“Normal” Hearing, Yet Struggling to Follow Conversations

female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

Your workplace has opted to promote teamwork and collaboration by opening up the office floor plan. However, you find yourself having difficulties 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 established hearing tests indicate perfectly normal hearing, the inability to hear conversations in noisy environments is often an early sign of hearing loss. This suggests that having “normal” hearing doesn’t guarantee the ability to comprehend speech effectively.

Considerable brain power is required to carry out the complex task of speech recognition. Optimal hearing abilities are required to distinguish voices in loud environments.

It becomes increasingly challenging for the brain to isolate speech in loud settings as we get older. Because of this, it becomes mentally exhausting to be in loud settings like restaurants and busy offices.

Identifying hearing loss when it’s in its early stages

Early indications of hearing loss manifest in various ways:

  • Distraction and decreased engagement in social interactions.
  • When in noisy settings, conversations are hard to make out.
  • The brain has to work overtime to comprehend speech leading to increased mental exhaustion.

Testing for hearing loss

It can be especially difficult to identify these types of difficulties when traditional hearing diagnostics appear to show normal hearing. However, scientists are looking into innovative tests to diagnose early stages of hearing loss:

  • Monitoring Electrical Signals: The electrical signal sent from your ears to your brain is monitored by an EEG in this test. If these signals change in a specific way while you’re in a crowded or loud setting, that could be a strong indication of some issues with your hearing.
  • The Eye Test: For this test, you wear a special set of glasses. These glasses can keep track of the movement and dilation of your pupils. If you’re concentrating a little harder than normal your pupils will behave in a specific way. So if this tends to happen in crowded or loud areas, it could be a sign that you’re having to strain to hear.

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

The benefits of early detection

There are two significant benefits to early detection.

  • It alleviates aggravation by supplying clarity about the challenges of being in settings like open office plans.
  • Addressing hearing loss promptly prevents cognitive decline associated with untreated hearing impairments.

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

Early detection ensures timely intervention, enhancing total auditory health and cognitive function. Give us a call today and let us help you with any hearing loss you might have.

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.