What does listening fatigue mean? It is a sense of tiredness that engulfs you after a period of frenetic activity. That mode of activity can be anything from watching TV or chopping too many vegetables in one go! You feel drained and tired, sometimes even sleepy. It is no different for the sense of hearing. 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 songs on your headphones for long hours, you are bound to feel quite tired after it. If a person tried to talk to you at that time, you feel irritated and even distracted. You miss out on conversations because you do not follow the line of thought. You are basically tired of hearing, much like the previous case where you were tired of watching. 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.
According to our audiologists at Bengal Speech, the first step you should take to fight back listening fatigue is the most obvious one: give some rest to your auditory sense organ! Put away that headphone for a while, take a deep breath and let your mind drift away. Do not use your ears, as far as practicable, to listen to anything. A power nap is a good option, if you can afford to take it for a quick 20 minutes in the middle of a working day!
If this option does not work out for you, you can take a walk for a short while, preferably outdoors, where you wouldn’t need to speak to anyone. However, if you suffer from hearing loss, you should get your hearing aids tested and fitted by professional audiologists so that it serves you well. Straining to hear something only aggravates the problem.