“Normal” Hearing, Yet Fighting to Follow Conversations

female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

Your workplace recently embraced the trend of open-office floor plans, promoting cooperation and teamwork. But this new arrangement has become difficult for you. 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 standard hearing tests indicate totally fine hearing, the inability to hear conversations in loud settings is often an early sign of hearing loss. This suggests that having “normal” hearing doesn’t guarantee the capacity to comprehend speech effectively.

Speech comprehension is a complex cognitive process that requires substantial brainpower. Optimal hearing abilities are necessary to distinguish voices in loud environments.

It becomes increasingly demanding for the brain to focus in on speech in noisy settings as we get older. As a result, it becomes mentally fatiguing to be in noisy environments like restaurants and bustling offices.

Recognizing hearing loss when it’s in its early stages

Here are a few ways that early hearing loss can manifest:

  • Increased mental exhaustion due to heightened concentration needed for listening.
  • Social isolation.
  • Trouble understanding conversations in loud environments.

Testing for hearing loss

Uncovering such difficulties can be challenging, particularly when traditional diagnostics indicate normal hearing. However, researchers are looking at innovative tests to diagnose early stages of hearing loss:

  • The Eye Test: For this diagnostics, you put on a special pair of glasses. The movement and dilation of your pupils can be monitored with these glasses. If you’re concentrating a bit harder than normal your pupils will behave in a particular way. So if this tends to occur in crowded or noisy areas, it could be an indication that you’re having to strain to hear.
  • Monitoring Electrical Signals: In this test, a device tracks the electrical EEG signals transmitted by your ears to your brain. If these signals fluctuate in a specific way while you’re in a crowded or noisy environment, that could be a firm indication of some issues with your hearing.

Early intervention will be possible if these tests, combined with personal observation, are able to identify hearing issues in their very early stages.

The Advantages of early detection

There are two significant benefits to early detection.

  • Mental decline related to neglected hearing loss can be avoided with early detection.
  • It provides clarity regarding difficulties faced in settings like open offices, alleviating potential aggravations.

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

Total cognitive function and auditory health will be improved by early diagnosis. Schedule a hearing exam today and look into options 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.