“Normal” Hearing, Yet Fighting to Follow Conversations

female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

Your workplace has opted to encourage teamwork and collaboration by opening up the office floor plan. 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 along with conversations in noisy settings often acts as an early indicator of hearing loss, in spite of conventional hearing exams producing normal outcomes. You still may have trouble discerning conversations even with “Normal” hearing.

The complexity of speech perception

Considerable brain power is required to undertake the complex task of speech recognition. Distinguishing speech from background noise and focusing on particular voices amidst a cacophony of sounds requires optimal hearing capabilities.

As hearing begins to decline, the brain encounters difficulties in isolating and processing speech signals amidst competing noises. Because of this, it becomes mentally exhausting to be in noisy environments like restaurants and busy offices.

How to identify the early signs of hearing loss

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

  • Distraction and reduced engagement in social interactions.
  • When in noisy settings, conversations are difficult to understand.
  • Increased mental fatigue as a result of heightened concentration required for listening.

Hearing loss examinations

Uncovering such difficulties can be tricky, especially when conventional diagnostics suggest normal hearing. Here are a couple of tests being developed by scientists to diagnose hearing loss in its early phases:

  • Monitoring Electrical Signals: In this test, a device tracks the electrical EEG signals sent by your ears to your brain. If these signals change in a certain way while you’re in a crowded or loud setting, that could be a firm indication of some problems with your hearing.
  • The Eye Test: For this test, you wear a special pair of glasses. These glasses can keep track of the movement and dilation of your pupils. If you’re concentrating a bit harder than usual your pupils will react in a particular way. So if this tends to occur in crowded or noisy areas, it could be an indication that you’re having to strain to hear.

These tests, coupled with personal observations, aim to identify hearing problems at their nascent phases, facilitating early intervention.

The benefits of early detection

There are two important benefits to early detection.

  • It offers clarity with regard to challenges faced in environments like open offices, alleviating potential frustrations.
  • Mental decline related to neglected hearing loss can be prevented with early detection.

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

Early diagnosis ensures timely intervention, enhancing overall auditory health and mental function. Call us today and let us help you with any hearing loss you may 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.