The last few years have been exceptionally stressful for everyone. In recognition of Stress Awareness Month, we are taking a look at stress’ impact on an important area of your life – your hearing health.
For those with hearing loss, it takes a lot of energy to listen and follow a conversation. They are trying to separate speech from distracting background noises and have to change their focus often when following a conversation between multiple people. This amount of energy exertion can cause listening fatigue, which inevitably leads to stress.
Hearing a ringing in the ear that is not present in the environment is known as tinnitus. Since tinnitus can appear seemingly at random and can interfere in your ability to concentrate, sleep and focus, it’s no wonder those who suffer from tinnitus report an increase in their stress levels.
Navigating a hearing world with hearing loss can be challenging. There are inevitably accessibility concerns everywhere, from attending an event with poor acoustics to being seated too close to the loud kitchen at dinner. Having to face communication barriers uses up a lot of time and energy, which can increase your stress.
Healthy Ways to Handle Stress
The fight or flight stress response is a survival mechanism that helps us respond to threats. But too much stress can impact both your physical and mental health. Below is a list put out by the American Psychological Association with some evidence-based tools to help combat stress in healthy ways.
Eliminate the Stressor
While you may not be able to completely remove yourself from stressful situations, you can try to reduce the stress you are feeling. Some stressful situations can be reduced by dropping some responsibility, reducing your standards or simply asking for help. If your hearing loss is causing stress, consider scheduling an appointment with a hearing professional to evaluate your treatment options. Hearing aids may be just the thing you need to help reduce your stress.
Develop Social Support
Strong social connections can help improve your resilience to stress. Spending time with those who are good at listening and sympathizing, such as close family and friends, can be the support system you need. For those living with hearing loss, you can find a community of others with this condition online or through your audiologist.
Research shows that mindful meditation can reduce psychological stress and anxiety. Finding a quiet place to sit and breathe for just a few minutes a day is all you need to start seeing a positive impact. Taking classes at Hot Yoga Houston can help you focus and also provide you with another social support system.
To learn more about the impact hearing loss has on your stress levels or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, contact Today's Hearing today.