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‘Debilitating’ condition affects 7.6 million Brits and there’s currently no cure

‘Debilitating’ condition affects 7.6 million Brits and there’s currently no cure

Millions of people in the UK suffer from the condition - including former Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing.

Finding out you have an 'incredibly debilitating' condition isn't fun for anyone.

Finding out that there is currently no cure and that another 7.6 million Brits also suffer from it is a double blow - but finding out one of those people is Jamie Laing has been a source of solace for some.

Not because they desperately want the former Made in Chelsea star to be tormented for the rest of his life by an incurable health issue, but because he can help shine a light on an issue that doesn't get talked about enough.

During Tinnitus Awareness Week 2024, Laing made his diagnosis public and revealed that he has been living with it for eight years - just like millions of others in the UK.

He told how he 'hasn't heard silence' for nearly a decade and is now doomed to constantly hear ringing, buzzing and throbbing noises which are not generated by an outside source.

At best, it can be unpleasant, but at worst, it can be exhausting - people can struggle to sleep or concentrate, have memory problems, experience headaches or battle mental health issues.

Jamie Laing revealed he has had tinnitus for the last eight years.
Karwai Tang/WireImage

The most common side-effect of the ear condition is sleep deprivation, according to the charity Tinnitus UK, and it impacts more than 85 per cent of sufferers.

A whopping 68 per cent also reported experiencing low self-esteem as a result of tinnitus, 80 per cent agreed it had caused them anxiety and low moods and over half said they believed it impacts their ability to think rationally.

Laing shared a video on social media with the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, who are raising £12,500 for research into tinnitus treatment, which detailed the 'really scary moment' he first realised he had the condition.

The NewlyWeds podcast host said: "I went to an audiologist and the audiologist said, 'Yes, you have tinnitus'. And I sat on my sofa and I just thought, this can't be happening to me right now.

"You cannot imagine how debilitating it is. There's no more silence."

According to the NHS, those with tinnitus may hear strange sounds in only one ear, both ears, or in their head, which may come and go or might continue all the time.

It said: "It's not always clear what causes tinnitus, but it's often linked to some form of hearing loss, Ménière's disease, conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders or multiple sclerosis, anxiety or depression and taking certain medicines."

Although it's not usually a sign of something more serious, if you think you have tinnitus you should get checked by your GP to make sure everything's okay.

There is currently no cure available for the debilitating ear condition.
Getty Stock Photos

Laing continued: "You think you're ever going to sleep again. You think you're never going to hear anything again apart from this ringing and that's a pretty scary place to be.

"I would spend a lot of time in nightclubs but I never wore anything to protect my ears, ever. I should have done and anyone should be protecting their ears. And second, I think my anxiety caused it to go even more. So I think mine was a combination of the two. To hear silence again and get rid of the ringing, I would almost do anything."

He said the sound he persistently hears is 'like a dog whistle but with a whooshing noise surrounding it' and admitted it caused him to breakdown in tears while he was filming the Channel 4 show Hunted.

Laing said the ringing became so overbearing that he couldn't hear what his co-stars were saying to him, which made him fear that was the moment 'tinnitus is going to take over'.

"You want to scream," he said. "You want to literally rip your ears off."

Thankfully, he didn't do a Vincent van Gogh and still has both of his lugholes - as he has worked hard to learn to live with his condition rather than letting it control his life.

"What I realised with tinnitus is that you have to try and treat it like a fan in the room or aircon in the room. You can hear them but you don't lean into it," Laing added.

The NHS list a number of helpful coping mechanisms that include yoga, sticking to a bedtime routine and cutting out caffeine.

Treatment options also include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), tinnitus counselling and tinnitus retraining therapy, which aim to change the way you think about your tinnitus, reduce anxiety and help you find ways to cope with it.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Photos

Topics: Health, Mental Health, News, UK News, Celebrity