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Listening Fatigue and Hearing loss

What listening fatigue is and ways in which you can cope.

What is listening fatigue?

When hearing loss is present the brain has to work harder to piece together all of sound information that it receives from the inner ear. In the inner ear there are hair cells that are responsible for a specific pitch. If these hair cells are damaged the brain has to work harder to fill in those gaps. This is mentally exhausting.

Ways to cope with listening fatigue

1. If you wear hearing aids it is okay to take them out for a few minutes to give your brain a mental break away from sounds.

2. Having a 20-30 minute nap can improve your alertness and will not interfere with your night’s sleep.

3. Using facial cues like lip reading can help reduce the guess work for your brain. If possible try to encourage loved ones to make sure they are looking at your face when communicating.

4. Subtitles are a great way to reduce the mental strain, as TV can have a lot of background music and sounds which can make it more difficult for your brain to understand what is being said.

5. Eliminating background noise will help reduce the guess work for your brain, as it will not have to weed out what is noise and what is speech.

6. Deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress, and relieve feelings of frustration.

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