Your career choice can contribute to your sense of self. Unfortunately for those with tinnitus, hearing a ringing in the ear can complicate where they choose to work. A survey conducted at Tinnitus Hub found that 38% of those who have tinnitus say that it has negatively impacted their work prospects.
One of the main reasons why tinnitus impacts your work is its effect on your ability to concentrate. According to a survey of 1,800 respondents by Tinnitus Hub:
- 41% of participants were mildly affected
- 33% were moderately affected
- 20% were severely affected
- 6% experienced no concentration issues
Unlike the concentration fatigue experienced by those with hearing loss, which is caused by the brain using extra effort to pick up additional auditory cues, the brains of those with tinnitus are dealing with constant noise. Therefore, their brains are tasked with trying to ignore the noise and incorporate it into the background in order to try to focus on other things.
Tinnitus symptoms vary person-to-person. Mild tinnitus sufferers are often able to utilize coping strategies in order to improve their concentration. Those with severe tinnitus may also experience additional symptoms such as anxiety, stress and sleeplessness, which can further impact their ability to focus at work.
Some workplaces put your ears at risk more than others. Professions such as military service, construction, manufacturing and the music industry expose employees to dangerously loud noises.
Lower levels of sounds can also be dangerous, as long-term exposure can also damage the ears. This applies to workers in call centers, restaurants and schools.
Tinnitus suffers also experience sound sensitivity known as hyperacusis. This means that quieter sounds can cause ear pain and increase episodes of tinnitus.
What Can Be Done?
Speaking with your employer about your tinnitus concerns is the first step. If the workplace noise levels cannot be decreased, small changes such as moving your desk to a quieter area of the office or getting permission to wear headphones while working can help.
Your audiologist can help you find techniques and methods to learn how to tune out your tinnitus and improve your quality of life.
To learn more about treating tinnitus or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, contact Indiana Hearing Specialists today.