A little stress can be a good thing. It can motivate us to set and reach goals, take chances and learn new things. But when stress becomes overwhelming, life gets hard. You probably know the causes of stress—work, school, money, relationships—but did you know untreated hearing loss is also one of them?
Navigating a world where you can’t understand what others are saying is stress-inducing. The frustration you may experience while trying to communicate and concentrate during conversations can take its toll, leading to fatigue and exhaustion. Since you can’t fully engage with the people around you, this disconnection may also result in social withdrawal and isolation, two of the risk factors for depression, which causes sleep issues. It all adds up to a very stressful situation!
However, you can turn things around by taking control and treating your hearing loss. This one simple act can make so many aspects of your life better, which, in turn, will decrease your stress level and get you back to feeling like yourself again. Studies show that individuals who wear hearing aids experience substantial improvements in their mental health, self- confidence, relationships, physical health and sense of independence. They also report increased social interactions and improved emotional and social well-being. Recent research has found that having strong social support systems are crucial for living your best life—not only do your friends give you great advice, but they can also help minimize the effects of stress on your body and mind.
You Can Rest Easy
Drifting off to dreamland (or staying there) can be challenging for those with hearing loss. The resulting depression from hearing loss may be a factor, as it can negatively affect your sleep cycle. In addition, individuals with tinnitus—a persistent ringing in the ears that’s common in people who are hard of hearing—can prevent you from falling asleep or enjoying quality restorative sleep, leading to daytime grogginess, anxiety and, yes, stress.
Establishing good sleep hygiene can help. Try to:
• Go to bed at the same time every night.
• Use meditation or relaxation exercises before bedtime.
• Sleep in a darkened room.
• Keep your bedroom cool.
• Use white noise from a white noise machine, air conditioner or fan.
Hearing aids may also play a role in getting better-quality sleep. According to one study, 59% of hearing aid users reported being satisfied with their sleep versus 44% of individuals with hearing loss who didn’t wear hearing aids. The daytime use of hearing aids may improve several issues that can worsen insomnia and sleep quality, such as the social isolation, tinnitus and mental strain that people who are hard of hearing may experience.
Stress may be unavoidable in life, but untreated hearing loss doesn’t have to contribute to it. If you’re concerned you or someone have a hearing loss, call Precision Hearing at 352-765-8008 today to schedule an appointment.