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Difficulty understanding conversation against background noise

Went out to the pub Friday; something I have avoided for a while due to unreliable bladder control and I realised that I was inexplicably having a lot of difficulty hearing my brother - we were both sitting close at a small round table. The pub was busy but not especially noisy - no music for example. The conversation seemed to be arriving chopped up at times to me, as if bits of the sound stream were missing, so that I couldnt really undestand what was being said for the most part and had to resort rather too often to nodding and lucky inference or changing the subject. I got this deja vu like feeling of familiarity almost as soon as we sat down and I started to listen because I think I must have previously already noted this difficulty before somewhere else in a similar context, but forgotten all about it and not really analysed it or followed it up. Anybody recognise this? I am not aware of any general hearing problem at all elsewhere and I think beckground noise must be a relevant factor in this. I am 51, so I guess it might be an age thing.

It was one of the first things that happened to me! My father in law had a 70th birthday party and although people were talking to me I could not compute what they were saying. I found it really hard to explain to the neuro when I saw him and just said “my hearing is a bit funny!”. Kids in a concert last night and same problem not a clue what was being said by my husband who was next to me or the proud grandparents who had also come to watch.

I do not have a dx, waiting for 3rd MRI in Jan. So far I have swung from a definite YOU DO NOT HAVE MS to YOU MIGHT HAVE MS! All this after my gp sitting my husband and I down and telling us you have ms, now you need to see a neuro!

Log it and let them know at your next appointment, thats probably all you ever hear!

Chis

Chris have you had any tests done on your hearing. I never have. Presume there must be highstreet places like opticians where you can have it done.

Bob

You should ask GP for a referral to the hearing clinic. I didn’t think my hearing was THAT bad but I ended up with two hearing aids - and yes, mine is down to MS nerve damage. The hearing aids are nearly invisible and they do help.

Hi EFB, is your problem related to background noise?

promise i dont work for them but Boots do hearing tests as well as sight tests and i think they are free, but again check the website as you have to book in advance.

Hello,

Is it that you hear words but do not register them quickly? I suggest a hearing test and if that proves to be fine, go further and get an appointment with your doctor and tell him your problem. Good luck.

Janet

Hi,

Maybe I can help a little. I’m a Teacher of the Deaf and I know a bit about hearing. There are broadly 3 reasons a person has a hearing loss:

  1. conductive middle ear problems - glue ear etc

  2. sensori neural - normally a problem with the hair cells in the cochea

  3. Auditory neuropathy - a prolem with the auditory nerve.

You sound like you have auditory neuropathy. This is where the signals get mixed up and confused. Its often worse in noise. You should see your GP and ask to be referred to the hospital audiology dept. A straight forward hearing test won’t necessarily show what your hearing is like in noise.

I’ve suffered from optic neuritis and thought at the time it was similar to AN - optic nerve/auditory nerve not working properly.

Hope that helps

Sue

I have difficulty hearing/understanding(?) what people are saying to me if there is a high level of ambient noise and find myself trying to lip-read. I also can’t have the radio on in the car if someone is talking to me as it makes me very stressed for some reason & I can’t concentrate on my driving. I just put it down to ‘input overload’. My hearing seems fine apart from that.

I have difficulty hearing/understanding(?) what people are saying to me if there is a high level of ambient noise and find myself trying to lip-read. I also can’t have the radio on in the car if someone is talking to me as it makes me very stressed for some reason & I can’t concentrate on my driving. I just put it down to ‘input overload’. My hearing seems fine apart from that.

hi

i have a small degree of hearing loss on my left side, which was confirmed by the hospital a few years ago but there wasnt any reason given for it.

i also always use subtitles when watching tv as i either cant hear it or cant bear the sound to be loud enough for me to hear it!

i dread situations like the pub (although very rarely go) because i find i need to keep leaning in to their personal space to just be able to hear some of the words and thats ok with people you know well but not good with people who you dont know well.

my hearing loss is on the same side as all my problems started on and as you say it takes time for the spoken message to reach your brain by which time you’ve asked them to repeat it and then they say " see you DID hear me!"

still undiagnosed though .

best wishes

mandy x

Thanks Sheena, didnt think of Boots. Hi Anonymous. I didnt hear whole words, just bits heard and bits missing.

hi i recently had hearing test at the ENT dept of local hospital and told my hearing is bad in what he said was the midrange noise like conversation and i also have tinnitus was offered hearing aid but i feel that at 43 i’ll just keep saying pardon more!!!..did ask whether dr thought this was related to my DX of transverse myelitis but got what i call a vacant scare so will run it by neuro at next appt…

Thanks everybody, and Suzanne I think that could be right. Was just about to ring Boots to make an appointment. If its free I suppose theres’ no harm, but as you say, they may not be equipped for this particular issue. Will mention to the neurologist next week before seeing the doc.

Hearing was fine on testing at Boots today, but the test involves detecting differently pitched sounds rather than discerning spoken words. Tester suggested I try this one which I didnt do too well on. Anyone else want to try it?

http://www.bootshearingcare.com/advice--aftercare/your-hearing/online-hearing-test

I did one like that and it was way off

Liz

Actually, think this one is better to use

http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/your-hearing/look-after-your-hearing/check-your-hearing/take-the-check.aspx

I find I am much more sensitive to noise these days. I can’t really concentrate on what someone is saying if the radio is on. I have to make sure I’m facing my kids when they are talking and there are other noises around so I can make out what they are saying. If there is too much noise I go a bit mad! This is definitely new for me, I always used to love background noise.