Still Battling to Follow Even With “Normal” Hearing

female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

Your workplace has decided to encourage teamwork and collaboration by opening up the office floor plan. But this new arrangement has become difficult for you. It’s because the increased noise is making it difficult to follow along with conversation and not because you miss the privacy of cubical walls.

Even if conventional hearing tests indicate totally fine hearing, the inability to hear conversations in noisy settings is often an early sign of hearing loss. You still may have trouble discerning conversations even with “Normal” hearing.

The complexity of speech perception

Speech comprehension is a complex cognitive task that involves considerable brainpower. Optimal hearing capabilities are needed to distinguish voices in noisy environments.

As hearing starts to decline, the brain faces difficulties in separating and processing speech signals amongst competing sounds. As a result, it becomes mentally exhausting to be in loud environments like restaurants and busy offices.

Recognizing hearing loss when it’s in its early phases

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

  • Distraction and reduced engagement in social interactions.
  • Difficulty understanding conversations in loud environments.
  • The brain has to work extra hard to comprehend speech leading to increased mental exhaustion.

Hearing loss tests

It can be particularly hard to identify these kinds of challenges when standard hearing diagnostics seem to show normal hearing. However, scientists are exploring innovative tests to identify early stages of hearing loss:

  • The Eye Test: A special pair of glasses is used in this test. These glasses can track 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 occur in crowded or loud areas, it could be a sign 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. 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.

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

The Advantages of early detection

There are two significant advantages to early detection.

  • Mental decline associated with untreated hearing loss can be prevented with early detection.
  • It provides clarity with regard to challenges faced in settings like open offices, alleviating potential aggravations.

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

Overall mental 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.