Pro Tip: How to alleviate listening fatigue at work


The best hearing aid tips are from hearing aid wearers. We publish a new one every month in our Pro Tips column.
 

We get up at 7 a.m. We are in the office by 8 a.m. We eat lunch at 12 p.m. We want a nap by 2 p.m. We leave at 5 p.m. Wait what?! A nap?

Yes!

When you have hearing loss, listening fatigue is often a consequence. Your ears cannot function as efficiently as before, and as your brain and ears work overtime to understand speech and noise, they wear out that much faster. I’m 25 years old, and if I don’t wear my hearing aids, I want a nap by 2 p.m., sometimes two naps (one at 2 p.m. and another at 5 p.m. when I get home). Sometimes, even with my hearing aids in, the stress of a long day full of back-to-back meetings, phone calls and team discussions is too much and drains my energy levels.

How do you fix this? Well, in the last few years, I’ve come up with some good tips that can help alleviate listening fatigue at work. 

  1. Take short breaks during the day: Whether it’s a 10-minute coffee run, a 5-minute walk with a coworker outside, or even just some quiet time at your desk, a short break is a great way to rest your ears and get some energy back.
  2. Eat breakfast: We’ve all heard experts and read columns insisting we eat a healthy breakfast. Well, it’s true! Even if it means me grabbing an egg-white spinach wrap from the coffee shop on the way to work (making me 5 minutes late sometimes), I do it. When I skip breakfast, I am starting my day tired, and that means my ears are already going to struggle to make it through the day.
  3. Eat lunch away from your desk: While eating away from your desk and sitting in a cafeteria with chatty coworkers might sound counterproductive to conserving listening energy, I actually find it helps. Spending 30 minutes focusing on non-work related topics gives my brain a rest and lets me come back for the afternoon focused and refreshed.
  4. Enjoy some occasional caffeine: I hate, hate, hate soda. I also abhor coffee, unless it’s the flavor of the ice cream I’m eating. Tea, on the other hand, is my go-to pick-me-up when I need a quick caffeine boost. If you’re a Diet Coke person, go for it. Sometimes, it’s okay to have a little caffeine.
  5. Start the day with a workout: Every morning, I get up and workout — well I knock out some light cardio (45 min power walk with my enormous dog). Sometimes I do a quick weights session in the morning, but it’s rare. In short though, I find getting my body up and active early in the morning helps wake me up and gives me energy for the day. It’s not a perfect science, but I do find that I am calmer, happier and more productive with an early morning walk than when I succumb to pressing “snooze” five times in order to sleep longer.  

Hearing loss shouldn’t hold you back at work, so give these tips a try!

Got a tip you’d like to share with other hearing aid wearers? Email it to blog@starkey.com. If we use it, we’ll give you the credit.  

By Sarah Bricker

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