Plainsboro and Monroe, NJ

Plainsboro and Monroe, NJ

Still Battling to Follow Even With “Normal” Hearing

Princeton Otolaryngology Associates: Dr. Scott L. Kay | Hearing Loss Articles

female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

Your workplace recently adopted the trend of open-office floor plans, encouraging collaboration and teamwork. However, you find yourself having difficulties in this new configuration. Not because you miss the privacy of cubicle walls, but because the elevated noise makes it hard to follow conversations.

The inability to follow conversations in noisy settings often serves as an early indicator of hearing loss, in spite of conventional hearing exams yielding normal outcomes. You still may have trouble discerning conversations even with “Normal” hearing.

The complexity of speech perception

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

As hearing starts to go, the brain faces difficulties in isolating and processing speech signals amongst competing noises. As a result, settings like bustling 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:

  • Problems understanding conversations in loud environments.
  • The brain needs to work extra hard to comprehend speech causing increased mental tiredness.
  • Distraction and reduced engagement in social interactions.

Hearing loss tests

It can be particularly hard to identify these kinds of difficulties when traditional hearing diagnostics appear to reveal normal hearing. However, researchers are looking at innovative tests to identify early stages of hearing loss:

  • The Eye Test: For this diagnostics, you put on a special pair of glasses. The movement and dilation of your pupils can be monitored with these glasses. If you’re concentrating a bit harder than usual your pupils will behave in a specific way. So if this tends to happen in crowded or noisy areas, it could be an indication that you’re having to strain to hear.
  • Monitoring Electrical Signals: In this test, a device monitors the electrical EEG signals sent by your ears to your brain. It will be a strong sign that you’re having some hearing difficulty if these signals change in a particular way when you’re in a crowded location.

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

What are the benefits of early detection?

Discovering even minor hearing loss early provides two substantial advantages.

  • Addressing hearing loss quickly prevents mental decline associated with untreated hearing impairments.
  • It alleviates frustration by providing clarity about the challenges of being in settings like open office plans.

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

Early detection assures timely intervention, enhancing total auditory health and mental function. Schedule a hearing test today and look into solutions right for you.

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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