It’s difficult to explain hearing loss fatigue to someone who doesn’t deal with the stress and effort that goes into living a life impacted by hearing loss. You could ask them to imagine a normal day in their life, with all of its minor stresses and complications. Now tell them to imagine that exact same day, but add the requirement that they also continuously balance a book on their head at the same time. Sounds pretty tiring, right? That’s a lot like what adding hearing loss into a day in the life feels like.
It’s no wonder that people with hearing loss often report higher incidents of fatigue when you take into account the additional energy and attention they expend at every turn. If your hearing is damaged and you feel a deep and unrelenting sense of exhaustion, you might be suffering from hearing loss fatigue. There are a few things you can do to replenish your energy stores and get back your sense of ease.
Know your limits
Simply knowing when you’re about to reach your melting point is an extremely useful piece of information to have. Perhaps it’s an urge to speak harshly to someone, a ball in your stomach, or a pressure in your chest. Your boiling point is singular to you and you can begin to monitor yourself in stressful hearing situations to find the place just before you break. That’s an excellent time to pull back and practice self-care. In fact, the noticing and responding to your stress level is self-care in itself.
Once you know your limits, you can intervene and disrupt the cycle. Don’t suffer through situations that are too challenging. If someone complained of a backache, you wouldn’t tell them to tough it out if a five-minute stretching session would alleviate their discomfort. Attending to fatigue and stress from hearing loss is no different.
If you’re in a group setting, excuse yourself for a short walk or a few moments sitting by yourself. Turn off your hearing aids if you can. Take at least five deep breaths, imagining that you’re inhaling tranquility and exhaling stress.
Monitor and adjust your situations
You can’t control much of your hearing life. After all, sound is an external stimulus. What you can do, though, is assume some control in terms of what situations you’re exposing yourself to. If a cocktail party is going to really test your limits, make a plan to attend for only a short time and stick to your schedule. If a work associate proposes a face to face meeting to discuss a small issue, ask if it is a discussion that can take place via email.
If background noise causes a dramatic increase in your listening effort, eliminate it. You can always explain the situation and ask friends or family around you to turn off the music or television. If the source of the noise comes from someone you can’t make that request of, find a quieter place to be.
It can’t be repeated enough: you don’t have to suffer through anything unbearable. You often have more choices available than you think, so if you come up against an irritant in your hearing life, look for the solution before you make the decision to just endure.
Meditation has been practiced by ancient cultures going back longer than recorded history. Science is just beginning to take note and has now done numerous studies that back up the time-honored philosophies: Meditation works. If you’re new to the idea, spend some time on the Internet to find the method that works best for you. Some people are drawn to highly spiritual meditations, while others prefer simple guided meditations that focus only on the breath.
In almost all cases, those who practice meditation often report higher stores of energy, greater resilience in stressful situations and a more peaceful mental and emotional capacity. And you don’t have to travel to the top of the mountain to reap the benefits. Only a few minutes a day in a quiet space can make a dramatic impact on your mental health!
Pat yourself on the back
Every task you complete, every conversation you have is more difficult than it is for someone with healthy hearing. This also means that each of those moments is a triumph in itself, just because you persevered. Remember that and be patient when you have setbacks. Our lives are full of ebb and flow, so setbacks are inevitable for everyone. Celebrate the victories and let the instances of defeat fall to the wayside.
Are you experiencing changes in your hearing? You don’t have to live with untreated hearing loss. In fact, taking a hearing test and seeking treatment with hearing aids could help reduce fatigue. For more information and to schedule a consultation, contact us at Preferred Hearing Aid Centers.