Tinnitus is a pesky ringing, roaring, hissing, clicking, whistling or whooshing sound in the ears with no external sound source. Tinnitus impacts everyone differently – it may be constant or intermittent, quiet or as loud, in one ear or both and may range from irritating to debilitating. For many, tinnitus can have a major impact on quality of life.
Noise is around us every day. If you hear a bird chirping, car honking or child screaming, you probably won’t pay very much attention. But if any of those sounds are constant, they start to feel like they’re penetrating your brain. The same is true with tinnitus: many report it feels like bells at the Christ Church Cathedral are ringing in their heads.
It’s no wonder that many people with tinnitus have a hard time concentrating on important tasks like studying, working, learning and problem-solving.
Heightened Emotional Reactions
Tinnitus puts people on edge. This is because not only can the sound be disruptive, it may seem as though it will never stop. This causes internal distress, which can then be projected onto others during times of stress. As a result, many with tinnitus can experience strained relationships. Because of this, it’s important to get help for bothersome tinnitus without delay.
Tinnitus has also been linked to mental health concerns like anxiety and depression. One case-controlled study analyzed data from the National Health Insurance Database in Taiwan. Approximately 18,000 tinnitus patients were matched with control subjects who did not have tinnitus but had a similar likelihood for developing major depressive disorder, based on certain test scores.
Results indicated that there was a significant association between a diagnosis of tinnitus and major depressive disorder, especially among patients with other health concerns like diabetes and hyperlipidemia. Patients between 20 and 34 years old were also shown to have an elevated risk.
Good sleep is essential for healthy brain function, emotional wellbeing, physical health, daytime performance and safety.
Unfortunately, many people with tinnitus experience sleep problems. Tinnitus tends to be worst at night because all distractions are eliminated. In a dark, quiet room, it’s easy to become totally focused on your tinnitus. This can lead to problems falling asleep and staying asleep.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Indiana Hearing Specialists today.