I'm fairly certain that I have audio processing disorder - basically, I can hear sounds just fine, but I seriously struggle with comprehending what I hear, as I will often misunderstand words or have pauses when my language processing seems to "lag" (I might say "sorry, I didn't catch that?" and then right after the words are out of my mouth my brain catches up and I understand what they originally said). In particular, I have trouble distinguishing "foreground" sounds from background sounds and speaking with people who have accents different than mine (even mild ones) and that speak in lower tones (sometimes I can understand one person who has an accent but not another that has the same accent). I have trouble mapping the sounds that I hear to the words and when speaking with someone with an accent I try to listen very intently but often have to ask them to repeat just about every other sentence. It's even worse when background noises and accents are combined.
When speaking with someone who has an accent, I feel like I have to ask for repetitions enough that it's rude, and I feel embarrassed at how much I struggle. I also just moved from the West coast (US) to the East coast, and I will be starting my first job out of college, so I want to leave a good impression. I am a native English speaker, and I have no problems understanding written English.
I normally handle it by trying to sound apologetic and saying something along the lines of "I'm sorry, I'm having trouble hearing you" or "I'm sorry, I have difficulties understanding accents" and asking them to repeat or speak slower or louder, but that can be very tedious with longer interactions, and I can see how much it can be exhausting for someone to interact with. I will also need to have verbal communication at work with people from different backgrounds than mine, and during my last internship there was a manager visiting from India who tried to ask me for directions and spent several minutes trying to explain to me what they were looking for until another coworker intervened and helped them out right away.
How can I politely handle my verbal comprehension struggles (particularly inside the workplace) without frustrating people or having to find outside help?