The Tinnitus Clinic started business in 2011. Since then we’ve grown, helping thousands of patients to a better quality of life. We don’t do this only through sourcing and using the very best technologies available but also through the skills, expertise and commitment of others.
In this blog, I am talking to Mr Nitesh Patel , our first ENT consultant to join the team in Harley Street back in 2012. Nitesh is an Ear, Nose and Throat Consultant with a sub-specialist interest in Ear diseases.
I asked Nitesh what he enjoyed most about his job.
“Difficult! There are so many aspects to my job that are enjoyable. However, what brings me most joy is simply seeing a smile on the face of a patient who has benefited from my help. It is easy to be fascinated by the ceaseless scientific and technological advances in medicine, however ultimately I want to make my patients feel better.”
“This is especially seen in the field of tinnitus. There have been so many fascinating discoveries in the neuroscience of tinnitus, however what disturbs patients is the associated emotional impact of tinnitus. Being able to provide patients a professional assessment, explanation and support really helps to reassure them.”
The lack of investment into finding new treatment for tinnitus and hearing loss disturbs me as the business owner and someone who cares passionately about people with tinnitus. I asked Nitesh what his hopes for the future were for people with hearing loss and tinnitus?
Nitesh: “There are two broad areas that deserve attention.”
“Firstly, it is well known that the delicate inner ear structures, that are necessary for good hearing, are vulnerable to damage from exposure to loud noise and the effects of ageing and genetic predisposition. I hope in the future we can offer better ways to protect the inner ear from such damage, as well as offering treatments to regenerate damaged inner ear structures. Genetic engineering and stem cell regeneration medicine holds promise for the future.”
“Secondly, dysfunction of the limbic system plays a crucial role in patients with persistent bothersome tinnitus. The limbic system is a complex network of nerves in the brain involved in emotions, behaviour and mood. A disordered limbic system can significantly impact patients with negative emotions and fear around their tinnitus. I hope in the future we can effectively and reliably improve the functioning of such brain networks and hence abolish tinnitus distress.”
Doctors work very hard with long hours – so it was with some humour that Nitesh answered my question about spare time!
“Spare time? Are you kidding? Only joking, a good work life balance is essential to a healthy life. I am fascinated by Mindfulness and often like to take a walk and just enjoy the surroundings. Far too often we worry about the past or fear the future and miss the opportunities of the present moment. My walks are often supplemented by listening to an audiobook, and a favourite of mine is 'The Power of Now' by Eckhart Tolle.”
Nitesh also likes to spend time with his wife and 2 children, watch football often and escape into the alternate reality of a movie!
Everyone at The Tinnitus Clinic enjoys working with Nitesh, but I did wonder what he would have liked to do if he hadn’t worked in ENT.
“The brain and consciousness has always really fascinated me,” replied Nitesh. “I recently watched the series 'The Brain with Dr David Eagleman' about the inner workings of the brain which was really amazing. So, if I had not trained as an ENT surgeon, I would have liked to be a Neuroscientist. But, I am not complaining as working with tinnitus patients provides many insights into Neuroscience.”
As its leader, I’m very proud of ‘Team Tinnitus’, and in my next blog I will be talking to another person who really helps us be the best we can be – both as a business and as the leading UK expert of tinnitus treatments.
An important part of my mission at The Tinnitus Clinic is to share our knowledge of tinnitus; its causes, how to prevent it and what to do if you are suffering from the condition. This blog will go some way in achieving this aim.