Just about everyone has been feeling burned out lately. Whether it’s from the pandemic, work-related, family-related, or all of the above, it can make you feel a little crazy.
But did you ever think that maybe your hearing loss is causing you to burn out faster than usual?
Listening Fatigue caused by Hearing Loss
Please be aware that “listening fatigue” is a real problem. Straining to hear others and read their facial expressions has been a great challenge lately for everyone, regardless of their hearing health status. Your brain interprets sound into information that makes sense to you, and that requires concentration and effort.
Imagine a moment when you were in a very busy and noisy setting, like a sports arena or a crowded restaurant. When background noises were at their peak, were you able to clearly understand what your dining companions were saying? Were you straining to hear them and the waitstaff? If the restaurant itself was very loud, did you or others give up on trying to communicate with one another? This is an example of mental strain or cognitive load, that comes with hearing loss.
With normal hearing abilities, you might only notice cognitive load in noisy areas. This straining may also be felt while struggling to hear a noise, such as a disturbance in your home or maybe the sound of an animal outdoors. These situations raise your awareness of how much energy you exert when you need to hear something or someone.
For anyone with hearing difficulties, many ordinary environments and situations involve this type of effort. If you spend too much time concentrating on hearing or when the sounds are overly complex to understand, this creates more cognitive overload.
Mental Health Disrupted by Hearing Loss
Since fatigue is closely linked to hearing loss, most people who have hearing loss tend to refrain from socializing with others or being in noisy spaces that could worsen their cognitive load. This approach has its negative effects on your hearing health, as well as your mental health. Avoiding sounds creates less work for your auditory nerves. When those nerves are inactive - like when you stop exercising your muscles, for example - they become atrophied. This can progress to higher risks of dementia. Avoiding people can lead to isolation and depression. This is why it’s crucial to stimulate the auditory nerves by socializing with others.
If you’ve been feeling exhausted, don’t simply write it off as needing more rest. It could be hearing loss. If you noticed that you need to turn up the volume on your TV or ask others to speak up more frequently, you may have hearing loss.
Getting treatment immediately is important to slow down any further hearing loss. The first step is to get your hearing tested. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule a complimentary hearing test and consultation.