Still Battling 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. But this new arrangement has become challenging for you. Not because you miss the privacy of cubicle walls, but because the elevated noise makes it hard to follow conversations.

The inability to follow conversations in loud settings often serves as an early indicator of hearing loss, despite conventional hearing exams yielding normal outcomes. This suggests that having “normal” hearing doesn’t guarantee the ability to comprehend speech effectively.

The complexity of speech perception

Substantial brain power is required to undertake the complex task of speech comprehension. Optimal hearing capabilities are required to differentiate voices in noisy 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 loud environments like restaurants and bustling offices.

How to recognize the early signs of hearing loss

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

  • Problems understanding conversations in noisy environments.
  • Social isolation.
  • The brain needs to work extra hard to comprehend speech leading to increased mental tiredness.

Hearing loss assessments

It can be especially hard to detect these kinds of difficulties when standard hearing diagnostics seem to show normal hearing. Here are a couple of tests being developed by researchers to identify 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 difficulty if these signals change in a particular way when you’re in a crowded place.
  • The Eye Test: A special pair of glasses is used in this test. The movement and dilation of your pupils can be tracked with these glasses. If your pupils react in a particular way, it implies that you’re concentrating a bit harder than usual. But it may be an indication that you’re straining to hear if this occurs in a noisy setting.

These tests, coupled with personal observations, attempt to identify hearing issues at their nascent phases, aiding early intervention.

The Advantages of early detection

There are two significant benefits to early detection.

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

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

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