Tinnitus sufferers are being offered pioneering treatments with the launch of a leading new audiology clinic in Yorkshire.
The Tinnitus Clinic, in Joseph’s Well, Leeds. will give new hope to thousands of those living with the distressing hearing condition, say bosses.
It is estimated that one in 10 people experience tinnitus - described as a ‘ringing in the ears’, but can also be a whizzing, roaring, buzzing, hissing or other continuous high or low pitched noise.
In all cases the sensation does not relate to any real external sound. It can be hearing damage resulting from exposure to loud noise, such as work machinery or music and affects people of all ages.
VIDEO: Watch more educational videos from The Tinnitus Clinic on its YouTube channel - CLICK HERE.
Some of the world’s biggest music stars suffer from it - high profile victims of tinnitus include Coldplay’s Chris Martin, rapper Plan B and synthpop legend Gary Numan.
Around six million people in the UK, including more than 181,000 in West Yorkshire alone are believed to be sufferers.
NHS help is available but The Tinnitus Clinic, with 12 centres - also including London's Harley Street - is the leading provider of exclusive evidence-based tinnitus treatments in the UK, explained its Director Josephine Swinhoe.
It's latest clinic in Leeds will now offer treatments, which can take six weeks to nine months, ranging from hidden state-of-the-art digital hearing aids to technically advanced targeting of neurological processes in the brain, with prices from £2,000 to £4,500.
"One in 10 people have tinnitus and for most people in Yorkshire it has been really difficult for them to get any service that provides them with hope for treatment." she said at the city centre clinic, a 10-minute walk from the railway station, also with ample own car parking.
"The Tinnitus Clinic in Leeds is unique. We have imported equipment especially from the United States and treatments from across the world, which are not found anywhere else.
"We are telling people by all means go to the NHS and ask for treatment. If that doesn't work for them the Tinnitus Clinic has got an answer.
"Out treatments vary between £2,000 and £4,500. If we think about laser eye-surgery, for example, when that first cae on stream it was up to £10,000 to £15,000. So what we do is maybe not high street prices, but we try to make it as competitive as possible and we hope people will see the benefits of that treatment, remembering that health is the most valuable thing we've got."
Senior audiologist and clinic manager Mike Wells said: “Pioneering treatments including Acoustic CR Neuromodulation and Tinnitus Desensitisation Therapy are exclusive to The Tinnitus Clinic.
"We have had instances where the tinnitus has completely disappeared but what we are trying to achieve is a significant reduction in the tinnitus.
“Every patient that comes to one of our clinics has their own unique story to tell about their tinnitus and the impact it is having on their life. "However, the common bond between them all is their determination to seek help and change their circumstances for the better.
"Tinnitus is not selective and can affect anyone at any time. It is an insidious and debilitating condition that requires careful diagnosis and treatment over the longer-term to create the conditions for recovery to occur.
"The opening of the Leeds clinic provides better access to treatment for tinnitus for people living in the North and East of England.
“Having a Leeds base is also likely to benefit people in other parts of the country, too, as we are aware of patients in the past having to travel to our Edinburgh and Manchester clinics to access treatment.
“The new clinic is near Leeds General Infirmary and also based within a business hub, with a number of other firms, so we are confident it will provide a welcoming and professional setting in which to meet clients and carry out assessments and treatments.”