What Causes Ear Fatigue?

If you’ve ever been sitted at your mixing desk for long periods of time then you’ve problem encountered ear fatigue.

It’s quite a discomfort and will usually make any task uncomfortable.

A lot of people experience ear fatigue, even those that don’t produce music so don’t worry too much…

This post will discuss the various causes of ear fatigue so you get a better sense of the problem.

Its a problem that most musicians and those that are exposed to music for long hours experience.

Which is why this post will be beneficial to you and I hope it clarifies what exactly causes ear fatigue ..

Wearing headphones for too long

Headphones are helpful tools that allow us to get a closer listen to music.

For the average person, headphones are simply tools that help them listen to music without disturbing others.

There’s no denying that the full immersion in music that headphones offer us is something desirable and useful for certain work.

However it can cause some problems.

Being in headphones for too long can cause hearing loss and ear fatigue which is why it’s necessary to have a good working understanding of this in order to avoid it.

For example, those that work in music production have to constantly monitor audio in order to ensure that everything is right.

You’ll find most record producers with headphones on when doing this because headphones offer a more closer feel to the audio.

This is a very effective way of carrying out their work but a very detrimental one too if they do it for too long.

If you’re a person beside a record produxer that works in a highly noisy environment you should therefore lower the volume of your headphones to a normal/moderate level so you give your ears some room to relax.

It’s also a good practice to buy comfortable headphones.

You might want to stick to comfortable big headphones that don’t hurt your ears or cause any physical stress and fatigue.

Listening to loud music for long

We all love music. For people like me that work as music producers this is perharps even more true.

Not a day goes buy without listening to music because the work demands it.

But sometimes even casual listeners do listen to music everyday.

The constant exposure to music especially loud music can easily cause ear fatigue and you may feel physical stress to the point where you just want to turn it all off and enjoy some quiet.

Being exposed to music for long hours can be stressful and should be avoided because it is one of the leading causes of ear fatigue.

Constant exposure to loud noise

People work in different spaces of careers and they are all exposed to different working conditions.

For example, construction workers have to work with heavy equipment, machinery and other things.

Most people that work in such conditions will more than likely be exposed to loud industrial noise.

Being exposed to loud noises for long periods of time will easily cause ear fatigue.

Which is why it’s helpful to have some ear muffs or ear plugs in when working in such conditions.

The human hearing system is not meant to withstand high sound pressure constantly which is why exposing it too such high intensity situations can lead to ear fatigue and hearing loss in extreme situations.

Exposure to a variation of sounds

When exposed to a multitude of sounds from several different sources, sensory overload usually occurs.

This overstimulation can result in general fatigue and loss of sensation in the ear.

The various facets of music

Musicality especially what you hear on the radio, contains various faculties and musical aspects such as timbre, emotional impact, melody plus a myriad of artifacts that come f from non-musical aspects such as soundstaging, dynamic range compression sonic balance etc.

The introduction of these sonic artifacts affects the overall balance between these musical and non-musical aspects.

Therefore when you turn up the volume of radio playing a particular song…these artifacts become more apparent, and because they are uncomfortable for the ear.

They end up causing the listeners to become stressed and eventually lose focus or become tired.

These listeners may then unconsciously avoid that type of music, or the radio station they may have heard it on.

Final Thoughts

Ear fatigue is caused by a long exposure to loud noise.

Common groups of people that are at risk of becoming victim to this ear fatigue include avid listeners of music and others who listen or work with loud noise on a constant basis, such as musicians, construction workers etc.