Tinnitus is a condition characterized by a ringing or buzzing sensation in one or both ears when no actual sound is present. It affects approximately 10% of the U.S. population, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). If you experience tinnitus, you may have found it impacts your ability to focus at work.
Effects of Tinnitus
Tinnitus varies among individuals, but several common side effects are often reported. These include feelings of depression or anxiety, difficulty in concentrating or sleeping and an observed correlation between the perception of tinnitus symptoms and elevated stress levels. Such symptoms can negatively affect overall well-being, leading those suffering from tinnitus to report additional challenges at work or at home.
Managing Tinnitus Symptoms
Fortunately, there are various strategies for managing tinnitus symptoms to minimize its overall influence on your life and improve your ability to concentrate at work. Your doctor can assist you in identifying the most suitable management options for your specific situation. Minimizing the stress caused by tinnitus, can allow you to be more focused and present professionally.
Options for managing tinnitus symptoms that could positively impact your performance at work include:
- Acoustic therapy: This involves using externally produced sounds to mask, inhibit or alter the perception of tinnitus.
- Counseling or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): These therapeutic approaches can help alleviate the stress associated with tinnitus symptoms.
- Stress management techniques: Practices such as yoga or meditation, for example at Shanti Yoga, can help manage stress levels.
- Support groups: Joining a group of people who understand and share similar experiences can provide emotional support and practical advice.
- Exercise: Regular physical activity, such as walks at Mary Lea Park, can help reduce tinnitus symptoms.
- Music therapy: Listening to music can provide a soothing distraction from tinnitus.
- Avoiding stimulants: Substances such as caffeine and nicotine can exacerbate tinnitus symptoms.
- Noise reduction: Minimizing exposure to loud noise can help manage tinnitus.
- Avoiding complete silence: Some background noise can help mask the sound of tinnitus.
The key to maintaining productivity at work while managing tinnitus is finding the most effective treatment strategy for your symptoms. If you have questions about tinnitus or need to schedule a hearing test, contact Gary D. Schwartzberg Au.D..