Hearing loss is on the rise. Currently, experts estimate that nearly 50 million people in the United States alone suffer from a noticeable amount of hearing loss. And all of those hearing loss sufferers are at risk of eventually developing other problems, including dementia, depression, anxiety and Alzheimer's disease. More immediately, however, the biggest problem that these people face, in addition to not being able to fully interact with the world around them, is fatigue.
Hearing and Brain Power
Even though it may seem like it, hearing is not an automatic response. The tiny hair-like cells in your inner ear absorb sounds from the outside world and transmit them into electrical signals. These signals are then transferred to the brain where different areas interpret them and, in effect, tell you what you're hearing.
For people suffering from sensorineural hearing loss, this process becomes more difficult. With this type of hearing loss, the physical structures inside the ear that absorb sounds no longer work properly, either because they are damaged or destroyed. As a result, the brain has less raw data to work with when it's trying to process auditory information. Therefore, it has to work harder, and this added effort can cause what's known as listening fatigue.
Fighting Listening Fatigue
If you're exhausted by the time your day ends, then you may be suffering from untreated sensorineural hearing loss. Fortunately though, there are some simple ways that you can limit the impact of listening fatigue.
First of all, if you work in a job that requires a lot of active listening, try to take regular breaks throughout the day. Go for a walk or find a quiet bench to sit on for a few minutes. Ideally, you want to find a quiet area that will give your brain a chance to relax. Also, when you get home at the end of the day, consider picking up a book instead of flipping on the television. Again, this lack of auditory stimulation will give your brain a much-needed rest. Another great option, for those of you with the luxury of time, is to take a brief nap, as studies have shown short periods of rest can improve cognitive function.
Ultimately though, if you are suffering from hearing loss, the best course of action is to see an audiologist. After a quick hearing exam, he or she should be able to offer effective solutions to treat your hearing problems and stop the hearing centers of your brain from having to work so hard.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hearing loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!