What is tinnitus? Restaurant and nonprofit team up for awareness

(COLORADO SPRINGS) — For the third year in a row, the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), and Texas Roadhouse are teaming up for Tinnitus Awareness Day on Monday, Feb. 5.

According to the ATA, more than 25 million American adults are impacted by tinnitus, which is an audiological and neurological condition.

“Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present,” wrote the ATA on its website. “While it is commonly referred to as “ringing in the ears,” tinnitus can manifest many different perceptions of sound, including buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing, and clicking.

FOX21 spoke with a hearing aid specialist from HearUSA who said about 90 percent of people who have tinnitus, have some type of hearing loss.

“What’s happening is the brain kind of knows that there’s something missing, there’s something going on, and it’s trying to supplement the hearing loss on its own,” said Ariel Kavanagh.

It’s typically more common in the older demographic, but it can affect any age.

“You can get tinnitus from going to loud concerts, you can get tinnitus from a wax impaction. So, there is really no age discrimination with it,” Kavanagh said.

Experts say, call a professional if you suspect you have tinnitus, and there are some things you should not be doing.

“No drops, no pills are really going to help,” Kavanagh said. “There’s a really popular one going around where it’s some type of tapping and really, is it really helping or is it more of a distraction?”

Then, on Monday, Texas Roadhouse and Bubba’s 33 locations are holding a fundraiser for the start of Tinnitus Awareness Week, which goes through Friday, Feb. 9.

“As we pursue our mission to promote relief, prevention, and find cures for tinnitus, we are grateful for the ongoing support of Texas Roadhouse,” says Sara K. Downs, ATA Interim Executive Director.

During the fundraiser on Monday, the restaurants will donate 100% of all profits to the organization, in honor of Kent Taylor, “founder of the Texas Roadhouse restaurant group, who struggled with debilitating tinnitus the last year of his life,” wrote the ATA on its website.

In addition to the restaurant fundraiser, through March 31, Texas Roadhouse and Bubba’s 33 will donate 10% of online sales from all gift cards to the ATA, according to a press release.

“By supporting ATA, Texas Roadhouse and our family of employees honor the life and vision of our founder, Kent Taylor, who was passionate about helping others,” said Texas Roadhouse CEO and President Jerry Morgan. “The Texas Roadhouse-ATA partnership is driven by the heartfelt desire to ensure that everyone is aware of tinnitus, its prevention, and what can be done to manage it.”

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