I suffer a horrendous level of tinnitus noise to both sides of my head. The only treatment for tinnitus at the moment is so-called "noise management" using "white noise" generators. These help, but the relief is temporary. Why has the NHS and medical research deserted people like myself?

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

The NHS and medical research hasn't deserted tinnitus sufferers. But there is no single treatment that is best for everyone. Tinnitus is a noise in the ears or head that is generated by the part of the nervous system known as the auditory pathway. This pathway starts in the ear, and ends up in the brain. Tinnitus is different from auditory hallucinations, and sometimes occurs because of disease in the ears, but it can also occur without any ear problems. The symptoms are always worse when there is no other noise present, so you should try to avoid very quiet environments. Other noises mask the sounds of tinnitus, and make it easier to disregard the condition. You should make contact with the British Tinnitus Association, which is an active UK charity dedicated to helping people with tinnitus ( www.tinnitus.org.uk; 08000 180 527).

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to health@independent.co.uk. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.

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