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Unread 11-23-2012, 11:14 AM   #1
Sylvie66
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auditory processing disorder and hearing aids

Has anyone heard of hearing aids helping with APD?

I went to the audiologist, and my hearing is mostly in the normal range. So I went back and did the hearing in sound test, which I failed. No surprise there, my biggest issues have been: hearing certain women, using the telephone, hearing with lots of background noise, and hearing mechanical voices.
She suggested that I try hearing aids, but I'm a little unclear as to how they could help, if I have no problems with my ears. However - they DO help! The first thing I did was call my boyfriend's mother. I can hear her fine when she is face to face, and I can read her lips. But she has a voice that's pretty close to voices-I-can't-hear, and talking on the phone has always been a challenge. It was like she was right there! (otoh, with the hearing aids in, I can hear annoying sounds like ticking clocks and the refrigerator humming.)
But, I'm worried that using hearing aids when my ears are fine might damage my hearing - sort of like using flotation devices to learn to swim - I'll overcompensate, and then my hearing will be worse.

AND, frankly, I feel like it's a kind of a fakeout... it's 'APD', it's all in my head, it's not quantifiable. So why do the hearing aids work? Is it just amplification? But why would that help if my hearing is fine? There's not been a lot of studies done on APD, without concurrent ADHD issues, in adults. I have a mild seizure disorder, and got a few concussions, so I suppose that could have an effect.

Heck, I don't know. I don't want to spend thousands of dollars, I just want to be able to do my job. I'm sorry to be such a pain, but this forum is pretty active, and I don't know who else to ask, besides the audiologist.

What about auditory training? Does it work? All I've seen about it has come from the manufacturers - hardly an endorsement. If anyone has any experience with it, please let me know!

Thank you!
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Unread 11-24-2012, 04:15 PM   #2
Sarfarigirl2011
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there's a user here who wears hearing aids and has APD, keep a lookout for her since she may pop up around here and she's rocking the older model which is the MAXX.
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now wearing a black Oticon Nera in L ear and purple Oticon Safari 600 P in R ear til I get a black one for that side in January
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Unread 11-24-2012, 05:05 PM   #3
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I have APD (although that dx was made without a ABR meaning it could be ANSD) I am about to try(due to my aids dying) Phonak naida(again long story) and my existing Phonak mylink and smartlink. This combo works for me very well Along with sign and lipreading
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Unread 11-24-2012, 06:38 PM   #4
Anij
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarfarigirl2011 View Post
there's a user here who wears hearing aids and has APD, keep a lookout for her since she may pop up around here and she's rocking the older model which is the MAXX.
Yup - That's me!

APD is a tricky thing - there really are no "cut and dried tests" espeically for teens and adults (that includes ABRs, which frankly are of little or no use in diagnosing APD or CAPD)

If you have very mild hearing loss (say 20-25db) which is typically still on the cusp of "normal" you may find that hearing aids do help the reason seems to be that we do better with amplified volumes especially on the phone or in situations where you can't speech-read. One thing I find is that using a BTE (versus CIC etc) with only forward facing mics also helps, likely because it helps me only hear with I'm facing (which is usually what I most what/need to hear - and am "expected" to hear).

The other advantage of BTEs is that they are visible (or can be if you pick a colour or use a superseal or eargear) - that on it's own helps people understand that you DO have communication issues that are "real" (versus "not paying attention"/"selective listening")

For me - I do have hearing loss on my HA side - mild/mod which fluctuates (due to other medical conditions and "just because I'm lucky that way"). My HA is set to be about 10-20db louder (depending on frequencies) than "typical amplification" with an volume wheel that allows me to +/- and additional 10db.

One thing that I would strongly suggest is NOT going with the most basic HA out there (While I love the MAXX, I really should have gotten at least the next model up... I regret that).
With APD and mild (or very mild) HL you'll want to make sure that you have a hearing aid that provides the following:

3 listening programs all individually controlled - "normal" for everyday, "noise" with additional background noise reduction features and "T-coil" which MUST be able to have it's volume/power settings adjusted independent of the other two programs (because you'll need to have the T-Coil setting about 20db higher than "normal").
You may also want to get one with blue-tooth if you want to use it with a cell phone ... bluetooth provides a MUCH better sound quality than T-COIL.

You'll also want to get 2 HAs provided you have hearing in both ears (I'm +120db/totally deaf on my right side, so only use a HA for the left)



It's important to understand and accept that APD is a real condition that really does affect your ability to hear and understand. It IS correct to say that you are hard of hearing - because to put it simply APD does make hearing (and understanding) hard.

If you have any other questions about APD, HAs etc - feel free to ask
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Last edited by Anij; 11-24-2012 at 07:45 PM.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 04:31 PM   #5
Sarfarigirl2011
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see? at least her MAXX has swag
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19 yr old girl with a moderate to moderately severe and also a moderately severe/severe hearing loss
now wearing a black Oticon Nera in L ear and purple Oticon Safari 600 P in R ear til I get a black one for that side in January
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Unread 06-01-2013, 10:18 PM   #6
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I'm so glad someone asked this question.

I've been having a hard time hearing since I was 11 years old. When I told my parents what was going on, they didn't believe me, I had to get a hearing test at school. To my surprise I passed the hearing test; the nurse actually told me that I should go to counseling for lying. Really? In frustration and desire to understand the world around me I began learning ASL and met some people in the local Deaf community.

I tried again in high school to get some help, or at least be listened to...but basically the same thing happened. Since then I've been relying on reading lips, signing, and struggling to use my ears.

My best friend is an SLP (speech and language pathologist). She's evaluated me several times and found no hearing loss. I can understand someone perfectly fine if I'm looking at their face and its quiet, but if they turn away or there's background noise, then forget it. She notices this and has been trying to figure out what could be the issue. Today she told me she thinks I have an auditory processing disorder.

This scares the heck out of me! I've been told that there's nothing I or anyone else can do about it. At this point I can't even qualify for an interpreter because I have no actual diagnosis.

This month I'm going to try and get an appointment with an audiologist to see if I can get some help. Now I know there's some hope. I have a few questions that hopefully people can help me with.

1. What kind of hearing aids are available for people without actual hearing loss and just auditory processing disorder?
2. What other treatments/assistance is available?
3. Is seeing an audiologist really the best place to start?

Thanks everyone for being patient with me.
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Unread 06-02-2013, 06:19 AM   #7
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I would venture a guess that even those of us with hearing loss have better hearing tests when there isn't any noise . If the hearing aids are helping, wear them. From what my audi told me, wearing hearing aids helps preserve hearing because you are stimulating the hearing mechinizims in your ears. A lot of people have progressive loss, you may be one of them, so your hearing may change over the years.
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Unread 06-02-2013, 06:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOH-ME View Post
I would venture a guess that even those of us with hearing loss have better hearing tests when there isn't any noise . If the hearing aids are helping, wear them. From what my audi told me, wearing hearing aids helps preserve hearing because you are stimulating the hearing mechinizims in your ears. A lot of people have progressive loss, you may be one of them, so your hearing may change over the years.
Everyone has a harder time hearing in noise. People with apd have a harder time than most. There are some audiologist that are researching using hearing aids with apd and a couple that will set someone up with hearing aids. There isnt a lot of talk on the subject unfortunatly but not everyone thinks hearing aids would help.
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Unread 06-02-2013, 06:59 AM   #9
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I just noticed where you are. This isn't a recomendation because i've never done business with them but you may want to look into portlandapd.com as they are in you area.

As far as treatments all i've been able to find is stuff for kids and its all sold by the same people who did the research so take that how you want. Although i haven't found any "fixes" after getting a diagnosis l've taken a more proactive stance on making sure i understand people. Doesn't fix the apd but now at least i know whats going on in a conversation!
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Unread 06-02-2013, 07:08 AM   #10
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Oh and turn on closed captions on the tv, you don't know what you're missing
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Unread 06-02-2013, 08:08 AM   #11
Anij
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefairy090985 View Post
I'm so glad someone asked this question.
I have a few questions that hopefully people can help me with.

1. What kind of hearing aids are available for people without actual hearing loss and just auditory processing disorder?
2. What other treatments/assistance is available?
3. Is seeing an audiologist really the best place to start?

Thanks everyone for being patient with me.
1) If you have no hearing loss, then what you'd be looking for is the Phonak iSense - which is an FM system specifically designed for those without hearing loss and is actually recommended for those with APD (Phonak designed it with APD in mind!)

2) If you have difficulty hearing phones ringing, doorbells, alarms etc you might want to look into visual signallers (I have SonicAlert products and I love them - my set up is +13years old and still works perfectly)

3) You need to see an Audiologist who specializes in communication disorders (APD is a neurological condition that falls under the CD spectrum). Phonak has specific software available to audiologists called "LiSN-S" which is specifically designed to help aid in diagnosing APD - it's mostly for Paeds. situations, however it's always nice when additional tools are available. In teens and adults APD (and CAPD) are typically diagnosed via hearing and speech assessments as well as an "interview" (basically just a lot of Q&A about how you hear, what causes trouble, how environment effects you etc).


I hope that helps - feel free to ask me any questions
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Unread 11-14-2013, 10:31 AM   #12
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Thumbs up Adult with APD as a result of stroke

I had a stroke at age 57 and realized a few weeks after that I was having difficulty in hearing TV, music, conversations, and processing numbers like phone numbers (getting numbers mixed up). Also Typical muffled sound symptoms.

Hearing tests showed some hearing loss (specially at high frequencies) probably due to years of loud music, but hearing was much worse after stroke. It took some time, discussions with doctors, and my own research regarding part of my brain that was affected by the stroke, but we finally came to the conclusion that I was suffering from APD. Unfortunately,there is very little research in APD in adults who have had strokes because it is so rare.

For the last year and a half I have been using ReSound HA. It has helped for controlled situations like watching TV or having individual conversations. There is also a small improvement in listening to music but the depth and quantity of the music does not compare to what I heard before the stroke and the quality goes down the more complex the sound is. HA results in almost no improvement in noisy situations, multiple conversations like meetings, in sorting out numbers or processing multiple sounds or input. For anyone considering HA I would agree with other comments - get HA with multiple programs.

I am looking in upgrading my HA hoping that new or better technologies are on the market for adults with APD. Would like to hear any suggestions.
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Unread 11-14-2013, 10:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saraboots View Post
I had a stroke at age 57 and realized a few weeks after that I was having difficulty in hearing TV, music, conversations, and processing numbers like phone numbers (getting numbers mixed up). Also Typical muffled sound symptoms.

Hearing tests showed some hearing loss (specially at high frequencies) probably due to years of loud music, but hearing was much worse after stroke. It took some time, discussions with doctors, and my own research regarding part of my brain that was affected by the stroke, but we finally came to the conclusion that I was suffering from APD. Unfortunately,there is very little research in APD in adults who have had strokes because it is so rare.

For the last year and a half I have been using ReSound HA. It has helped for controlled situations like watching TV or having individual conversations. There is also a small improvement in listening to music but the depth and quantity of the music does not compare to what I heard before the stroke and the quality goes down the more complex the sound is. HA results in almost no improvement in noisy situations, multiple conversations like meetings, in sorting out numbers or processing multiple sounds or input. For anyone considering HA I would agree with other comments - get HA with multiple programs.

I am looking in upgrading my HA hoping that new or better technologies are on the market for adults with APD. Would like to hear any suggestions.
So you have left brain injury?
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Unread 11-14-2013, 01:40 PM   #14
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Clot broke into 2. First Part caused left brain damage, other (and this is the rare part) traveled to the auditory center or my brain.
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Unread 10-18-2014, 10:51 AM   #15
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That does not surprise me that hearing aids work for APD. I have had APD my whole life and have struggled with not being able to hear/understand. I find that when I listen to music I have to turn it up very load to just understand the words. Also when I am in a group setting with lots of people the person I am talking to has to talk load or I try to lip read. In general I use closed caption when I am watching T.V. and learned Sign Language. When tested most people cannot diagnose the APD anymore because I have grown very good and listening, looking for nonverbal clues, and making educated guesses with around 75% of the auditory information I actually understand. I have been trying to get hearing aids for years but because my hearing test are "normal" I don't qualify. Instead I stick with the closed captions, assisted hearing devices at the movies, and interpreters when they are present.
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