Hearing loss is a pain in every aspect of your life. It can make a lot of things harder: focus, patience, and more. But, working with tinnitus is one of the best examples. You don’t have to be a musician to experience the complications.
Cognitive decline is a common consequence of tinnitus. So, you can already infer why it’s a problem for your job. Working with hearing loss can be worse depending on your job. Still, it’s a hindrance regardless of what you do.
Luckily, you’re not out of luck. What can you do to deal with tinnitus at work? Let’s find out.
Some work environments can make tinnitus a challenge
Naturally, some work environments are more challenging for tinnitus. Some professions may expose you to loud sounds. That includes construction, music, and manufacturing. Consequentially, tinnitus can make these jobs harder.
That said, loud noises aren’t the only risk factor. Other work environments can expose you to constant noise. Take restaurants, call centers, or schools, for instance. The noise isn’t as loud. But, your ears may still be under constant stress.
Office environments can also cause tinnitus spikes. Thus, make sure you ask your doctor whether your work could be a factor. Then, find ways to offset the risk.
How can working with tinnitus affect job performance?
According to Hear-It.org, 42% of patients believe the condition affects their work. That’s because tinnitus is often stressful. Hearing that constant ringing in your ear takes a toll on your patience with time.
As a result, workers with tinnitus tend to be more irritable. Moreover, the ringing can mess with your focus. It may be harder to perform tasks that require concentration.
This becomes a bigger problem when considering how often people report the problem. Many employees fail to inform employers about their condition. That’s especially true when you believe it may affect employment opportunities.
As a result, proper coping strategies and workplace aid are rare. That can lower an employee’s output and quality.
How people usually experience tinnitus at work
That said, not everyone experiences working with tinnitus similarly. The Hearing Institute sheds unique light on it. Some patients might even see tinnitus’ effects as positive. So, it’s crucial to assess how you feel about the condition.
Almost 6.40% of survey respondents believe the condition drove them to success. 55% of the respondents stated they didn’t feel a difference.
However, a significant portion of the participants reported negative experiences. 9.6% reported that the condition caused work struggle and giving up. 11% were thinking about giving up work because of it. And, 17.7% reported they couldn’t pursue career progression.
Both you and your doctor must determine tinnitus’ impact on your performance. It enables you to find the right coping strategies.
What can you do to improve working with tinnitus?
Thankfully, you’re not out of luck if you have tinnitus. Both employers and employees can take steps to improve the environment. That’s what Johnson Law Offices reports in this article.
Let’s summarize that advice.
Firstly, you must find the cause. In most cases, you can get rid of tinnitus by eliminating the cause. Once you know what’s triggering tinnitus, you can take other steps.
For employees, the most important tip is prevention. Make sure you wear protection according to your workplace. Protective earwear is fairly easy to find and affordable. So, it’s a great first measure.
If that doesn’t work, talk to your doctor and employer. That can help you identify whether the cause is at your workplace. If so, you can act to eliminate or minimize the issue. Seeking appropriate therapy is the alternative otherwise.
Finally, employers can also aid their workers to improve performance. They should provide the necessary protection when possible. Additionally, they should identify the amount of noise exposure. From there, preventive measures and check-ups can be of great help.
The holistic takeaway
Working with tinnitus is a huge challenge for many. However, it shouldn’t be a reason to give up your job. Also, it shouldn’t get in the way of pursuing better opportunities. That’s why it’s crucial to find the cause and eliminate it.
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