“Normal” Hearing, Yet Fighting to Follow Conversations

female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

Your workplace recently adopted the trend of open-office floor plans, encouraging cooperation and teamwork. However, you find yourself having difficulties in this new configuration. It’s because the elevated noise is making it hard to follow along with conversation and not because you miss the privacy of cubical walls.

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

The complexity of speech perception

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

It becomes increasingly demanding for the brain to isolate speech in loud 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

Early indications of hearing loss manifest in a variety of ways:

  • Social isolation.
  • When in noisy settings, conversations are difficult to make out.
  • The brain has to work overtime to comprehend speech leading to increased mental exhaustion.

Hearing loss examinations

Uncovering such difficulties can be tricky, particularly when traditional diagnostics indicate normal hearing. Here are a couple of tests being developed by researchers to diagnose hearing loss in its early phases:

  • Monitoring Electrical Signals: In this test, a device monitors the electrical EEG signals sent by your ears to your brain. It will be a strong sign that you’re having some hearing difficulty if these signals fluctuate in a particular way when you’re in a crowded location.
  • 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 you’re concentrating a little harder than normal your pupils will behave in a particular way. But it may be an indication that you’re straining to hear if this happens in a noisy setting.

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

The Advantages of early detection

There are two important advantages to early detection.

  • It offers clarity regarding difficulties faced in settings like open offices, mitigating potential aggravations.
  • Dealing with hearing loss promptly prevents mental decline related to untreated hearing impairments.

If you’re experiencing trouble following conversations despite “normal” hearing, think about seeking a professional evaluation.

Overall cognitive function and auditory health will be improved by early diagnosis. Schedule a hearing test 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.