What is Listening Fatigue?
We all know how the body tires from exercise, but you can also tire after an active day of listening, especially when you have hearing loss. This is often referred to as listening fatigue.
Hearing is not just about your ears. Your brain plays an important role in interpreting conversation, and when you have hearing loss, the brain’s job is even harder. Not only is the brain busy evaluating the sounds traveling through the auditory system, but it is also processing visual cues from lip reading and body language. No wonder listening fatigue can happen when you think about all the work being done to understand just one conversation.
Here are some tips to keep fresh and reduce the impact of listening fatigue:
- Rest. Approach an active listening day with a full night of sleep. If you are expecting a busy day one of the best steps you can take is to make sure you are properly rested
- Take a break. Finding a quiet place for 10-15 minutes in the middle of the day to rest your ears
- Breathe. Sometimes a break in the middle of the day is not possible. An alternative is to take a minute or two throughout the day to close your eyes and take some deep breaths in a quiet place
- Reduce noise. Another great tip is to reduce background noises. Always take a conversation to a quieter room when possible or turn the volume down on competing noises like the television
Did you know that your hearing aids can also help reduce listening fatigue? Talk to your audiologist about the settings available. For example, telephone conversations can now be streamed directly to your hearing aids. Control settings around location and type of listening environment can also help to block out extra background noises. Today’s hearing aids offer more customization and control than ever before to help meet your listening needs, so you can hear and feel better.