“Normal” Hearing, Yet Fighting to Follow Conversations

female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

Your workplace recently embraced the trend of open-office floor plans, promoting collaboration and teamwork. However, you find yourself struggling in this new setup. It’s because the elevated 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 completely fine hearing, the inability to hear conversations in loud 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

Substantial brain power is needed to carry out the complex task of speech comprehension. Distinguishing speech from background noise and focusing on specific voices amongst a cacophony of sounds requires optimal hearing capabilities.

It becomes increasingly demanding for the brain to isolate speech in noisy settings as we get older. Consequently, settings like bustling offices or crowded restaurants become mentally fatiguing.

Recognizing hearing loss when it’s in its early phases

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

  • Social isolation.
  • When in noisy settings, conversations are hard to make out.
  • Increased mental fatigue as a result of heightened concentration required for listening.

Hearing loss tests

Detecting such challenges can be tricky, especially when traditional diagnostics suggest normal hearing. Here are a couple of tests being developed by researchers to diagnose hearing loss in its early phases:

  • The Eye Test: A special set of glasses is utilized in this test. 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 particular way. But it could be a sign that you’re straining to hear if this happens in a loud setting.
  • Monitoring Electrical Signals: In this test, a device tracks the electrical EEG signals sent by your ears to your brain. It will be a potent sign that you’re having some hearing difficulty if these signals fluctuate in a particular way when you’re in a crowded place.

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

What are the benefits of early detection?

There are two significant benefits to early detection.

  • Mental decline associated with neglected hearing loss can be avoided with early detection.
  • It alleviates aggravation by supplying clarity about the challenges of being in places like open office plans.

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

Total mental function and auditory health will be improved by early diagnosis. Schedule a hearing exam today and explore 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.