3 Ways Tinnitus Impacts Quality of Life
Have you noticed a ringing in your ear? It may not be ringing at all. It could also be a buzzing, whooshing or whirring; basically, any sound you can hear that has no external source. This is a clear sign that you are experiencing a condition known as tinnitus. Tinnitus causes you to hear noises that aren’t actually there. Research has found that the noises heard by those experiencing this condition are quite varied. They could be anything from a whistling to a swooshing or even a piece of music.
But how will your experience with tinnitus impact your quality of life?
Changes to sleep
Those who experience tinnitus may find that their sleeping pattern changes. This is because the sound from tinnitus will often seem louder at night. It’s important to be aware that the sound is not actually getting louder. The night just means a quiet environment, so the tinnitus sounds seem more prevalent than they actually are. Tinnitus can get louder and may vary from constant to intermittent, but this won’t occur overnight and will instead develop gradually.
Due to this, many people find it more challenging to get to sleep with their tinnitus. It can lead them to experience insomnia.
Changes to mood
People with tinnitus may experience changes in their mood. Why does this happen? Tinnitus can be quite irritating. It’s a sound that you are unable to get rid of, and that follows you around. Many people with tinnitus lightly joke that they are never alone because the sound is always there. However, others will find it to be quite frustrating, and for some, it will impact their mood. They might be more easily irritated.
On rare occasions, tinnitus can lead to people experiencing elements of depression; however, this is not common.
Changes to hearing
Tinnitus can also lead to changes in hearing. It is possible for tinnitus to develop at the same time as hearing loss; however, this is not always the case. Even if a person is not experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus can lead to changes in hearing. The noise can make it more of a challenge to hear someone speaking to you, particularly in loud environments. People with tinnitus may also find it more of a challenge to listen to music or hear the TV.
It’s worth noting that tinnitus is often caused by damage to the ears. Usually, this occurs when an individual is exposed to loud noise for a significant period. Alternatively, they might have been exposed to a particularly loud noise once. This can be enough to lead to the ringing that is associated with tinnitus.
What options are there for people experiencing tinnitus?
It’s worth noting that there are numerous treatment options available for those who are experiencing tinnitus. With these possibilities, quality of life can improve dramatically. It will ensure that people are able to hear more effectively and guarantee that the sound from tinnitus doesn’t lead to big changes in their lifestyle.
For instance, tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) can be highly effective. With TRT, it’s possible to train the brain so that the sound from tinnitus never reaches conscious thought. While this can take time, it can be a huge benefit to people experiencing tinnitus, and some people are able to do this naturally without even thinking about it.
Hearing aids with masking features can also be beneficial because these actually mask or cover the sound. As such, a person with tinnitus won’t be able to hear the sound that they usually experience. This usually works by creating a similar sound at the same frequency to block it out.
Sound machines can also be useful, particularly at night. An audiologist can recommend the best sound machines. With a sound machine, the noise from tinnitus can be replaced with something more soothing, and that may even help the individual sleep. There are a variety of different sounds worth considering.
Finally, it is possible that tinnitus develops due to a buildup of earwax. If you have excessive levels of wax in your ear, it can cause you to hear noises that are not actually there. Cleaning out ear wax does require the support and assistance of an audiologist. They will provide the right solution to ensure that your excess levels can be removed without any issues. The impact of this can be immediate.
To learn more about tinnitus and your treatment options, contact Better Hearing Care today at (561) 624-7525. We will provide more information and ensure that you can better understand tinnitus if you are experiencing it yourself.