If you notice that you are feeling a little more tired than usual, your first instinct is probably to take a look at your diet and physical activity. However, your fatigue might actually be caused by a problem with your ears. Here is what you need to know about the relationship between feeling tired and having trouble hearing things.
Fatigue Can Be a Symptom of Hearing Loss
People with hearing loss know all about symptoms like social isolation or foggy sounds, but few realize that fatigue is also a sign of hearing loss. Those who struggle with hearing issues report feeling an extreme weariness after they have spent a few hours trying to listen to things. According to some Danish research, 15 percent of people who deal with hearing loss end up so tired by the end of the day that they do not have the energy for anything else.
The Reason Hearing Loss Causes Fatigue
Fatigue is a symptom of hearing loss because the condition puts a lot of strain on the brain. When people are trying to communicate with others, various parts of the brain have to work together to isolate and process sounds and identify common auditory patterns. Your brain is kicked into overdrive when it is trying to comprehend sounds that it cannot properly deal with, so you end up feeling burned-out after hours of trying to focus and process the noises around you.
Another way that hearing loss causes fatigue is by putting your body into a “fight or flight” state. When people cannot hear properly, their body feels anxious because it cannot perceive threats properly. This causes very real physical issues like a higher heart rate, increased blood pressure, and rapid breathing. All of these boosted bodily functions require more energy to maintain, resulting in some of the deep fatigue you might feel at the end of the day.
How to Tell if Your Hearing Loss Is Causing Fatigue
What does hearing fatigue feel like? Those who experience it report that it feels a little different from how you would feel if you did not get enough sleep or overdid it in the gym. Instead, fatigue caused by hearing loss tends to be the type of weariness that makes your brain feel fuzzy. You may find that you lack the energy to focus on anything serious or struggle to get the willpower to socialize or exercise. This type of tiredness tends to be better at the beginning of the day but worsens after you have to socialize with others or listen to a lot of background noises.
The easiest way to tell if fatigue is due to hearing loss or another problem is to try to rule out other causes. Make sure you are getting at least seven hours of sleep each night, and look at your diet to ensure you are getting the proper blend of vitamins, calories, protein, and carbohydrates. If you still notice fatigue after this, it may be related to your hearing loss.
What to Do About Fatigue Due to Hearing Problems
Most methods of addressing hearing fatigue focus on reducing stress and avoiding sound triggers. It is always harder when your brain has to hear several things at once, so try to avoid music, television, and other background noises, especially when you need to focus.
It is also helpful to try putting on a pair of soundproof headphones and doing an activity that does not require listening at all. When you do reach the end of the day and feel fatigued, try meditation or other stress-coping techniques to help you feel refreshed.
Gulf Gate Hearing Aid Center
Of course, the most important thing that you can do about your hearing fatigue is to address the cause of your hearing loss. Seeking treatment for any auditory issues may help you hear better without having to exhaust yourself. To learn more about the hearing treatment options available to you, contact our hearing care providers today.