafood which comes from well-managed and
The ‘Eat Meat and Greet’ event won’t be all about fish.
Catering Staff will be brushing up their culinary skills in many
different areas, including cooking from scratch with Schwartz and
how to treat meat. They’ll even be getting to grips with the
council’s new hi-tech food blenders! As well as meeting
Murdoch the Cat, each cook will also receive a goody bag including a
free pass to any of the city’s lifestyle leisure centres.
The City Council’s Executive Member for Children’s Services,
Councillor Paul Clein, said:- “This event is part of our drive
to continue improving food standards at Liverpool schools. Our
school cooks do a hugely important job and we’re committed to
investing in them and helping them develop their skills. Fish
is one of the best foods we can give our children – it’s tasty and
very nutritious. We all have a responsibility to try to help
conserve the world's seafood supply and through the new partnership
with MSC, we’ll be taking this message into Liverpool schools.”
Shaping the future of cancer care:- have your say!
cancer care look like in 10 year's time? That's the question
Macmillan Cancer Support is putting to the public today. The leading
cancer care charity wants people to give their big ideas for cancer
care services of the future. This year over 270,000 people
will be diagnosed with cancer. By 2016 it is estimated that nearly
330,000 people will be diagnosed each year. Macmillan wants to
ensure that cancer care can meet all the needs of those affected by
cancer in the future.
Perhaps you have a big idea that could change how people living with
cancer in 10 year's time are cared for? Or perhaps you want to
suggest how people with cancer in the next decade should be treated
and supported? If so, you can share it with Macmillan on their
interactive Idea's Tree which is on the home page of the website at
Anyone can post their ideas on the tree and you can also view or
rate other people's suggestions. The Ideas Tree will remain live
from February to May 2007.
All ideas and suggestions will feed into Macmillan's Future of
Cancer Care research project which aims to find out what people
affected by cancer want cancer care services to look like in ten
year's time. The results of the research will be used to help
influence future Government cancer strategies and Macmillan's own
service and campaigning priorities.