Tinnitus – not often mentioned here in the Senedd – its impact debilitating, its consequences devastating.
Last year, James Ivor Jones, a much-loved member of our local community, took his own life in a tragic way, after struggling with tinnitus for just six months.
His son describes his suffering as ‘unbearable’. James was just 58.
Tragically, his son is diagnosed with the same condition, and is but one of others – many as yet undiagnosed – living with this in Wales.
Llywydd, tinnitus isn’t a rare condition. It is, though, often unrecognised, undiagnosed and underestimated
Tinnitus is often described as a ‘ringing in the ears’, however other sounds heard internally can include buzzing, humming, grinding, hissing, whistling and sizzling.
Often this noise is unbearable, and in some cases beats in time with a person’s pulse, having a significant negative impact on day-to-day life, often leading to sleeping problems and severe depression for up to 60% of sufferers.
Treatment includes sound therapy, counselling therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and tinnitus re-training therapy.
Yet there is no single treatment that works for everyone, and diagnosis at a very early stage is crucial.
Action on Hearing Loss Cymru have highlighted a postcode lottery for diagnosis and treatment.
I am speaking up today to call on the Welsh Government and all Members to become more aware of this illness and would ask you to commit to an increased focus and access to early diagnostics, intervention and support.
Further reading, on the tragic death of James Ivor Jones - http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/-james-jones-tinnitus-…