For most people listening is effortless, but for people with a hearing loss making sense of the sounds around us requires extra mental effort. This additional effort devoted to listening can cause brain fatigue.
If you are dealing with an untreated hearing loss, you may find yourself surprisingly low on energy. No matter how much sleep you get or how many cups of coffee you drink, you still feel tired. If you can’t figure out why you feel so fatigued, consider your hearing loss as a possible cause.
Dr. Ervin Hafter, professor of psychology at the University of California Berkeley, studies listening effort and the effects of background noise, He says hearing-loss exhaustion occurs because of the extra mental work that hard-of-hearing people must expend to get through their day. From keeping up with conversations at work or social gatherings, to processing the sounds on the street, the body expends greater energy when a hearing deficit is present.
With this added expenditure the body becomes exhausted more quickly than it would otherwise. A recent study showed that children with hearing deficits also expend more energy as they struggle to listen in school and at home. Kids find themselves in a state of exhaustion more rapidly than others who do not suffer from hearing loss.
It is common to feel disappointed or overwhelmed by the sense that you can’t keep up with the daily demands of life. Hearing loss and fatigue may seem like unrelated ailments, but they are more connected than it seems. Exhaustion and frustration are common problems among hard-of-hearing individuals, many of whom are not aware they have a hearing loss.
A thorough hearing evaluation is the first step to figuring out if your brain fatigue is due to your hearing. Our Doctors of Audiology will perform a complete diagnostic audiometric evaluation. They will discuss your hearing test results with you and if you do have hearing loss they will make recommendations based on your specific need. Instead of reaching for more coffee, reach out to us for an appointment.