What's Better? Staying Home on Sickness or Work a Job with a Bit of Noise?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Dja, Oct 20, 2019.

    1. Dja
      Mellow

      Dja Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fridge, computer fans and lots of annoying sounds and stress
      So if you got tinnitus from acoustic trauma which is better? What is the most ideal? Staying home in your own regulated area or go outside, drive the car to work and be among all kinds of everyday noise.

      What is better for recovery?

      If someone reads this thread; I have to know soon. Tomorrow really depends on it
       
    2. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      Do you mean working at home?

      If so, I would choose working at home if given an option. The work environment is more controlled and having to commute to work is an unknown in terms of noise. You don't know if sirens or construction will happen etc.

      If the area where you live is noisy, the choice might be different but I think work at home is generally better or likely to be better for avoiding loud noise. If the area where you live is quiet or you have some control over noise there then it is preferable for work.

      I hope that might help.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Dja
      Mellow

      Dja Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fridge, computer fans and lots of annoying sounds and stress
      Yeah that kinda helps. I didn't mean work home. I meant quitting work to heal. I have never really given my ears time to recover, and you know in the big city with all those cars, my own car, it is just holding things back.

      I tried working. I really did. But I need to recover.

      What would you do?
       
    4. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      My tinnitus is severe and I quit work. I don't know what I am going to do now. I can't live like this.

      Maybe you should ask someone who is able to work? You could request a leave of absence and see if you could take time off work? Alternatively, you could bring hearing protection with you to work. People here often wear custom plugs to 'reduce sound' they are exposed to but it doesn't shut out sound completely. Then take them out at work when/where it's quieter.

      It might also help others who advise you to know what work you do? You might want foam plugs for a commute but I suspect a big city is noisy when you have tinnitus. I don't know how I will work with this if I even can. I would try to find work at home but easier said than done.
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    5. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Ultimately going to work- or quitting your job- is your call.

      This really depends on the type of work. Is this an office job, or a noisy, manufacturing one? Also, do you get a spike from driving in the car? Do you or your coworkers ear hearing protection at work? Have you tried to work and spiked?

      I have not missed a day of work from my T, but my job is generally quieter. Still, I often get mini spikes from going to work, that last a day or two. Still, I won't let T take away my ability to work. Also, I have gone back and forth if earplugs help with the commute or not.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    6. Lilah
      Bashful

      Lilah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, Lupus
      I am not sure about the impact on ears on quitting vs working (unless it is a noisy manufacturing job). I was thinking of taking time off (FMLA). However, everyone I spoke with including doctors encouraged me to continue working for my mental health. They believed I would go downhill fast if I took time off. So, for your mental state, it might be better to continue to work.

      There is also the issue of ability to work. Although I reported to work, I seriously did not accomplish any tasks requiring major concentration (only minor tasks) for about three months. My boss knew I was going through this, but he got impatient a few months later so I was forced to produce.

      I still struggle with work and sleep, but have greatly improved my productivity. Praying my productivity and sleep continue to improve. Paycheck is nice.

      My work is such that it might as well be I am wearing ear plugs, as I sit in a quiet cubicle environment. My 30 minute commute is noisy. I have gone back and forth about protection.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. Michael B
      Supportive

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Location:
      San Diego, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stupidity
      My ENT was convinced the stress of my job made my tinnitus worse. I didn't necessarily agree but I left, retired actually, and it didn't change my tinnitus one bit. Do I regret leaving? Not really, but it didn't help like he thought it would.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Dja
      Mellow

      Dja Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fridge, computer fans and lots of annoying sounds and stress
      Thanks for this post. I feel like I really need to quit. But when I read that nothing changed for you I get doubts. Also staying home doing nothing seems miserable in my mind. Such a tough choice.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. MattS
      Overworked

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      Why is this a tough choice?

      People are telling you it won't make a difference.
      Some are saying it's better for your mental health to work (which is true).
      And you, yourself, are saying that you don't want to just sit around at home.

      So what is the tough decision here?

      The issue is not your tinnitus; it is your mental state. Keep your job, go to work, and find a good therapist knowledgeable in tinnitus to see in the evening.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    10. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Staying home.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      For some of us it made a big difference.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
      • Like Like x 1
    12. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I am sorry to hear that. Your tinnitus hasn't gotten louder, so there's that.
       
    13. Mister Muso
      Busy

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I could have done with a week off work when my tinnitus got severe, and when I started meds (amitriptyline)

      I'm lucky I can work from home as much as I want. Currently that's 2 or 3 days a week, so i never have more than two consecutive days in the office. Also the HR department have allocated a room for my use in the middle of the afternoon in case I need to escape from my desk.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    14. Mister Muso
      Busy

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I would find staying at home on my own unhealthy as I tend to get broody with this condition on my own.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    15. Sash
      Doubtful

      Sash Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/01/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      cleaning out wax
      Interesting Dilemma. It is important to keep busy and at least work occupies the mind which may prevent you listening to your Tinnitus. Otherwise at home you are going to be less busy and perhaps think more about the Tinnitus.

      If you are unable to concentrate due to Tinnitus at work then suggest you either change careers or better still setup a business. Hope all goes well.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    16. Daniel Lion
      Ape-like

      Daniel Lion Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      SE Asia
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma, hearing loss
      Hi Dja,

      Heal... I would heal. If you can afford that opportunity, or perhaps take a leave of absence, if your employers are cool... do that. Your ears, your brain... will be so happy. Sounds like you could use some rest and relaxation.
      Take care.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    17. Gabriel
      Balanced

      Gabriel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I focused on verifying if I had tinnitus
      My tinnitus has never been so quiet since I started working. Actually I think if I had started working before maybe my tinnitus would have disappeared.

      It started when I was looking for a job, right after new year. I have been at home for 4 long months, and all I was doing was being in complete silence focusing on my tinnitus, which just made it worse and probably made it permanent. For me this was the worst situation possible for my recovery, to be alone at home.

      All you do is focus on your tinnitus 24/7. Your mind is not focusing on something else, your tinnitus is not masked, your brain isn't enriched by the sound environment.

      Also I don't want to sound pessimistic but after 2.5 years, I don't see how going from low noise to no noise will help your tinnitus. If I understood well, there's no big noise in your work ?
      Also I don't think your tinnitus was triggered by fan noise or fridge, that's kind of a reach, because then 100% of population would have tinnitus. It's more likely due to your stress. And like me, you focusing on it.

      In the end it's your call, but ask yourself :
      Is a life alone at home better than a life surrounded with people, sound environment, and you being able to focus on something else and keeping your mind busy?
      Having no social interaction?
      And having, from what I understand, a drop of income (which can lead to stress)?

      And that brings me to another question:
      Have you considered switching job or environment of work, rather than quiting ?

      Also, have you tried, I don't know, taking a leave for let's say 2 weeks and see if things are better at home than at work ? This could be a test to see what's best for you.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    18. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      If you have the chance to work at home that's obviously the best option.

      Commuting to work is tricky because some of the worst and loudest sound come from traffic, such as car horns, lout motorbikes etc
       
    19. MattS
      Overworked

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      You're right Bill - I should have qualified my statement depending on the type of job he has.

      Quitting all jobs, going on disability, sitting at home, picking your nose = not a good idea.

      Quitting a LOUD job, and going out in search of a quieter one = probably a smart idea.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    20. MattS
      Overworked

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      Now here is a man with a head on his shoulders. Well said Gabriel.
       
    21. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      My job is very quiet, and I am convinced that working from home allowed me to get better.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    22. all to gain

      all to gain Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Incompetency of GP! Own naivety!
      What do you do? If it's not a secret.
       
    23. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      I agree, I'd say the same as Bill here, although in my case "from home" also meant moving from the city into the woods which is equally significant.

      I never really had the option to stop working, so it didn't occur to me, it was more like "okay, if I am a sweating wreck that is spending all my time outside of work crying and visiting doctors and not sleeping, how can I also be in an office for 8 hours a day and act kind of normal and get shit done?!??!?!?!"

      I had a lot of anxiety about this but for me trying to tough it out was 100% correct; if I had stopped working I would suddenly have been in a financially unsustainable situation, and, worse, had a ton more free time to just focus on how bad I felt.

      Working through the worst of this (worst so far, anyway!) was almost impossible, but it was much easier than what would have happened if I had quit my job and had no income and infinite time to spend stressing online.

      I am not trying to throw shade on anyone, or imply I'm especially tough: if things had been somewhat worse, or if I had had a worse support network going in to all of this, it's entirely possible I wouldn't have been able to hold my shit together. As it is, my tinnitus got to its current bad level in 2010, and since then I've more than tripled my annual income (again, at least so far, we live in very uncertain times). I say this less as a brag, than as "I'm not actually very clever or tough so if I can do it most people probably can, given enough support and time". This is one reason my first question to new sufferers is "what is your support like, in terms of understanding and compassionate people in your life?" and if the answer to that is close to zero -- start there. I personally found tinnitus-specific support groups to be pretty useless, but general chronic pain groups were good places to meet people with other problems who could be sympathetic to yours and start to forge some personal alliances that way.

      I realize that not everyone has the same social or financial resources I had to guide me this far, but I think the basic principles that have helped me can be done on a budget with some ingenuity and willingness to change, and might benefit a number of other people who aren't me. I would stop way short of saying that the things that help me, are universal.
       
      • Winner Winner x 1
    24. Autumnly
      Wishful

      Autumnly Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      July/August 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      But for some, there's no other option, e.g. if they have severe hyperacusis. There are people who genuinely can't work anymore due to tinnitus and/or hyperacusis.
       
      • Agree Agree x 5
    25. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Dja

      You have asked a good question. I suggest that you consider @Autumnly and @MattS comments as I agree with both of them.

      Tinnitus can be a complex and if a person also has hyperacusis more so. Some people are unable to work because these conditions are severe. Only you know how you are feeling. If you are able to see a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist that specialises in tinnitus and hypercusis treatment and management I think this will help you. These health professionals should be able to provide: counselling, sound therapy (using white noise generators) and medication if required. One or a combination of these treatments should help in your recovery.

      Staying at home and not having any treatment for your tinnitus and hyperacusis is unlikely to help in any long term recovery. You need treatment.

      All the best
      Michael
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    26. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      ENTs are not helpful at all. They don't know anything. At least, the researchers out there have somewhat of a clue. Everyone has some stress in their life. If stress was a factor, everyone would get tinnitus and everyone's mild t would get worse because of stress.

      Everyone is just guessing but it does seem like tinnitus is related to BOTH the ears/auditory system and the brain having some sort of problem whether damage or something and the ringing is an indication that something is wrong. This sure doesn't help though. Why can't our brains shut it off? We only need to know once.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    27. MattS
      Overworked

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      Muso: A lot of people on here say things like: "I could have used a break when my tinnitus got severe". What I'm trying to figure out is: are people's tinnitus just continuing to degrade and degrade? Or are there specific reasons why their tinnitus has gotten worse? Do you know what I mean? Mostly, I'm trying to figure out if I need to expect that time is going to lead to an inevitable downhill slide; or if, if I take care of my self, avoid loud places, etc., I should be able to prevent things from getting worse than they are now.

      What made your tinnitus "get severe"?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 2
    28. Mister Muso
      Busy

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      @MattS My tinnitus got severe after a concert. That familiar ringing feeling didn't disappear this time. Then it got worse after a band practice 6 weeks later which I had stubbornly refused to abandon. That's when my tinnitus got really bad. I was only getting 3-4 hours sleep a night and struggling at work which aggravated my tinnitus further. I quickly agreed with my understanding boss that I could work at home 2-3 days a week as required. Over-the-counter sleeping tablets helped, then finally after useless rounds of doctor's visits I got amitriptylene which helps my hyperacusis but leaves me exhausted all the time.

      Would my symptoms had eased, if I had taken time off work? Probably not. Sleep is a healer but it can't work miracles. I suspect my nerve damage from 40 years of loud music is here to stay.

      I have reduced my amitriptylene to half a tablet because the side-effects are so brutal, but my H seems to be getting worse again. So I may need to up the dose to a whole tablet again, in which case I think I will ask for sick leave for a week, just to get used to it again. I hate that drug, it gives me the most psychedelic dreams I've ever had, but I'll do anything to get my hyperacusis better so I can stop having to go around in fear all the time.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    29. InfiniteLoop
      Relaxed

      InfiniteLoop Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Redwood City, California
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Very high frequency hearing loss in left ear.
      @Dja

      Most people with severe tinnitus have to go through that dilemma. Personally, I have stayed working, but I had been about to quit many times because of the frustration of not being able to work at my previous level, and that basically this condition has derailed my career. Also, if you don’t work, then you better have plan about what to do with so much time in your hands, and what to do with so much noise in your head. Work keeps you busy, and that is one of the strategies to survive this illness.

      A different matter is when your job is actually worsening the tinnitus, then you might need to change job and find a better fit for your specific case.
       
    30. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      What job do you do?

      @MattS: I think most people don't know for sure what worsens tinnitus but we have theories and some of us say we can remember an event or a link that seems to correlate with when it worsened.

      I think in the majority of cases, it's a loud noise. Especially if tinnitus is moderate or severe. The hearing threshold is not as good and tinnitus already suggests an auditory problem. In saying all that, ENTs can't tell us the answer and a lot of this is speculation although a lot of it could be true.
       

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