By Mapula Mokwena (Clinical Audiologist)

We all need to listen, but when it comes to sound, too much of a good thing can cause listening fatigue. This is a condition that can leave you feeling drained and unable to focus.

What is Listening Fatigue?

Listening fatigue occurs when you are exposed to excessive noise over an extended period of time. As the name suggests, it leaves you feeling tired and may lead to headaches or discomfort in your ears. The most common causes of listening fatigue include loud music or sounds played on speakers, working in noisy environments, and even attending large events like parties or concerts.

How Can We Avoid Listening Fatigue?

The best way to avoid listening fatigue is to limit exposure to loud noises as much as possible. If you’re going out for the night, try wearing noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs so that you’re not exposed to too much sound at once. You should also take regular breaks from loud noises throughout the day if possible – for example, if you work in a noisy environment then make sure you take regular breaks away from the noise source. Finally, make sure that any audio equipment that you use is set up correctly – if the sound levels are too high then they could be causing unnecessary strain on your ears.

Listening fatigue is a common problem but there are ways we can protect ourselves from it. By taking steps such as using noise-cancelling headphones and earplugs when out in noisy environments, setting up audio equipment correctly, and taking regular breaks away from loud noises during the day, we can help reduce our risk of experiencing listening fatigue and its associated symptoms.