Listening Fatigue… a daily battle for the hearing impaired!
What is listening fatigue?It is a sense of tiredness that engulfs you after a period of frantic activity. That mode of activity can be anything from playing TV games or walking in a busy shopping mall! You feel drained and tired, sometimes even sleepy. It is no different for the sense of hearing.
A hearing impaired person has to think, concentrate and work much harder than a hearing person. When someone has a hearing loss (even a very mild one) they need to construct and process meaning out of half-heard words and sentences, often making guesses to help figure out what is being said. Therefore, having a simple conversation is no longer effortless and can leave them extremely tired as listening takes a lot of effort and energy.
Just like intensive sessions of watching a digital screen for long periods of time tire out your eyes, the same goes for your ears.
When you are listening to music on your headphones for long hours, you are bound to feel quite tired after it. If a person tried to engage you in conversation, you may feel irritated. You miss out on conversations because you do not follow the line of thought. You are basically tired of hearing. Your ears are exhausted, much like your eyes.
This problem of listening fatigue is more intense for people with hearing loss. They are straining to catch words anyway! When they end up doing that for too long, they feel empty and drained. They want to sit in some quiet zone for a while and get their bearings back again. This fatigue can also set in when you attend seminars or conferences. You are full of energy in picking up words and ideas in the first couple of hours. Slowly, your attention begins to waver. This is not as much a problem of concentration as it is the question of listening fatigue.
What can you do? Give your ears some well-deserved rest! Take out your hearing aid(s), take a deep breath and let your mind wander. Enjoy silent, alone time. Take a brisk walk outside or a quick 15 minute power nap if you can.