It's New Year's Eve. Party time and your boss is talking. But all you hear is mumble, mumble, mumble. Not good for your career. But if you understand what's going on, you can overcome what hearing specialists call "the cocktail party problem."
Beginning as early as age 38, the brain may start losing it's ability to filter out extraneous sound, according to bioscientest Robert Frisina of the University of Rochester.
The problem may get worse as we age, with up to one in three people having trouble listening at parties by the time they're 62.
Once you realize it's happening, you can take steps to improve the conversation by facing the speaker directly, or by moving the conversation to a quieter room, according to anne oyler of the American Speech Language Hearing Association.