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“Normal” Hearing, Yet Struggling to Follow Conversations

female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

Your workplace recently adopted the trend of open-office floor plans, promoting cooperation and teamwork. But this new setup has become difficult for you. Not because you miss the privacy of cubicle walls, but because the increased noise makes it difficult to follow conversations.

Even if established hearing tests indicate perfectly 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.

Considerable brain power is needed to tackle the complex task of speech recognition. Optimal hearing abilities are necessary to differentiate voices in noisy environments.

It becomes increasingly challenging for the brain to isolate speech in noisy settings as we get older. As a result, it becomes mentally fatiguing to be in loud settings 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:

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

Hearing loss tests

It can be especially hard to identify these types of challenges when standard hearing diagnostics appear to reveal normal hearing. However, scientists are looking at innovative tests to identify early signs of hearing loss:

  • The Eye Test: For this test, you wear a special pair of glasses. The movement and dilation of your pupils can be monitored with these glasses. If your pupils react in a specific way, it suggests that you’re concentrating a little harder than usual. So if this tends to happen in crowded or noisy areas, it could be a sign that you’re having to strain to hear.
  • Monitoring Electrical Signals: The electrical signal sent from your ears to your brain is tracked by an EEG in this test. If these signals fluctuate in a certain way while you’re in a crowded or loud environment, that could be a firm indication of some problems with your hearing.

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

What are the advantages of early detection?

There are two important advantages to early detection.

  • It alleviates aggravation by providing clarity about the difficulties of being in places like open office plans.
  • Addressing hearing loss promptly prevents mental decline associated with untreated hearing impairments.

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

Total cognitive function and auditory health will be improved by early diagnosis. Contact us 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.