“Normal” Hearing, Yet Struggling to Follow Conversations

female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

Your workplace recently embraced the trend of open-office floor plans, encouraging collaboration and teamwork. However, you find yourself struggling in this new setup. Not because you miss the privacy of cubicle walls, but because the elevated noise makes it hard to follow conversations.

Even if standard hearing tests indicate completely normal hearing, the inability to hear conversations in loud settings is frequently an early sign of hearing loss. You still may have trouble discerning conversations even with “Normal” hearing.

The complexity of speech perception

Substantial brain power is needed to tackle the complex task of speech comprehension. Differentiating speech from background noise and focusing on particular voices amidst a cacophony of sounds demands optimal hearing abilities.

It becomes increasingly challenging for the brain to focus in on speech in noisy settings as we get older. As a result, settings like bustling offices or crowded restaurants become mentally exhausting.

How to identify the early signs of hearing loss

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

  • Social isolation.
  • Increased mental fatigue as a result of heightened concentration needed for listening.
  • Trouble understanding conversations in loud environments.

Testing for hearing loss

Uncovering such difficulties can be challenging, particularly when traditional diagnostics suggest normal hearing. Here are a couple of tests being developed by researchers to identify hearing loss in its early stages:

  • The Eye Test: For this test, you wear a special set of glasses. The movement and dilation of your pupils can be monitored with these glasses. If your pupils react in a specific way, it implies that you’re concentrating a bit harder than normal. But it could be a sign that you’re straining to hear if this happens in a noisy setting.
  • Monitoring Electrical Signals: In this test, a device monitors 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 fluctuate in a specific way when you’re in a crowded location.

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

What are the benefits of early detection?

There are two important benefits to early detection.

  • Dealing with hearing loss quickly prevents cognitive decline related to untreated hearing impairments.
  • It provides clarity with regard to challenges faced in settings like open offices, alleviating potential aggravations.

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

Total cognitive function and auditory health will be improved by early detection. Schedule a hearing test today and explore solutions right for you.

The content of this blog is the intellectual property of MedPB.com and is reprinted here with permission. The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive a hearing aid consultation, call today to schedule an appointment.