Tinnitus and work: Hi all, Long story... - British Tinnitus ...

British Tinnitus Association
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Tinnitus and work


Hi all,

Long story short, I left my last job in teaching 2 years ago amid a huge amount of professional and personal stress. My T started then, and is currently at its worst. A high pitch ringing in both ears - the right more than left. Also slight hearing loss in both. I’ve done small amounts of private tutoring since resigning, which I can manage as it is very low key and is not noisy! At 44, I’m not at all close to retirement and financially, I need to earn more money and regain security, however I’m concerned about what employment I can realistically manage. Classroom teaching is out, as are environments that are noisy or require near continuous dialogue or communication. I’m beginning to get really worried about the future, and wonder what other T people can satisfactorily do for work, or what kind of work adjustments they’ve needed to make. I’d be very grateful for your feedback. Thanks.

36 Replies

Do you have hearing aids/maskers, if so do they not help in any way?As for what job, do not have the answer there, sorry.

I have a NHS appointment with an ENT consultant in a few days. I hope to have a hearing aid and / or masker fitted then. I’ve not slept well for 8 days consecutively, and feel sleep deprived, which obviously impacts on daytime life (including work) too.

I fully understand at my worst I got 30 minutes sleep in 2 weeks! It really affects you, I think the consultant will just refer you to audiology and from there you will receive the hearing aids/maskers, though doesn’t help in the meantime, I would see gp to see if they can assist in any way, it’s not easy, we all know on this forum, stick with it and best wishes.

emily62 in reply to hollyhock0

I use a mobile phone app to get to sleep as my T is very loud, it really works for me YouTube have quite a few or Google play under tinnitus sound therapy find one that's just below your T.. just place the phone next to the bed i have gental rain it takes the T away you might find bird song or something else is better for you

All the best


hollyhock0 in reply to emily62

Hi, thanks for the suggestion. I’ve been through YouTube - coloured noises, wind, rain etc. Wind in trees is best for me. I’ve tried about ten different ones I think, but unfortunately havn’t found one that masks the T (just alters it a bit) and it doesn’t allow for good quality sleep in my case. I also tried an app recommended by an audiologist, it had a great range of sounds, but again didn’t mask my T, which is a constant, loud, high pitched ringing. Thank you though! 🙂

emily62 in reply to hollyhock0

Try. good vibes binatone beats the on called, most powerful tinnitus sound therapy it's brilliant!

hollyhock0 in reply to emily62

Thanks! I will x

Just looking it up. Don’t quite understand your last post. Can you clarify please?

1Dar in reply to hollyhock0

Hello .. I’m not stalking you so don’t worry .. just interested to hear how you got on with your ENT .. re hearing aids etc . Hope you got some answers.

hollyhock0 in reply to 1Dar

Hi - sorry for the late reply. Please see my response to your main post. :)

It is a tough environment - have you thought about tutoring online courses - OU etc. I'm a similar age, but was born with bilateral loss - so staying in the profession until the right job comes along.

hollyhock0 in reply to Vibe19

Thanks for your suggestion. I have considered online tutoring, however my particular subject doesn’t lend itself to that. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay in the profession. I’m a resilient person, but things came to a head and it was unbearable. I hope you have lots of support. Good luck with getting the work you want. :)

Vibe19 in reply to hollyhock0

Thanks - I thought when building work was done it would get easier, noisy fan in central heating system of new build is not great - if snag is not fixed soon will ask for a reroom. How about driving jobs? Oddly find road noise and movement good for balance & T. Similarly with trains.

hollyhock0 in reply to Vibe19

Ha, just picturing myself as a train driver. Not sure I’m suited. Driving is good for T, I agree. Thanks for the ideas. Good luck with the heating. We also have a pump which can make a lot of noise sometimes, I occasionally shut the whole thing off if it gets too much.

Am sorry to hear and it’s a struggle but you will get through it 🙏🏾

hollyhock0 in reply to Verma54

Thank you 🙏

Hello Hollyhock0, and welcome to the British Tinnitus Association forum.

Do feel free to ask any questions, I hope that you find this a helpful and supportive place to help you manage your tinnitus.

We have some resources that you might like to check out in addition to our home here:

tinnitus.org.uk (information and support details)

takeontinnitus.co.uk (free tinnitus management programme)

If you’d like to sign up to receive ‘Focus’, our new free monthly e-newsletter, you can sign up at tinnitus.org.uk/forms/conta...

Helpline 0800 018 0527 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm) (outside the UK you can call +44 (0)114 250 9922)

We also offer a new web chat service at tinnitus.org.uk/helpline. If you are seeking an online ‘safe space’ to talk about your tinnitus? We're here to offer real time support, exactly when you need it. We listen, advise or direct, whilst engaging with you one to one when you are unable to make a call. We want you to feel you are able to communicate at your own pace in your own space confidentially with one of our Helpline Advisors who are on hand to look after you and answer any questions you may have around tinnitus. Simply click on the icon called 'We are here!' at the bottom right corner of the screen to start your chat.

Kind regards



Tinnitus Support Manager

Have you thought of doing something like starting a gardening business? There are a few lady gardeners in the area where I live. They are very much in demand especially by older people - older ladies in particular who just want their garden kept tidy. One lady gardener I know if knows a man who she can ask to do anything that she feels is too heavy for her.

The lady gardeners I know are all retired ladies. You can come and go as you please and once you get started weeding etc it is very peaceful.

I know another lady who has a dog walking business and 20 years ago when I packed in teaching - I’d had enough of working as part of an unhappy staff and just left someone suggested I start my own dog grooming business which I didn’t do.

I worked in a library for a while which wasn’t as good as it sounds because they were slashing all of their qualified librarians so a big black cloud hung over the county. I’d look for something where you turn up at starting time and leave when your working time is finished - nothing like teaching!

Thanks so much for sharing. All creative ideas are very welcome! There are several male and female gardeners in my small town, including a friend (who was a social worker), so I’m not sure how saturated the market is. I like gardening, but am no expert. Dog walking sounds good... Both outdoor work too... I find being outdoors better T-wise. I looked at library work too, seems would need to volunteer first, and hope to secure a job from there. Totally agree, a start/finish time, and nothing extra, is what I’d like!

1Dar in reply to hollyhock0

Hi,,, how are you going? I hope everything you are doing is helpful. Did you have any luck with finding a job outside? I’m having a rough week .. but tomorrow is another day ...I hope all is well with you. 😊😊😊

Trouble is a lot of people do not see T as a disability over 5 years ago through to heath issues I had to give up work depression and anxiety health issues and some physical issues.T makes my heath worse afraid to go out because certain noises make my T worse.

Yesterday I was 60 and where I live my family gave me a party there was about 40 people there and we had a singer it was making my T very bad but I wanted to enjoy the party could not even hold a drink probably as hands shaking it was just to overwhelming for me but got through it and then today received a letter I now I have to go to an assessment with a healthcare professional to see if I am fit to go to go back to work and weather they will stop my benefits of course this is now making my T worse I have been not to worry about till to appointment but can not stop worrying .it just makes me wonder how people get away with benefit fraud.if your T is made worse by certain noises have you tried ear plugs on this forum there are posts talking about earplugs I hope you find something to help you and get back to some sort of work I admit that I miss my job.

hollyhock0 in reply to Joeb17

Lovely that you have so many people who care about you. My best advice is to try not to worry about the things you can’t control and concentrate on what makes you feel better, or what you do enjoy. An audiologist told me not to wear ear-plugs (I used to wear them regularly), however wearing them nowadays means that I hear the T more. Wishing you well.

Pixie56 in reply to hollyhock0


I find that if I wear ear plugs to block out some sort of sound, ie loud music etc it’s almost as if they are enclosing the T in and I can hear it even louder.. I know that sounds a bit strange..

hollyhock0 in reply to Pixie56

I also find this with ear-plugs

You need to look into hear aids.they my help you.

Hi there,

Are you worried about continuous dialogue owing to just your hearing loss?. If so you may find that hearing aids may make a big difference.

Is there scope for you to do small class / one to one supported learning. It would be a shame to leave your chosen profession entirely.

With regards to masking, persevere and try as many as you can.

I have a high pitched, continuous, in my head, eeeee noise and tried over 40 odd sounds. I eventually found a constant, chirriping cricket masker which allows me to fall asleep easily.

Give yourself some time with your aids and hopefully they will make a big difference for you.

Im a police officer and when T hit my anxiety went through the roof. I managed to get a posting in a quieter environment but had to cite the anxiety as the reason. The sooner T is recognised for the debilitating condition it is, the more progress we can all make !.

Good luck

Our T sounds very similar, if not almost identical. I searched out a cricket/chirruping clip on YouTube and put on a 10 hour clip through last night. It’s the best masker yet, and I managed a longer sleep. Thanks so much for your recommendation!

Hoping to get hearing aids on Monday at Senior Audiologist appointment. Fingers-crossed.

I am doing a little one-to-one teaching through a tuition centre. This is fine T-wise and there’s is no stress, however there’s not enough to cover the bills. My friend is a police officer, and from what I understand the structure is pretty different to secondary schools. In a school you can’t transfer, you are employed only by that school. Classes are 30+ and you teach a specialist subject. Sometimes you can broaden into teaching other subjects, but the class size/workload is the same. There isn’t an opportunity to work one-to-one or with small groups. There are other high noise situations too - canteen duties, parents evenings, even trying to have a conversation in a busy corridor is often difficult... It’s a job that’s all about communication and there are few quiet places to go. That said, private schools class sizes are usually much smaller, so that perhaps is an option...

Great that you were able stay in your profession, and make adjustments to fit your needs.

Thanks again for your helpful advice. It’s much appreciated.

Most welcome,

To echo Ruud's recommendation its the Sound Oasis I use with "summer nights" on the sound card. Id be lost without it.

What about a civilian court usher job, Ive done this duty a few times and a court in session is one of the quietest places, no phones, no chat...only one person permitted to speak at any given time...just a thought.

Take care

I think getting hold of hearing aids is my first goal, and then I may well invest in the Sound Oasis and pillow speakers once I've got a handle on them.

Court usher... never would have thought of that. Thanks. Need to think outside the box, and put my skills and years of experience and to good use.

Take care too.

Pixie56 in reply to Shellipops

I don’t think anyone can realise what a debilitating condition it is until they experience it for themselves. However much I try and explain it to my family they can’t possibly understand, they just smile and nod sympathetically then seem to just change the subject, because the trouble is there is nothing anyone can actually do to help. At least on this forum people do actually understand how others are feeling

I work as a debt advisor and was previously on the phones in a call centre. I had T when I started this job 4yrs ago, but only mild and not causing any problems. My T got massively worse about a year into the job - I think this was a combination of my hearing getting worse and straining to hear on the phones - really quiet phones and a very loud working environment. I struggled on for a bit, but I was almost at breaking point with the tinnitus so I admitted defeat and got myself moved to a different role - doing the same job, but just responding to post / e-mails etc rather than being on the phones.

It's not what I would have chosen to do in an ideal situation, but I've come to the realisation that I have to accept the limitations the condition forces upon me. I do feel it's severely limited my prospects / earning capacity, but like you, I have to keep on working. I'm mid-40's with a young family to support and there is no financial support available from the state in this situation, as no-one can prove that I do in fact have tinnitus or how bad it is.

Re your situation, definitely push to get some HA's sorted via the NHS - they are pretty good on that score and you will be glad you did it. Get yourself a SoundOasis noise generator - the BTA sell them on their website. Couple this with some pillow speakers and then you've got a vast range of sounds to choose from to keep your ears / brain occupied whilst you're sleeping.

Keep fighting.

hollyhock0 in reply to Ruud1boy

'It's not what I would have chosen to do in an ideal situation, but I've come to the realisation that I have to accept the limitations the condition forces upon me. '

I'm heading toward the same realisation, which I guess is why I asked the initial questions in the first post. Tinnitus is debilitating, especially coupled with sleep problems. Work is a good distraction, as much as other positives, so I hope to get on to something more solid soon. HAs hopefully coming in two days. Thanks very much for the recommendation re the Sound Oasis generator, I had looked at them previously, but wasn't sure if they were a good investment or not.

Best wishes. Hang in there.

Hello ... I sympathise with you as I also had to retire from teaching due to tinnitus ... but I’m 62 so I probably should be out of it anyway.!! I haven’t tried tutoring but perhaps that would suit you. I had a grommet put in my ear 3 years ago which caused my tinnitus. I’ve had 8 operations on my right ear since then each time making my anxiety and tinnitus worse. I now have a cochlear implant in my right ear and a hearing aid in my left ear. The implant does mask the tinnitus a little , and I’m slowly habituating to the ringing , but have been through some dark times. I suggest you see a good audiologist and they will probably give you a hearing aid with a masker in it.

Hope one day someone will come up with something.

Take care ., good luck .. Jenny

hollyhock0 in reply to 1Dar

Thanks, and sorry to hear of your ordeal. Not wanting to wish time away at all, but I have thought it’d be easier if I were closer to retirement! I received hearing aids with maskers from a senior audiologist almost 2 weeks ago. They do help a little. Not a miracle cure, and I don’t wear them all day, but pop them in if I feel I want a break from my high pitched ringing. The audiologist also suggested some apps, and I’ve been using the ‘crickets chirping’ from the ‘White Noise Lite’ (free) app at night. I’ve also ordered a flat pillow speaker from Amazon. So am getting kitted out. Work-wise, I have a little one-to-one tutoring going on. I think regular work will be useful, not too noisy/not too quiet, for distracting from the T. Best wishes and I hope habituating comes sooner than later.

Hi , I have just found your message. I really like this forum as I don’t feel so alone. I live in a country town where there are no support groups . Tutoring sounds great for you ... it was an option for me , but decided against the commitment. I have a sound oasis machine , but I prefer the sleep buds. Everything is expensive though, my cochlear was 20,000 dollars , but my health fund paid for it. I think white noise in a hearing aid is your best idea.

I’ve had a tough couple of days with anxiety thinking about tinnitus , which becomes a vicious circle. Luckily I have a great husband who understands. Still think keeping busy is best. I have exactly the same sound as you .. a very high pitched sound , just like crickets in my ear.

Hope you get some peace and sleep soon. You sound very calm which is great ! Take care .. happy to keep in touch 🌞

Hi , I was just wondering how things are going for you. I sometimes take a break from the chat line . I’m going okay , have had a few meltdowns ... but try to keep busy .

Are you going okay and have you tried the BOSE headphones that are used at night? I have enough head phones to start a new shop!

Anyway just wanted to make sure you are going okay .

Take care , Jenny

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