“Normal” Hearing, Yet Fighting to Follow Conversations

female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

Your workplace has chosen to promote teamwork and collaboration by opening up the office floor plan. However, you find yourself struggling in this new setup. 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.

The inability to follow along with conversations in noisy environments frequently serves as an early indicator of hearing loss, in spite of conventional hearing exams yielding normal outcomes. This indicates that having “normal” hearing doesn’t guarantee the capacity to comprehend speech effectively.

The complexity of speech perception

Significant brain power is required to undertake the complex task of speech recognition. Optimal hearing abilities are necessary to differentiate voices in noisy environments.

It becomes increasingly demanding for the brain to isolate speech in loud settings as we get older. As a result, it becomes mentally exhausting to be in noisy environments like restaurants and busy offices.

How to recognize the early signs of hearing loss

Early indications of hearing loss manifest in various ways:

  • Difficulty understanding conversations in noisy environments.
  • Social isolation.
  • Increased mental exhaustion due to heightened concentration required for listening.

Hearing loss examinations

It can be particularly difficult to identify these types of difficulties when traditional hearing diagnostics appear to reveal normal hearing. Here are a couple of tests being developed by researchers to diagnose hearing loss in its early stages:

  • The Eye Test: For this test, you put on a special set of glasses. These glasses can track the movement and dilation of your pupils. If your pupils react in a certain way, it suggests that you’re concentrating a little harder than normal. But it may be a sign that you’re straining to hear if this happens in a loud setting.
  • Monitoring Electrical Signals: The electrical signal sent from your ears to your brain is monitored by an EEG in this test. If these signals change in a certain way while you’re in a crowded or noisy environment, that could be a firm indication of some problems with your hearing.

These tests, coupled with personal observations, attempt to identify hearing issues at their nascent phases, aiding early intervention.

What are the advantages of early detection?

There are two important advantages to early detection.

  • Mental decline related to neglected hearing loss can be prevented with early detection.
  • It reduces aggravation by supplying clarity about the difficulties of being in places like open office plans.

If you’re experiencing trouble following conversations despite “normal” hearing, consider finding a professional evaluation.

Early diagnosis ensures timely intervention, enhancing overall auditory health and mental function. Give us a call 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.