a woman with tinnitus

It’s a common thought that tinnitus is nothing but a temporary annoyance; something that will go away with time and quieter headphones. The thing is, this may be correct for some. Some people get the luxury of temporary tinnitus, but others don’t get so lucky! Tinnitus can be persistent, exhausting and severe for a group of people, and if you are one of the lucky ones who don’t struggle with the difficulties brought on by tinnitus, then you are in a very fortunate position. 

Quality-of-life effects

Also known as ringing in the ears, tinnitus is often reported as a symptom in patients who visit their audiologists more frequently. It’s annoying, exhausting and it impacts daily life for those who are dealing with it as it’s a near-constant background ringing. Some patients report a buzzing or ticking, while other patients hear the traditional ring that doesn't end no matter which way they go. Tinnitus can have a negative effect on the quality of life of the individual who is dealing with it, and it can cause issues like:

  • Depression
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Trouble communicating
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating

Most patients who deal with tinnitus aren't too severely impacted, but these reactions to the condition are very real. Some of the other ways that tinnitus can affect your quality of life include:

Hearing loss

Often, tinnitus and hearing loss go hand in hand. So, if you are finding it hard to hear, you may also find it hard to get involved in conversations or be active in social situations. This leads to isolation on your part, as you are less inclined to take part in all the fun and more likely to want to be alone than feel a burden to others. Tinnitus can isolate you, and the simplest tasks can start to feel too overwhelming. If you are dealing with tinnitus, then the best thing that you can do for yourself is to contact your audiologist and book an appointment. Addressing it as quickly as possible could make a difference to your hearing.

Issues sleeping

If you are hearing a constant ringing, it’s going to impact your sleep in some way or another. You need to feel healthy and balanced and for that, sleep is a necessity. It’s so much harder to achieve a good night of sleep if you’re struggling to get any rest. The best thing that you can do here is to try sound machines to mask the noise. They produce enough background noise so that you can be less aware of the ringing and more aware of the sound machine noise, and that can eventually help the ringing in your ears.

Difficulty concentrating

Whether it’s your partner or your job, it’s good to be able to concentrate on the world around you. When you can only hear the ringing, you can lose your focus and your connection to others, which can put your career and your relationships in jeopardy. If you’re studying, it can impact your grades. If you are at the point where you feel the tinnitus that you are experiencing is starting to affect your daily life to that degree, then you need to get some help from your audiologist and start putting together a plan for your tinnitus to be abolished.

When you speak to your audiologist, you’ll learn that while there isn’t a cure for tinnitus, there are ways to mask the sound. You can try hearing aids with masking features, sound machines and earwax removal if the blockage is causing the problem in the first place. Many people are dealing with tinnitus as a long-term issue, while others deal with it coming and going depending on the loud noises that they hear. You don’t have to deal with tinnitus alone, especially as you can get some help.

Tinnitus management

In addition to some of the helpful ways to alleviate the stress of tinnitus above, you can also try behavioral therapies to demonstrate a positive effect in decreasing tinnitus perception. There is constant research happening to figure out which therapies and strategies will work for patients both long and short term. Learning about your tinnitus management options can make a big difference to your continued health. 

The best thing that you can do right now is to book an appointment with the audiologist at Salyer Hearing Center. Give us a call at any of our numbers: Sylva: 828-586-7474, Franklin: 828-524-5599, Murphy: 828-835-1014. Let us help you today.