Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

female professional struggling with conversation in the office.

Your workplace has chosen to encourage teamwork and collaboration by opening up the office floor plan. However, you find yourself struggling in this new setup. 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 conversations in loud environments frequently acts as an early indicator of hearing loss, in spite of conventional hearing exams producing normal results. You still may have trouble discerning conversations even with “Normal” hearing.

The complexity of speech perception

Substantial brain power is required to undertake the complex task of speech recognition. Differentiating speech from background noise and focusing on particular voices amidst a cacophony of sounds requires optimal hearing abilities.

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

How to recognize the early signs of hearing loss

Early indications of hearing loss manifest in various ways:

  • Distraction and reduced engagement in social interactions.
  • When in noisy settings, conversations are difficult to make out.
  • The brain has to work extra hard to comprehend speech causing increased mental tiredness.

Hearing loss examinations

It can be particularly difficult to identify these kinds of difficulties when standard hearing diagnostics seem to show normal hearing. However, scientists are looking into innovative tests to identify early signs of hearing loss:

  • The Eye Test: For this diagnostics, you wear a special set of glasses. The movement and dilation of your pupils can be monitored with these glasses. If your pupils react in a specific way, it implies that you’re concentrating a little harder than usual. But it may be a sign that you’re straining to hear if this happens in a noisy setting.
  • Monitoring Electrical Signals: In this test, a device monitors the electrical EEG signals sent by your ears to your brain. It will be a potent sign that you’re having some hearing trouble if these signals fluctuate in a specific way when you’re in a crowded location.

These tests, coupled with personal observations, aim to detect hearing problems at their nascent phases, facilitating early intervention.

What are the advantages of early detection?

There are two important advantages to early detection.

  • Addressing hearing loss quickly prevents mental decline associated with untreated hearing impairments.
  • It provides clarity regarding challenges faced in environments like open offices, alleviating potential frustrations.

If you’re experiencing difficulty following conversations in spite of “normal” hearing, consider getting a professional evaluation.

Total mental function and auditory health will be improved by early detection. Contact us 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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