February 12, 2011

Being Tired and Stressed Makes it More Difficult to Hear

Man, I have been exhausted lately. The meetings, the drama, the tests, the paperwork. . .aack.

The other day, I felt so run down. I was having trouble focusing and doing my job. It did not help that everyone else was on edge; snappy and exhausted themselves. 

The hardest is trying to listen to what is being said verbally. When I am tired or sick, I find myself asking others to repeat themselves more often than usual. My hearing loss makes it much harder for me to hear what is being said while I experience bouts of brain fog, often coming across as an airhead or mentally deficient.

Even when talking with the interpreters, I was having a harder time understanding what they were signing. But, with the interpreters, I can relax a little, as looking is not as stressful as trying to hear. However, they are signing on my level and using more English signs than ASL. With a deaf person who signs strictly ASL, fluently and fast, I may have a harder time and would probably grow even more tired as I try to understand what is being said.

Listening requires some effort to concentrate and my brain would not have it today.

I recognize that everyone has days like this. But when you include a hearing loss, it makes it more difficult to concentrate and interact with others. On a typical day, it can be tiring to put in the effort to listen, especially when you deal with all kinds of people all day long, where all they like to do is talk and talk and talk. If I am trying to listen to those who are difficult to understand or if I am in a meeting, I am straining my neck, leaning in, looking at the person, giving them the appearance that I am "all ears".

It is exhausting.

This is why, when I come home from work, I usually prefer to spend some quiet time by myself. I don't want to talk to anyone or tell anyone about my day. I just want to rest and recuperate. 



  1. I'm the same way; I don't like to see anyone or talk to anyone after work, even in ASL (I teach at a deaf school where ASL is used). Rest up!

  2. When one is in people work and the family at home are in different occupations, such as machine work or computer programming, it can be difficult to convince them of the value of silence.

    Altho my first language is written English, ASL became my preferred language in my teens. Now I find using ASL soothing at home even though it is also used at work. Just not to talk about work!

  3. This is a good post especially for parents to see. If you have a child who is in the mainstream and works hard all day long trying to listen orally or watch an interpreter and follow all the conversations, it must be exhausting. Then imagine if they are stressed or tired. It's a lot for an adult to handle let alone a child. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. Such good points, Sue. Also imagine being a parent who works hard all day to listen orally and watches interpreters, then comes home to care for hearing children and a spouse. Adults can understand the toll it takes, but very young children often cannot do this. Just a note to parents who are in this situation to be kind to yourselves in understanding why you are SO exhausted!

  5. Amen! I could have written this exact post (minus the signing part)!

  6. Gee, I'm glad I read this - I have a mild hearing loss (wear a hearing aid), and I've found that to be true for me, too. I'm going to be more conscious of it from now on, and less hard on myself for not being more perky at the end of the day.

    It doesn't help that I have an Honors class, very nicely brought-up kids, who talk in that quiet, discrete, upper-middle-class near-whisper.

    I really like my working-class kids - they know how to project their voices!

  7. I have mild hearing loss and am at school so know how it feels to have to spend the day following conversations especially in classes where i am at the front and have to spend my time following class disscusions around the room, I imagine its even harder when you have to add meetings and such like to the aggenda, i have a long bus jounrney home and it often has several conversations going on at once so even with my HAs i find it hard to focus on just one, this has made me feel better about being tired, thanks

  8. I don't hear with my right ear at all and have about 80% hearing loss in my left ear. I am a 27 year old guy who has to wear a hearing aid and fight off the day in a software company. Like you all I have to work in a very engaging environment. Sometimes it's just so tiring to try to understand the discussions. I get irritated and angry quite frequently and obviously there's hardly anybody around me who would understand the troubles I have to go through. Like you I experience sudden bouts of total brain freeze. Everything seems to slow down and I just can't concentrate anymore. I then try to skip conversations and go back. Even if people do know I have hearing problem, they just don't know what I need or they just don't care. Now everyday when I come back from office I feel extremely tired and worn out. Have you had any success in reducing this effect?

    I am unmarried and I am worried nuts already because time is near to consider marriage. Its more like who will want to marry a guy who can hardly hear?! I know there is hope but most will simply skip and look for the perfect guy :|

  9. My right ear is also blown to the extent that i cant hear anything aven whe someone is whispering into it and it's pointless to wear hearing aid. My left ear is also following suit and the hearing aid seems to be a complete irritation since sound coming in is distorted and doesn't come clear. To top it all, im so blessed with tinnitus. I bet, you dont want to be in this sittuation. This tinnitus is non stop, and i mean 24/7. I hear all kinds of inner sounds (up to 5 or more, like whistles, voltage, waterfall) so clear and I ask myself why are they so loud compared to outside sounds and often blocks outside noise. I haven't found medication for this tinnitus and it seems there's non, but if anyone can help please let me know.


Keep it civil.