Listening is Hard Work with Hearing Loss
Date posted: September 19, 2016
It’s not unusually for people to leave work tired, but for those with hearing loss the weariness is made worse by the strain of deciphering what people were saying all day. This is known as listening fatigue. A normal hearing person may never think about the effort they expend to listen, for people with hearing loss listening is hard work that can leave them exhausted after only a few hours.
A study by the Danish Institute for Social Research found that 15 percent of people with hearing loss in the workforce are so tired by the end of the workday they don’t have the energy for leisure activities.
How hard can listening be?
When you have a hearing loss you may only hear 50% of what is said. So in order to communicate effectively you have to fill in the holes with a combination of lip reading, context clues and guessing. It’s like constantly having to solve a puzzle to hold a simple conversation.
Effect on work
According to the Better Hearing Institute untreated hearing loss causes $56 billion in lost productivity in the workplace. They attribute that lost productivity to listening fatigue. Hearing loss is also to blame for many people exiting the workforce altogether. The energy you use to listen and communicate takes away from the energy you need to perform other tasks at work. By the time you get home you are too exhausted to do anything else.
Hearing Aids Help
Hearing aids help to reduce listening fatigue drastically. Your hearing aids make listening easier, so your brain has to expend less energy to understand the sounds that it hears. New hearing aid technology even isolates and amplifies the sounds you want to hear, while reducing background noise.
If you still find you are suffering from listening fatigue try taking frequent listening breaks. Turn off you hearing aids, or go someplace quiet and give your ears a 5-minute rest throughout the day.