The US Centers for Disease Control estimates that around 15% of Americans experience tinnitus in some form. Tinnitus is characterized by a ringing or clicking sound in the ears, and it can be very difficult to live with. Often, people downplay tinnitus and consider it a mild inconvenience. If you only experience mild symptoms from time to time, you may learn to live with it. But if your tinnitus affects you on a daily basis, it can have a severe impact on your quality of life. 

Tinnitus can be caused by a number of things including exposure to loud noises or a build-up of wax in the ears. Infections may also cause tinnitus, but they will usually pass after a short period of time. Stress is also a contributing factor and will increase your symptoms. If those symptoms do not go away, it may be a long-term problem for you. 

If you are experiencing tinnitus, it is important that you seek the advice of an audiologist so you can find ways to manage it. Hearing aids can make a big difference for people that experience tinnitus. However, if you do not treat it tinnitus can affect your quality of life in these ways. 

Hearing loss

People that experience tinnitus often experience hearing loss as well. In many cases, the symptoms of tinnitus precede hearing loss. When you find it difficult to hear, it can impact your life in a lot of different ways. People find that they have trouble engaging in social situations because they cannot follow conversations properly. This may lead to a person with hearing difficulties isolating themselves and skipping social events, and that can be a contributor to mental health issues like depression. 

Relationships can be difficult as a result of hearing loss and tinnitus as well. It is easy to misinterpret somebody’s words when you are hard of hearing and that can lead to arguments between couples. A lack of communication also harms relationships. If you see an audiologist, they can help you to find a solution to your tinnitus and hearing loss so that it does not impact your relationships with others. 

Sleep problems 

A healthy sleep schedule is very important if you want to maintain good mental and physical health. Unfortunately, tinnitus can make it very difficult to maintain. A lack of sleep is one of the most common side effects of tinnitus because it is hard to sleep with a constant ringing sound in your ears. Many people find that their tinnitus symptoms are worse at night, and if the room is particularly quiet, they are more noticeable. Lack of sleep can lead to a lack of energy, problems at work and increased risk of mental health issues, so it is important that you find ways to improve your sleep patterns. Many audiologists recommend using a noise machine during the night to make the ringing or clicking from tinnitus less noticeable. This will make it easier to get to sleep at night. 

Loss of concentration 

When you have a constant ringing in your ears, it is incredibly difficult to concentrate, especially on complex tasks. That means that people with tinnitus often find that their performance at work or school drops and they do not progress in their career in the way that they hoped. This lack of concentration will also interfere with certain hobbies like reading. Lack of sleep can add to this problem as well, so people with tinnitus are prone to serious difficulties with focus and concentration. 

In some cases, this can lead to dangerous situations. For example, if you are driving and you are experiencing tinnitus symptoms, it makes it a lot harder to concentrate on the road. People that work with heavy machinery may also be at risk if their tinnitus is particularly bad. If your tinnitus is putting you in dangerous situations, it is vital that you seek the advice of an audiologist right away. 

There are some simple ways to deal with mild tinnitus, like avoiding stress or cutting back on alcohol consumption. But if you have more severe tinnitus symptoms on a regular basis, you may need to wear hearing aids and explore the possibility that you have a bigger issue like ear infections. Here at Pacific Audiology Clinic, we can advise you on the best way to deal with tinnitus and reduce the impact on your life. Give us a call today at 503-719-4208.