What is tinnitus? As Jamie Laing reveals 'incredibly debilitating' diagnosis

Jamie Laing appears on Good Morning Britain. Credit: PA

Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing has revealed he was diagnosed with "incredibly debilitating" tinnitus after waking up with ringing in his ears eight-years-ago.

There are 7.6 million people in the UK living with the ear condition.

While it can be a temporary annoyance for some, for others, it can become persistent, distressing and have massive mental health implications.

While appearing on ITV's told Good Morning Britain, Laing told Susanna Reid, who also has experienced tinnitus: "You have to learn to accept it, which is a really hard thing to do.

"When you first get tinnitus they say that ‘this is forever, there is no cure and you’re going to have to live with it.’

"You just have to tune out of it, and forget about it, but it's incredibly debilitating."

Sleep deprivation is a common side-effect of tinnitus, impacting over 85% of people, according to lead charity Tinnitus UK.

The emotional impact is also significant, with over two-third (68%) reporting low self-esteem and over half (55%) signaling that is impacts their ability to think rationally, the charity says.

Laing told Reid that the condition causes "anxiety and anxiety then makes it worse so it's this vicious cycle.

"I thought I was never going to sleep again or hear again, I couldn't hear people talking to me it was that bad."

Around one in five people living with tinnitus have experienced thoughts of self-harm or suicide in the last year alone, while 80% agreed it had led to them experiencing low mood or anxiety.

But with Tinnitus Awareness week currently taking place, ITV News breaks down what the incurable condition is and how you can get help if you're diagnosed with it.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is different for everyone experiencing it.

But it is the sensation of hearing a sound when there is no external source for that sound, according to Tinnitus UK.

Tinnitus can sound like:

  • ringing

  • buzzing

  • whooshing

  • humming

  • hissing

  • throbbing

  • music or singing

You may hear these sounds in one or both ears, or in your head. They may come and go, or you might hear them all the time, according to the NHS.

How to live with tinnitus?

Here are some tinnitus dos and don'ts to help with the condition, as advised by the NHS.

  • Try to relax – deep breathing or yoga may help

  • Try to find ways to improve your sleep, such as sticking to a bedtime routine or cutting down on caffeine

  • Try to avoid things that can make tinnitus worse, such as stress or loud background noises

  • Join a support group – talking to other people with tinnitus may help you cope


  • Do not have total silence – listening to soft music or sounds (called sound therapy) may distract you from the tinnitus

  • Try not focus on it, as this can make it worse – hobbies and activities may take your mind off it

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