Still Struggling to Follow Even With “Normal” Hearing

female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

Your workplace recently embraced the trend of open-office floor plans, promoting collaboration and teamwork. However, you find yourself struggling in this new configuration. It’s because the elevated noise is making it challenging to follow along with conversation and not because you miss the privacy of cubical walls.

Even if conventional hearing tests indicate perfectly fine hearing, the inability to hear conversations in noisy settings is often an early sign of hearing loss. This suggests that having “normal” hearing doesn’t guarantee the capacity to comprehend speech effectively.

The complexity of speech perception

Considerable brain power is required to carry out the complex task of speech comprehension. Differentiating speech from background noise and focusing on specific voices amongst a cacophony of sounds requires optimal hearing abilities.

As hearing begins to decline, the brain encounters difficulties in isolating and processing speech signals amidst competing sounds. Because of this, it becomes mentally fatiguing to be in noisy environments like restaurants and busy offices.

How to recognize the early signs of hearing loss

Here are a number of ways that early hearing loss can manifest:

  • Increased mental exhaustion due to heightened concentration required for listening.
  • Distraction and decreased engagement in social interactions.
  • Problems understanding conversations in loud environments.

Hearing loss examinations

Uncovering such difficulties can be challenging, particularly when traditional diagnostics suggest normal hearing. Here are some tests being formulated by researchers to diagnose hearing loss in its early phases:

  • Monitoring Electrical Signals: In this test, a device tracks the electrical EEG signals transmitted by your ears to your brain. It will be a strong sign that you’re having some hearing trouble if these signals change in a particular way when you’re in a crowded place.
  • The Eye Test: For this diagnostics, you put on a special set of glasses. The movement and dilation of your pupils can be monitored with these glasses. If your pupils behave in a particular way, it implies that you’re concentrating a little harder than normal. So if this tends to occur in crowded or noisy areas, it could be a sign that you’re having to strain to hear.

These tests, in conjunction with personal observations, aim to detect hearing issues at their nascent stages, facilitating early intervention.

The benefits of early detection

There are two important benefits to early detection.

  • It alleviates frustration by providing clarity about the challenges of being in settings like open office plans.
  • Cognitive decline associated with neglected hearing loss can be avoided with early detection.

Consider getting help if you’re having trouble understanding speech even with “normal” hearing.

Early diagnosis assures timely intervention, enhancing overall auditory health and mental function. Schedule a hearing exam today and look into solutions right for you.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.