3 Ways Tinnitus Impacts Quality of Life

a woman experiencing slight ear discomfort

If you have had the sensation of hearing a ringing in your ear but can’t seem to find a ringing phone, you are likely experiencing a characteristic of tinnitus. Tinnitus can be characterized as hearing a sound with no external source. For some, this sound can be a ringing, whistling, hissing or humming. The person may usually hear these sounds from a distance, in one or both ears or inside their heads. There are many causes of tinnitus, with the common ones being frequent exposure to loud noises or a build-up of earwax. Here are some ways in which tinnitus impacts the quality of everyday life.

Loss of focus and constant distraction

When experiencing tinnitus, you may have difficulty in completing various tasks quickly. The constant noises you encounter throughout the day serve as a great distraction to your ability to complete challenging tasks. This means that the aspects of life that rely heavily on high productivity and efficiency, such as work or school, would be affected. It also has a negative impact on leisure time as it can be difficult to enjoy music, play an instrument or even read.

Being unable to concentrate also creates dangerous situations. For instance, you might experience tinnitus symptoms while driving or using hazardous machinery at work, scenarios where your concentration should be at its peak. The lack of focus may create situations such as accidents resulting in serious injuries. 

Disrupt your sleeping patterns

Unfortunately, the woes of tinnitus do not come to an end when the day is over. Instead of receiving the silence necessary for good sleep, the sensations that come with tinnitus prevent this. The constant ringing or humming makes it a challenge to get sufficient sleep. This lack of sleep can lead to physical illnesses such as obesity, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. There are also mental health issues that arise from sleep deprivation, including loss of concentration, memory issues, frustration, mood swings, depression and more.

White noise machines are usually recommended in such situations. These machines reduce the noise you hear in your ear or head by creating calming background noises that you can concentrate on, giving you some relief. While this may help reduce symptoms in the short term, it is best to consult an audiologist to receive proper care and treatment. 

Hearing loss

One of the most serious consequences of tinnitus is a loss of hearing. In many cases, you are likely to experience tinnitus symptoms before the actual hearing loss occurs. Being unable to hear can significantly affect your social life and relationships. A hearing loss means that communication becomes difficult, and you become unable to follow conversations. As a result, you may feel left out at social gatherings, meetings, and discussions. Because of this, people experiencing hearing loss often prefer to isolate themselves from social events, causing mental illnesses such as depression.

Not being able to hear properly also affects your everyday life at work or school. It would be a challenge to complete tasks without communicating effectively. For many, if given the opportunity the better option is to stay at home or work remotely. Either way, you would have to put your ambitions on hold to deal with your new reality.  

Consult an audiologist or ENT doctor

Don’t worry. Despite tinnitus symptoms there are still solutions available, but you must consult an audiologist or ENT doctor to find the right one for you. Audiologist is another name for a hearing specialist. They are health care professionals knowledgeable about the human auditory system and can diagnose and treat acoustic issues in children and adults. An ENT doctor is a professional who treats matters concerning the ears, nose, and throat. It is beneficial to consult either specialist to get a broader perspective of the auditory problem you face and how to treat it.

Both the young and old can experience tinnitus. You must consult an audiologist or ENT doctor when you experience the following symptoms:

  • When you hear sounds that make it difficult for you to sleep or concentrate
  • When you have difficulty in hearing or have no hearing
  • If there is a ringing, humming, buzzing or whistling sound in one or both ears.

By consulting either the ENT doctor or audiologist, you can have the source of your tinnitus accurately determined. With their expertise, the cause of your tinnitus can be identified and addressed appropriately. After identifying the reason, they can help you get back the life you lost. Where there is a loss of hearing, specialists may recommend hearing aids or listening devices. 

As they say, prevention is better than cure, therefore, seek expert help when experiencing any symptom of tinnitus. Contact Louisiana Ear Nose Throat & Sinus today! We’ll be happy to help. Call us today at Baton Rouge (Bluebonnet Blvd): (225) 888-8630, Baton Rouge (Dijon Drive): (225) 769-1090, Denham, Springs: (225) 243-4211, Zachary: (225) 658-4334 and St. Francisville: (225) 769-1090