Media Release: Tinnitus Awareness Week

Tinnitus may be invisible, but the impacts are not. Tinnitus steals 1 in 3 people’s silence, but no  one should suffer silently.

“I want people to know that they are not alone. There is support available, there is hope.” says  Dr Emma Laird, tinnitus sufferer and lead of the Tinnitus Australia initiative.

If you or a friend or family member has tinnitus – act now. Talk about your experience and take  action during Tinnitus Awareness Week, 5-11th February 2024.

We have people available to speak about their experiences, and how to support friends and  family in VIC, SA, QLD, and experts across all states.

“For many, the uninvited ringing or noises in the ear arrive and never leave. Evidence-based  treatments are available and we’re learning much more about the causes” says Dr Caitlin Barr,  CEO of hearing charity Soundfair.

“Too often, it takes too long for people with tinnitus to get the help they need. This ‘too long’ is  where people fall through the cracks and their mental health spirals. It should not be this way.”  Victoria, a tinnitus sufferer based in South Australia.

This Tinnitus Awareness Week Dr Barr urges anyone suffering with this debilitating condition to  make their tinnitus (termed “T” by people who live with it) visible by talking about it publicly,  sharing their experiences and taking action to get help. We can all be part of ensuring that  tinnitus is taken seriously and treated effectively.

Tinnitus Awareness Week in Australia is championed by Soundfair, a national charity that runs  the Tinnitus Australia Initiative. This years’ campaign theme is “T is for Tinnitus Awareness”.  Across Australia, people are encouraged to get involved by sharing their experiences of “T”, or  by talking about Tinnitus through running a “T” themed event or activity, sharing their events  with the hashtag #MyT4Tinnitus.

Our goal is to make tinnitus visible to the wider community and to ensure that people living with  “T” feel seen and act. As part of the campaign, Soundfair is promoting their national advice line  which is freely available to help people with tinnitus find the right support, faster. Tinnitus  Awareness Week is proudly sponsored by MindEar and Find My Hearing Clinic.

“While most of us experience transient tinnitus at some point in our lives, for many, the  uninvited ringing or noises in the ear arrive and never leave, and becomes a mental health  problem. However, there is hope and there are things that can be done to manage and stop it  becoming overwhelming and inescapable. For some, it can be as simple as stress reduction  techniques, for others, targeted treatments involving sound therapy, psychological therapy, and  treatment of other conditions (such as hearing loss) are needed. And there are now new,  evidence-based treatments being released often – so there is a great deal of hope.” says  Dr Caitlin Barr, CEO of Soundfair.

About tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition characterised by the perception of noise or ringing in the ears when there is  no external sound source. Thirty percent of Australians experience tinnitus. If it’s not you, it’s  someone near and dear to you.

  • Up to 70% of people aged 18 to 35 years have experienced tinnitus and 16% experience it more  than once a week (study by Hearing Australia, federal government agency)
  • For 15-20% of all people, tinnitus causes distress and significantly impacts their life, their mental  health and their ability to function in daily tasks.
  • 45% of people with tinnitus experience depression, and 33% experience depression.
  • People with disturbing tinnitus can feel there no escape and have suicidal thoughts.

“As someone who supports people with distressing tinnitus and who has tinnitus myself, this  Tinnitus Awareness Week, I want people to know that they are not alone. Many people who are  living with tinnitus are made to feel crazy, or silly for feeling overwhelmed or upset about  tinnitus. There is support and management available, there is hope.” says Dr Emma Laird,  tinnitus sufferer and lead of the Tinnitus Australia initiative.

Getting help

There is help available, but there are also many rogue treatments that take advantage of desperate  people. It is critical that people get access to unbiased information, early. The Tinnitus Australia  initiative, through Soundfair, runs a free national advice line, PH: 03 9510 1578. This advice line is  staffed by Soundfair’s qualified tinnitus counsellors who provide advice and connect callers to a  pathway of support.

Get involved in Tinnitus Awareness Week

  • Share your own tinnitus experiences and stories with the hashtag #MyT4Tinnitus 
  • Run T themed event/s or activities,
  • Purchase a campaign T shirt
  • Take and post images making a “T” with your hands.
  • Soundfair is raising funds to help Tinnitus Australia provide vital care and support for people  living with tinnitus through our free advice line and resource packs. Donations can be made  online here:

Interviews, images and media

  • The digital campaign kit is available here:
  • Images of real people living with tinnitus are available on request.
  • Soundfair has several key experts available for interview throughout the week:

    • Dr Caitlin Barr, CEO (Melb-based)
    • Dr Emma Laird (Melb-based)
    • Victoria Didenko, lived experience (SA)
    • Anne Clifford, lived experience of tinnitus due to hearing loss (QLD)
    • Researchers and clinical experts (Australia/NZ wide) available for specific content.

About Soundfair

Soundfair is a non-profit organisation that works with people with hearing conditions and is  committed to making hearing seen and people heard. For more than 90 years, Soundfair has  championed lived experience voices to improve mental health, remove barriers to help-seeking, and  create systemic change The Tinnitus Australia Initiative is run by Soundfair  and silences tinnitus by providing support, advocating for improved treatments and prevention of  tinnitus.