Do you feel worn out after social interactions, like there’s nothing you’d rather do than visit Broad Street Mattress Warehouse and lie down on their biggest, coziest bed for a few hours? There’s probably a lot of things going on in your life that are contributing to your fatigue, and hearing loss may be one of them. We explore this link below.
Hearing Loss & Listening Fatigue
According to our audiologists here at Augusta ENT, listening fatigue is one of the earliest symptoms of hearing loss.
Listening can cause fatigue for people with hearing loss due to how the ears and brain work together to help you understand incoming sounds. Inside your inner ears are tiny hair cells called stereocilia. These cells convert soundwaves into electrical energy that the brain interprets as sound, and each cell is responsible for a specific frequency.
When these cells die, typically because of exposure to loud sounds, certain drugs or the natural aging process, their frequencies are lost. This causes the brain to work extra hard to make sense of the few frequencies it’s still receiving.
Hearing Loss & Depression
As the name indicates, hearing loss is a type of loss, and dealing with this loss often involves the five stages of grief identified by Elizabeth Kubler Ross:
When you’re caught in the depression stage, fatigue is a hallmark symptom.
In addition, research on adults over 50 shows that people with untreated hearing loss are much more likely to report symptoms of depression, anxiety and paranoia than people who receive treatment. They are also shown to be less likely to participate in social activities, a well-known sign of depression.
Hearing Loss & Anxiety
Another common comorbidity of hearing loss is anxiety. This makes sense, as it is extremely stressful to have to worry about missing important information or hearing something incorrectly and responding in a way that’s not appropriate.
This level of anxiety can cause a person with hearing loss to become stuck in a cycle of hypervigilance, which means their bodies elevate their adrenaline levels for an extended amount of time. Overproducing this powerful stimulate can devastate the nervous system, leading to burnout and exhaustion. For more information about the link between hearing loss and fatigue, or to talk about treatment options, call the experts at Augusta ENT today.