What is Concentration Fatigue?

Fatigue and tiredness is a common issue for people with  hearing loss, regardless of how mild or severe it might be. Struggling to hear or concentrating on lip reading or signing for a prolonged period of time can really tire you out!

Concentration fatigue is caused by long periods of intense concentration during day to day activities. It can get to a point where you’re so fatigued that you’re unable to concentrate any longer.

What is Concentration Fatigue?

Concentration fatigue is more common in hearing impaired individuals than those with normal hearing. An individual with hearing loss has to pay more attention and concentrate more. Visual cues are increasingly important, helping to plug the auditory gaps. Lip reading, sign language, and body language all put added strain on your brain. Add to this straining to hear, and your brain is working overtime.

Ian Noon described it perfectly in his blog ‘Being deaf and dealing with concentration fatigue’. He notes:

“I do also think the fact that the impact of deafness doesn’t just manifest itself in communication is ever really that well understood. It’s about the energy involved in lipreading and being attentive all day long. Processing and constructing meaning out of half-heard words and sentences. Making guesses and figuring out context. And then thinking of something intelligent to say in response to an invariably random question. It’s like doing jigsaws puzzles, Suduku and Scrabble all at the same time.”

What Are The Side-Effects of Concentration Fatigue?

Concentration fatigue leaves you feeling tired. If you recognize these side-effects of concentration fatigue, we recommend booking in an appointment with your local hearing care professional.

  • Your hearing worsens as the day goes on - The later in the day, the more stress your brain has already been put under. If you notice that your hearing worsens as the day goes on, you may be experiencing concentration fatigue.
  • You struggle to concentrate towards the end of the day - Simply put, your brain is tired. Concentration towards the end of the day becomes especially challenging.
  • You may have headaches that come and go - Your brain is working, hard! It’s only normal for headaches to appear. A headache is a good sign that you need to take a break.
  • People think you aren’t sleeping enough - Concentration fatigue can also be seen as tiredness. If you’ve had friends, coworkers, or family comment that you are not sleeping enough but you know you are, it could be concentration fatigue.

Concentration fatigue is the result of your brain working overtime. Treating a hearing loss with hearing aids may help to reduce the effects of concentration fatigue. If you’re overdue for a hearing assessment, please book an appointment with the hearing professionals at HearingLife (formerly Family Audiology). Call us today on 607-323-4061. Alternatively, click here to book a consultation with us online.

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