It isn’t necessarily hearing loss that’s causing your comprehension problems.
You’re at a large party. The crowd is loud and you’re carrying on an interesting conversation with a colleague and you’d love to express your opinions… but there’s a problem: you can’t quite follow what the other person is saying. Do you finally need a hearing aid?
Maybe, but maybe not. For some, a situation like this could be a warning sign that hearing loss has begun. For others, the problem lies in the brain.
A study done by researchers from the University of Maryland concluded that sometimes people with normal hearing have trouble processing what they hear.
And listening amidst significant background noise doesn’t make things any easier.
Why does this occur? The phenomenon takes place in older adults when the auditory cortex in the brain ceases to work well. Basically, the brain has more trouble processing speech. The ears can hear it, but the brain takes a while to kick in and tell you what’s being said.
What can you do to make things better? If you feel that your hearing is fine but you can’t quite follow along, experts suggest you ask the speaker to slow down. Have them speak more clearly. You can also help matters by making sure you can see the speaker without distraction. This way your visual system can pick up what your brain’s auditory system is lacking.
To treat any hearing loss, visit your doctor and have it tested.