Your job is an important part of your social environment and sense of achievement. Unfortunately, a survey by Tinnitus Hub found that 38% of people with tinnitus report that the condition negatively affects their prospects at work. This has serious implications for both quality of life and economic potential.
What the Survey Shows
When asked “How tinnitus has affected your job or work prospects,” respondents reported the following:
- 6.38% reported their tinnitus had driven them to succeed more
- 9.6% reported their tinnitus caused them to struggle with work and give it up
- 10.99% reported they were struggling and thinking about giving up work because of their tinnitus
- 17.7% reported they had not been able to pursue career progression due to their tinnitus
- 55.3% reported they did not feel a difference
Tinnitus Causes Trouble Concentrating
One of the major impacts of tinnitus is trouble concentrating. According to the survey, 41% of sufferers’ concentration levels are mildly affected, 33% are moderately affected, and 20% are severely affected. Only a small minority reported no concentration problems.
It is worth noting that trouble concentrating caused by tinnitus is different from the concentration fatigue that people with hearing loss experience. Concentration fatigue is when the brain has to put extra effort to hear and process auditory information, whereas tinnitus-related concentration issues are caused by the constant noise in one’s head that needs to be pushed to the background in order to focus.
In addition, severe tinnitus can affect anxiety and/or sleep problems, which further exacerbates concentration issues.
Some Work Environments Are Especially Challenging
Certain industries expose workers to unsafe noise levels, such as military service, construction, manufacturing and the music industry. But even if noise levels are moderate, it can still lead to hearing damage and tinnitus. Sounds at 85 dB – about the volume of highway traffic or a busy café – can be damaging after eight hours or more of exposure. This can affect people in the restaurant industry, call centers or elementary schools, among others.
Tinnitus sufferers exposed to occupational noise can experience hyperacusis, or increased sound sensitivity, meaning even the regular volume of an office can be painful. If you’re ready to get help for your tinnitus, call the experts at Heuser Hearing Institute.