Tinnitus and Work

Discussion in 'Support' started by Anne, Jan 15, 2012.

tinnitus forum
    1. Anne

      Anne Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Has anyone had difficulty doing their job because of T. I work in a doctors' office and I am having a hard time hearing what the patients and my coworkers are saying. I'm afraid my supervisors are going to notice and feel that I am not able to preform my job. Is there a point where T becomes a 'disability'?
       
    2. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Anne,

      I can relate to your situation; I work in an office, too. The answer to your question is: It can become a disability, but only if you let it! My tinnitus, (with hearing loss), is only in one ear, so I try to listen extra-hard with my good ear, or let people know to talk to me on my good side!

      Also, since there are so many different types of tinnitus, it may be possible for you to find something that will help you cope with the T. The people on this site have many suggestions for ways to cope, and things you can do that may even reduce the tinnitus for you. For instance, I read on this site about a sound therapy CD for tinnitus, and am now using it. I've only been using it for a little over a week, but I think it's beginning to work for me.

      Maybe some other people will chime in to suggest things that have worked for them. We're all here to support one other!
       
    3. Lisa Lindel

      Lisa Lindel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2012
      I have trouble at school when I sub. The tinnitus is more pronounced and it's a great distraction trying to deal with kids when I have to hear out of one ear. The acoustics in the room sounds strange. I got a masking hearing aid that filters white noise and that seems to balance out the sounds.
       
    4. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Lisa,
      Do you use this hearing aid in only one ear? Also, how many hours per day would you say you wear it?

      I tried a hearing aid twice (two different types of aids) over the last year or so, but they don't work very well for me. When I took the hearing aid off, it made my already severe tinnitus even worse! There were a couple of nights that were so bad, I was crying. (I have both a loud hissing ringing sound and a pulsating heartbeat sound). It intensified my tinnitus so that it felt like my whole head was vibrating with the sounds.

      I was just wondering if you only wear the hearing aid a few hours per day.

      I'm glad it is working for you in the classroom. That's great, and I know it must help you when dealing with a classroom full of kids!
       
    5. Lisa Lindel

      Lisa Lindel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2012
      I wear my Starkey Xeno hearing aid for 8 hours a day. Monday to Friday. I want to get use to the hissing sound until it becomes background noise. And it's starting to do that. It sounds like my mother's hissing radiators in the winter. I feel all the schools have steam radiators! I went to audiologist and the hearing aid was changed to a lower hissing sound. If I'm outdoors I can't hear it or when I'm in a busy store I think I lost it! The audiologist said my hearing aid is slightly amplified to even out my hearing. I have three settings for different volume so mask the tinnitus loudness. I think it's a neat little gadget!
       
    6. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      That's great, Lisa! It sounds like the key to this (besides getting a quality hearing aid/masker) is to find a patient, caring audiologist to find the right setting, and keep adjusting as needed. Thanks for the input, and I am glad the Starkey Xeno is working for you.
       
    7. Paul D
      Balanced

      Paul D Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/01/2010
      I've been at a new position just over two months now (very grateful for the job). Not only is that in itself stressful, but the office is SOOOO quiet, making a bad T day all the more pronounced. When it's slow I find myself at a loss at what to do next; being new I definitely want to appear productive. More stress; T more pronounced. A vicious circle. It's all I can do not to take inappropriate breaks and walk around outside for distraction. The T really ramps up on my drive home. Hoping this is just a bad phase, one that will dissapate over the next few weeks. I remember work stress when my T first became chronic; I think it was a big factor in prolonging epsodes lasting weeks on end. I thought I knew better by now how to deal with it. We'll see...
       
    8. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Paul,
      I work in a fairly quiet (sometimes very quiet) office, too, so I certainly understand where you're coming from! There's not much you can do when you are in a new position, and you're in between assignments. Is there any way you can add sound to your work environment, such as a fan, or listening to some white or pink noise? I do that occasionally, when things are very quiet. As we all know, distraction works best for T; it's too bad you can't take a break or walk outside for distraction. That would help.

      Maybe, as you get used to the new position, your on-the-job stress will settle down, and your T won't seem so bad. I hope so! Keep us posted.
       
    9. Paul D
      Balanced

      Paul D Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/01/2010
      That's the crazy part... my mentor and coworker, a very nice young woman who shares many of the same duties, says background music or noise is really frowned upon by the manager, whose office is only ten or fifteen feet away. When I'm busy and focused, I'm fine. But when it's slow, as Mr. New Guy I'm continuously looking for tasks to productively fill the time, which means stress ramping up and more pronounced T. Earphones won't due, as we communicate and coordinate accross the office informally, plus use the phone. Nothing to do but keep moving forward hoping that the tonal intensity will decrease in the coming days or weeks as I become more comfortable. Thanks.
       
    10. Mahdi
      No Mood

      Mahdi Member

      Location:
      Tehran
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gunshot
      I wish I had the chance of working in a quiet environment like some of you. I can't work with people or in noisy places. Talking and trying to listen to people, on the whole workplace and traffic noises make me anxious and anxiety leads to worsening of T. For more than 5 years I haven't been able to find a job in a quiet place maybe that's because I don't have anybody influential to pull a few strings for me. I'm not sure about your conditions, guys but mine surely is a hidden disability. Some years ago I used to teach EFL. I remember my ears sometimes couldn't perceive consonants such as T, S, P and similar unvoiced sounds in some English words. It's plain and simple why that happens to me. I have high frequency hearing loss and T noises like screeching, hissing, ringing, sizzling,.... which make it hard for to hear sounds like T, S, H, CH, SH in an environment like language teaching classes.:censored: :D Will God Save Our Souls? I doubt it.
       
    11. Paul D
      Balanced

      Paul D Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/01/2010
      Does that mean you don't work at all? I so wish I had that option.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    12. Mahdi
      No Mood

      Mahdi Member

      Location:
      Tehran
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gunshot
      Yes Paul, I cannot live in a noisy, overcrowded and hectic city like Tehran, let alone work and prosper. I described why above. My only capital for having a decent life was my health which was taken away. And now, broke and nervous wrecked, I just try to keep up appearances as I hate to look like nuts.
       
    13. Paul D
      Balanced

      Paul D Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/01/2010
      I don't know, Mahdi...in my opinion Tinnitus pales in comparison to the many tragedies and pitfalls that befall us over a lifetime of ups and downs. I believe that giving up, or rather, giving in, allowing T to be the precursor of all thought or actions in a person's life, offers it power well beyond the actual physical manifestations of the condition itself. Life goes on, with or without the T. My focus has to be on coping mechanisms to get me through, not on the condition itself or the many causes therein.
       

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