female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

Your workplace recently adopted the trend of open-office floor plans, encouraging collaboration and teamwork. But this new arrangement has become challenging for you. 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.

The inability to follow conversations in noisy settings frequently serves as an early indicator of hearing loss, despite conventional hearing tests yielding normal outcomes. This indicates that having “normal” hearing doesn’t guarantee the ability to comprehend speech effectively.

The complexity of speech perception

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

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

How to recognize the early signs of hearing loss

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

  • When in noisy settings, conversations are difficult to make out.
  • Distraction and reduced engagement in social interactions.
  • Increased mental exhaustion due to heightened concentration required for listening.

Hearing loss assessments

Detecting such difficulties can be challenging, particularly when conventional diagnostics suggest normal hearing. However, researchers are looking at innovative tests to identify early signs of hearing loss:

  • Monitoring Electrical Signals: In this test, a device tracks the electrical EEG signals transmitted by your ears to your brain. It will be a potent sign that you’re having some hearing difficulty if these signals change in a specific way when you’re in a crowded location.
  • The Eye Test: For this diagnostics, you wear a special set of glasses. The movement and dilation of your pupils can be tracked with these glasses. If you’re concentrating a little harder than normal your pupils will react in a particular way. But it may be an indication that you’re straining to hear if this happens in a loud setting.

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

What are the advantages of early detection?

There are two important benefits to early detection.

  • Dealing with hearing loss quickly prevents cognitive decline associated with neglected hearing impairments.
  • It reduces aggravation by providing clarity about the difficulties of being in settings like open office plans.

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

Overall cognitive function and auditory health will be improved by early diagnosis. Give us a call today and let us help you with any hearing loss you may have.

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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.
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