Can treating hearing loss reduce stress?

Since April is Stress Awareness Month, we’re focusing today’s blog on how hearing loss and stress are related, and ways to manage it. Stress has overall detrimental effects on your body and can contribute to serious health concerns like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Some tips to decrease stress are exercising more regularly, spending time with friends and family, getting enough sleep and, in some cases, treating your hearing loss.

People with hearing loss often experience a daily stressor related to their hearing loss called listening fatigue. This is when you must concentrate on speech, lipreading, or social cues constantly throughout your day to the point that you are physically exhausted. Listening fatigue is common among children and adults with hearing loss and can be reduced by using hearing aids

Tinnitus, too, can cause stress

We also know that tinnitus — often a symptom of underlying hearing loss — is linked to stress. People suffering from tinnitus, also known as “ringing in the ears”, may report an increase in their tinnitus when they are in a higher state of stress.

A study showed that 53.6 percent of the people with tinnitus who were polled reported their tinnitus began during a stressful experience in their life, while 52.8 percent reported their tinnitus increased during a stressful period. The good news is, another study found that hearing professionals reported about 60 percent of their patients experience minor to major relief from their tinnitus when wearing hearing aids, while one in five received major relief.

We live in a world full of stressors, so take the time during Stress Awareness Month to decompress, relax, and seek treatment from a hearing care professional for your hearing loss or tinnitus.

 

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By Jamie Myers, Au.D.

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