26. Yawning Can Distort Your Hearing
You aren’t just imagining that you didn’t hear your boss’ instructions when you were in the middle of a yawn. Yawning actually does distort your hearing, at least temporarily, so that certain pitches and frequencies don’t reach your brain. Some people aren’t able to hear anything while they are yawning.
This happens because a tiny muscle inside your ear, called the tensor tympani, becomes activated when you yawn. It keeps you from messing up your hearing while you are yawning. So next time you can’t hear somebody amid a yawn, don’t be shy about asking the person to repeat what he or she said. You can even explain that your tensor tympani was activated so you couldn’t hear what was being said.