Fighting Fatigue with Hearing Loss: Tips for Self-Care
Jun 30, 2017
Day-to-day life can be exhausting. Work commitments, family commitments, social commitments… it can all get a bit much! That said, if you experience hearing loss, you may be aware of more intense bouts of fatigue than you used to feel.
How hearing loss and fatigue may be correlated
There are a lot of side effects that affect people with untreated hearing loss. Some of these are fairly obvious, such as frustration when you can’t hear a loved one, or anxiety when you find yourself struggling to follow conversation in a business meeting.
Another side effect of hearing loss that might be less apparent is hearing loss fatigue.
A recent study indicated that people who experience hearing loss were twice as likely as people without hearing loss to report fatigue – regardless of the severity of hearing loss. Low energy and increased fatigue are considered common for those who experience hearing loss, and have actually been further linked to issues with workplace performance as well.
Workplace performance, fatigue and hearing loss
Did you know that hearing loss costs 92 billion euros per year in Europe, mainly due to loss of productivity in the workplace?
A recent report by the Danish Institute for Social Research pointed to exhaustion as the key driving force behind low productivity amongst those who experience hearing loss. In fact, the report found that up to 1 in 5 people with hearing loss will leave the workplace entirely.
Of those currently working, 47% reported that they suffer from some form of mental exhaustion. In addition, 15% of people reported that they are so fatigued that by the end of the day, they have no time left for active pursuits.
Given the links between exercise and good mental health, these statistics suggest larger implications for people with hearing loss.
How to prevent hearing loss fatigue
Given the issues relating to fatigue and hearing loss, it may be useful to have some tips on how to combat any fatigue you or a loved one may be feeling.
It may seem obvious, but treating hearing loss through the use of hearing aids may be able to help fight fatigue. The key reason for this is, in a nutshell, your brain will not have to work as hard to keep up with the surrounding world.
Hearing loss commonly occurs because the inner ear hair cells have become damaged, which makes it difficult for the ears to pick up vibrations to send to the brain and then turn those vibrations into sound. Hearing instruments amplify these vibrations, meaning the brain does not have to work as hard to decipher surrounding sounds. This leaves the brain available to multi-task!
Nevertheless, it does take time to get used to hearing devices. The process of integrating hearing instruments into daily life can actually be fairly tiring, in and of itself. But, don’t despair! It gets easier, and there is no hard and fast rule as to how often a person needs to wear hearing devices on a daily basis.
If you’re just starting out with hearing instruments, be sure to start off gradually. If you ever find certain noisy situations stressful, you can turn the volume down or off, and give your brain some time to recoup.
Whilst on the topic of recouping, it is important to remember to take some time for yourself. There are numerous day-to-day interactions that can cause stress or anxiety!
Whether it’s struggling to understand someone at the grocery store till or getting a fright from an approaching car that was too quiet to hear, these interactions can often produce a “fight or flight” reaction, which causes the body to produce adrenaline. Adrenaline produces extra energy and alertness, but because our body’s senses are heightened, it means that the crash from these peaks is often exhausting. Several of these experiences throughout one day can be downright exhausting.
That’s why it is so important to find a method of relaxation that works for you – and integrate it into your daily routine. Whether it’s a power nap, yoga, a 15-minute stroll, a different form of exercise or simply meditation – take the time for you, and only you. Allow your brain to reset, and reenergise.
House of Hearing
If you’re experiencing fatigue, and you think it may be related to hearing loss, our hearing instrument specialists at House of Hearing are on hand to help. With five locations throughout Scotland, we provide convenience and experience to assist you in your path to good hearing health.
House of Hearing offers hearing care at four centres in Edinburgh, Galashiels, Perth, Morpeth and St Andrews. Call us on 0131 220 1220 for more information.