Tinnitus, which is often referred to as ringing in the ears, is a condition in which you hear sounds that aren’t actually there. It is most often ringing in the ears but can also manifest as whistling, buzzing, or whooshing noises.
Tinnitus can be mild to severe and may fluctuate throughout the day in terms of severity. For some people, it is brought on by external factors such as certain foods or sounds, or internal factors like stress. There are a number of ways that tinnitus can affect your life, but we’re just going to outline a couple.
Here is how tinnitus affects your life:
- Feelings of Isolation
Because tinnitus isn’t something that other people can see nor easily understand, it can be difficult for tinnitus sufferers to relate to other people. Their friends and family members won’t be able to understand the struggles of having tinnitus, so sufferers will feel like there’s nobody that they can talk to about their problem.
Because tinnitus also makes it difficult to focus during a conversation, people suffering from it may begin to avoid social situations because it’s just too hard to drown out the ringing to hear your friends talking. This then leads to even greater feelings of isolation along with loneliness.
Feelings of isolation and loneliness often lead to depression, especially in those who are already at a risk for developing this condition. For people with tinnitus, the added feeling that they are going to have to deal with the constant ringing in their ears for the rest of their life may also increase feelings of depression, as can not being able to fully enjoy your favorite TV shows or music anymore.
One way that tinnitus causes fatigue is that it often keeps people up at night. The buzzing or ringing in the ears makes it harder for sufferers to fall asleep at night and fall back asleep if they wake up in the middle of the night. This leads to chronic fatigue since you’re never able to get enough sleep at night because of the sounds in your ears.
Another way that tinnitus leads to fatigue is that it takes extra concentration in every social situation to be able to hear what other people are saying through the sound of the ringing in your ears. This will only compound the fatigue that you may already be experiencing because of a lack of sleep, making everything even worse.
It should be no surprise that being constantly annoyed by a sound that’s all in your head can make someone irritated. For many people with untreated tinnitus, the constant ringing in the ears coupled with the frustration of not being able to do anything about it causes them to live life in a constant state of irritation or anger.
- Strained Relationships
For several reasons already mentioned, tinnitus can put a serious strain on your relationships. When others don’t understand what you’re going through and you begin to pull away from them, this can put a strain on even the closest relationships. If you become irritable because of your tinnitus, this can also push people away as they won’t want to spend as much time around you since they feel like you’re always in a bad mood.
- Decreased Work Performance
Because of fatigue and difficulty concentrating, tinnitus can seriously damage your performance at work. This can in turn mean being passed up for promotions and raises and in some cases may even result in losing your job. It also hurts work performance because tinnitus makes it difficult to hear and understand others so you may miss out on important information and instructions.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, it doesn’t have to affect your life in these ways. There are treatment options available. Call and talk to one of our hearing experts today to find out more.