What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a continuous sound heard in one or both ears in the absence of external noise. These sounds, which may include whistling, ringing, buzzing or hissing noises, originate within the ear itself.

It can arise from prolonged exposure to high background noise levels, which are found in some call centres.

The charity Action on Hearing Loss and the TUC commissioned a study of noise-induced hearing loss in a variety of workplaces, including call centres. Call centre workers reported that they are subjected both to acute intense noises and to prolonged high levels of sound through their headset. They felt that these noises caused either dulled hearing or tinnitus, or both. 

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