How to Handle Lip Reading Fatigue

Written by our guest contributor: Karina Cotran (pictured above) from

October is here, and usually that means the start of parties – Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas and all the birthdays in between. Parties often mean crazy loud settings, and multiple things going on at once.

For me, that usually means my go-to way of interacting with others is lip reading. Sometimes, if it’s really that loud, that’s the only thing I can do to get by. However, only lip reading for very long periods of time can be exhausting. I end up with what is called lip reading fatigue.

Side note: well, the more accurate term for this is concentration fatigue, but I’m going to call it lip reading fatigue because I am focusing specifically on lip reading.

For me, at parties, I usually try to take in all the sounds going on, concentrate on my surroundings, and lip reading the person that’s talking. This can be a lot of effort, especially if you’re in a group conversation and your eyes are going from one speaking person to the next, and your mind is automatically trying to adjust to that person’s lip movements.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

By the end of the night, my brain hurts and I’m ready to just take off my cochlear and go to bed.

So, how can you minimize the effects of lip reading fatigue? Here are some of the methods that have worked best for me:

  • Take regular breaks when at the party by alternating going somewhere quiet with a friend (like outside) for a quick break and recharge.
  • Find the quietest area of the party – and make that your go-to. It might not be as quiet as outside, but if it’s quieter than the rest of the party, then it’s something.
  • Stay in an area with good lighting. If you are lip reading, there is no need to strain your eyes trying to lip read someone in dim lighting,
  • This may sound bad, but if you are feeling the exhaustion settle in, try and fight that by mentally checking out every once in a while to give yourself a much needed break.

However, the most important tip would be to be honest and communicate your fatigue to at least one friend, so that they know that you don’t mean to be rude if you mentally check out or if you want to go off somewhere quieter.

Do you have any additional tips on how to handle lip reading fatigue?