As humans, we tend to take our five senses for granted. We rarely stop to notice the sounds around us or the clarity with which we can converse with our friends and family. However, this isn’t the case for everyone, with a large percentage of the population suffering from hearing loss and a range of hearing disorders.
Tinnitus is one of the most common forms of hearing disorder, with over 50 million Americans suffering from tinnitus. This hearing disorder is commonly referred to as “a ringing in the ears” and can affect your life in various ways and cause significant irritation for millions of sufferers. This article explores how tinnitus can impact your life and how you can live with it.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a widespread hearing disorder that can affect people of all ages. Tinnitus is a symptom of when something goes wrong within the auditory system, including the ear, the auditory nerve, and parts of the brain. Tinnitus is the perception of a recurring ear or head noise (that doesn’t come from an external sound stimulus). It occurs more than once a week and lasts five minutes or more.
Tinnitus can occur naturally. It can also be due to something simple like a piece of earwax blocking the ear canal or be due to a range of health conditions. If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms, it is a good idea to see a hearing specialist and see what treatments they recommend. These treatments range from counseling to hearing aids, which can control the outside sound so that it is easier to hear. They can then direct you to the best hearing aid devices for you, with websites like https://www.earpros.com/hearing-aid-brands/oticon-hearing-aids able to provide assistance.
Although most sufferers only experience a bothersome ringing in their ears, it can still have a negative effect on the quality of life. Other more debilitating forms of tinnitus can lead to various problems and affect your emotional and physical well-being.
How Tinnitus Impacts Your Life
A good night’s sleep is imperative for our health. Making sure that you get 8 hours every night is vital for your metabolism and your mental health. But what if you are plagued by constant noise throughout the night? For many people, tinnitus can negatively impact their sleeping patterns because they are subjected to noise that doesn’t go away. What is worse is that many people complain that their tinnitus gets worse through the night.
Understandably it is essential to sort this problem out, and since you shouldn’t sleep with hearing aids, many people will resort to sound machines that produce a background noise, thus making it easier to sleep.
Not everyone needs the same environment when it comes to optimal concentration. Some people can listen to music while they work, while others need complete silence. This is the same for those that suffer from tinnitus.
Although many tinnitus sufferers can cope with the persistent noises caused by the hearing disorder, others can experience huge difficulty concentrating and focusing on their daily tasks or even enjoying their downtime. When concentrating becomes difficult, it can have a significant impact on productivity and work performance.
Although tinnitus does not cause hearing loss, the two problems are linked – people who suffer from hearing loss are more likely to have tinnitus and vice versa. Hearing loss can make it far more difficult for you to communicate with friends and family. This difficulty socializing can leave you feeling isolated, hesitant to enter into social situations, and self-conscious about your hearing difficulties.
Thankfully just like hearing loss, you can treat tinnitus with something as simple as a hearing aid. These small discreet devices help improve your hearing by increasing the volume or the quality of the sounds around you.
Having seen the different ways in which tinnitus can impact your life, it probably comes as no surprise that there are definite links between tinnitus and mental health issues. The common issues like trouble sleeping and a feeling of isolation mean that many tinnitus sufferers experience depression and anxiety.
Furthermore, the general effort and difficulty of tinnitus and hearing problems mean that the effort needed to navigate day-to-day life becomes a far more difficult task. This can mean that tinnitus sufferers can often experience reduced energy levels or tiredness.
Although treatments like hearing aids and tinnitus retraining therapy can help, it is also important to manage your stress levels the same way you would with any mental health issues.
How to Live with Tinnitus
Depending on the severity of your tinnitus, you may choose to live with the minor inconvenience or grow not even to notice the persistent noise. However, for others, the only way to move forward is treatment. Unfortunately, there are no cures for tinnitus, but there are many treatments you can explore.
Hearing aids are easily one of the most effective ways of managing your tinnitus, so get in touch with your local hearing specialist and look forward to a clearer future.