16Oct2015

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What is hearing loss exhaustion?

Posted on Oct 16, 2015

Often, when people are injured, the rest of the body has to compensate to work around the injury, whether it's a broken arm or a twisted ankle. However, did you know the same phenomenon can occur with our hearing?

As you may know, the act of hearing is not only the responsibility of our ears, but a complex set of processes in the brain. Ears are merely the receivers for sound that is transmitted to our brain's auditory centres so that we can make sense of the myriad noises around us. 

When our ears aren't functioning as normal, as in the case of hearing loss, some people may not realise the impact it can have on your energy and wellbeing.

Why does fatigue accompany hearing loss?

Hearing loss exhaustion, as the name suggests, is the physically and mentally draining effect of living with hearing impairment. 

Indeed, a study conducted by the Danish Institute for Social Research found that 15 per cent of workers with hearing loss reported being so worn out after their day's work, that they had no energy for engaging in active pursuits1

As explained in a study from Vanderbilt University, people with sensorineural hearing loss have to endure longer periods of sustained concentration and 'listening effort'2. However, it was found that people who used a hearing aid required less of this effort to complete a battery of tests than those who didn't use such a device‚Äč2

How can I alleviate hearing loss exhaustion?

It's important to make an effort to relax if you are feeling fatigued, to give your body a chance to restore. If you haven't used hearing aids, it's a good idea to talk to your local audiologist about whether a hearing solution could be right for you. 

Have you been finding it difficult to follow conversations, or find yourself feeling worn out after social situations? Click here or call 1300 308 125 to request a FREE* appointment with your local HEARINGLife clinic.

1The Danish Institute for Social Research, When hearing fails: Impact of hearing loss on work, education and personal health. Accessed via Hear-it.org, October 15, 2015.

2Ear and Hearing Journal, The effects of hearing aid use on listening effort and mental fatigue associated with sustained speech processing demands. Accessed via pubmed.gov, October 15, 2015.

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