25 August 2010

Being hearing impaired is draining

It is not strange to feel tired as a hearing impaired person. It requires extra energy to concentrate just to hear.

Most hearing impaired people recognise this situation: They feel tired after being in the company of others, been out with friends or at work. It takes more energy to keep up with the conversation. Energy which those who are not hearing impaired do not use in the same way.

Energy is used up

The hearing impaired have to use more energy than those with normal hearing to distinguish sounds and filter out background noise from the conversation.

Many factors are relevant in regards to such a situation - is it dark, can you see the person who is talking, are many people talking at the same time, are the acoustics bad and so on. As hearing impaired people are not born with more energy than people with normal hearing, it is no wonder that they run out of energy quicker. It can be compared to a person with normal hearing having to concentrate more when a conversation takes place in a foreign language which they know, but are not fluent in.

Remember: take a break

Pia Mikkelsen, secretary of the Danish union for the hearing impaired, Høreforeningen, recommends, that the hearing impaired remember to take small breaks throughout the day. During these breaks they can “refuel” with a little more energy.

A good tip is to be aware of the fact that if you have a hearing impairment, you use more energy and it can be an advantage to make the fact known to those around you. In this way you can avoid using more energy than you have and have to work weekends and holidays just to catch up.
Pia Mikkelsen estimates that the hearing impaired use up to 50% of their energy on communication during the day, whereas those with normal hearing only use around 5%

Source: Hørelsen, March 2010

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