Still Battling to Hear Even With “Normal” Hearing

female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

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

Even if established hearing tests indicate totally normal hearing, the inability to hear conversations in noisy environments is often an early sign of hearing loss. You still may have trouble discerning conversations even with “Normal” hearing.

The complexity of speech perception

Speech comprehension is a complex mental task that demands significant brainpower. Differentiating speech from background noise and focusing on specific voices amongst a cacophony of sounds demands optimal hearing abilities.

It becomes increasingly challenging for the brain to isolate speech in noisy settings as we get older. As a result, settings like busy offices or crowded restaurants become mentally exhausting.

How to identify the early signs of hearing loss

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

  • When in loud settings, conversations are hard to make out.
  • The brain has to work extra hard to comprehend speech leading to increased mental exhaustion.
  • Social isolation.

Hearing loss tests

It can be particularly difficult to identify these kinds of challenges when traditional hearing diagnostics appear to reveal normal hearing. Here are a couple of tests being formulated by scientists to diagnose hearing loss in its early phases:

  • The Eye Test: A special pair of glasses is used in this test. These glasses can track the movement and dilation of your pupils. If your pupils react in a specific way, it implies that you’re concentrating a little harder than usual. So if this tends to happen in crowded or loud areas, it could be an indication 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 setting, that could be a firm indication of some issues with your hearing.

These tests, in conjunction with personal observations, aim to identify hearing issues at their nascent phases, facilitating early intervention.

What are the advantages of early detection?

Discovering even minor hearing loss early offers two significant advantages.

  • Addressing hearing loss quickly prevents cognitive decline related to untreated hearing impairments.
  • It offers clarity with regard to difficulties faced in settings like open offices, alleviating potential frustrations.

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

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