“Normal” Hearing, Yet Struggling 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 having difficulties 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.

The inability to follow along with conversations in loud environments often acts as an early indicator of hearing loss, despite conventional hearing exams producing normal results. You still may have trouble discerning conversations even with “Normal” hearing.

Significant brain power is required to tackle the complex task of speech comprehension. Distinguishing speech from background noise and focusing on particular 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. Consequently, settings like busy offices or crowded restaurants become mentally exhausting.

How to recognize the early signs of hearing loss

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

  • Distraction and reduced engagement in social interactions.
  • Increased mental exhaustion due to heightened concentration needed for listening.
  • Trouble understanding conversations in noisy environments.

Testing for hearing loss

Detecting such difficulties can be challenging, particularly when traditional diagnostics suggest normal hearing. Here are some tests being developed by researchers to diagnose hearing loss in its early phases:

  • The Eye Test: A special pair of glasses is used in this test. These glasses can keep track of the movement and dilation of your pupils. If your pupils behave in a specific way, it implies that you’re concentrating a bit harder than usual. So if this tends to occur 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 monitored by an EEG in this test. It will be a strong sign that you’re having some hearing trouble if these signals fluctuate in a specific way when you’re in a crowded place.

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

The benefits of early detection

There are two significant benefits to early detection.

  • It reduces frustration by supplying clarity about the difficulties of being in places like open office plans.
  • Cognitive decline related to untreated hearing loss can be avoided with early detection.

If you’re experiencing trouble following conversations despite “normal” hearing, think about seeking a professional assessment.

Early diagnosis ensures timely intervention, enhancing total auditory health and mental 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.