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female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

Your workplace recently adopted the trend of open-office floor plans, promoting cooperation and teamwork. But this new setup has become difficult 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 along with conversations in noisy environments frequently serves 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.

The complexity of speech perception

Speech comprehension is a complex mental task that requires substantial brainpower. Differentiating speech from background noise and focusing on particular voices amidst a cacophony of sounds requires optimal hearing capabilities.

It becomes increasingly challenging for the brain to focus in on speech in noisy settings as we get older. Because of this, it becomes mentally fatiguing to be in noisy environments like restaurants and busy offices.

How to identify the early signs of hearing loss

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

  • Increased mental fatigue due to heightened concentration needed for listening.
  • When in noisy settings, conversations are hard to understand.
  • Distraction and reduced engagement in social interactions.

Testing for hearing loss

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

  • The Eye Test: For this test, you put on a special set of glasses. 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 little harder than usual. So if this tends to happen in crowded or noisy areas, it could be a sign that you’re having to strain to hear.
  • Monitoring Electrical Signals: In this test, a device monitors the electrical EEG signals transmitted by your ears to your brain. It will be a strong sign that you’re having some hearing difficulty if these signals fluctuate in a particular way when you’re in a crowded location.

These tests, coupled with personal observations, attempt to identify hearing issues at their emergent stages, facilitating early intervention.

What are the advantages of early detection?

There are two important advantages to early detection.

  • It alleviates frustration by supplying clarity about the challenges of being in settings like open office plans.
  • Cognitive decline associated with untreated hearing loss can be avoided with early detection.

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

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 might 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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