Auditory Processing Disorder in Adults: Symptoms and Causes

Auditory processing disorder is a hearing disorder in which a person’s brain faces challenges in processing and translating audible sounds. APD is not a hearing impairment per se, as the ears themselves may function perfectly. Rather, the fault lies with the areas of the brain responsible for interpreting information received by the ears.

APD can occur at any age. If left untreated, the disorder can be carried throughout adulthood. Studies have shown that certain manifestations of APD are quite common in the adult population, with perhaps 23% to 76% of older adults experiencing them.

So, what is auditory processing disorder, and how can it be prevented? This blog will provide relevant information.

APD Symptoms in Adults

One of the most common symptoms of APD in adults is difficulty understanding speech in noise. While everyone has more trouble with speech in noisy environments, people with APD find it significantly more difficult.

Symptoms also can include:

  • Trouble following directions
  • Difficulty performing auditory tasks such as taking notes in the workplace
  • Trouble in vocabulary formation, especially spelling, reading, and writing
  • Trouble with telephone conversations

Causes of APD in Adults

The cause of auditory processing disorder in adults is unknown. It tends to be associated with other conditions, such as ADHD and dyslexia. Other possible causes may include the following:

  • Concussion: It is common for adults to develop auditory processing disorder after a severe brain injury.
  • Brain Tumor: APD may develop due to a brain tumor in rare cases.
  • Congenital Condition: Many researchers suspect that adult APD is a genetic condition.
  • Anoxia: If the brain is deprived of oxygen for significant duration, it may cause APD in adults.
  • Hearing Impairment: Although not directly related, hearing impairment may lead to auditory processing problems.

Diagnosis & Treatment of APD in Adults

Diagnosis Options

The audiologist can perform multiple tests to evaluate the condition. Some of these tests may include:

  • The “Speech in Noise” test
  • Dichotic Listening test
  • Gap Detection test
  • Pitch Pattern Sequence test

Treatment Options

Providing proper treatment can help control the progression of symptoms. Here are a few treatments that may be suggested:

  • Speech-language therapy
  • Brain training techniques
  • Computer-based training programs
  • Creating an artificial environment with visual information or written instructions complementing verbal instructions.
  • FM systems to provide speech clarity in noisy environments.

Final Remarks

Auditory processing disorder is not an ear-related hearing impairment. It is a disorder in which the brain has difficulty interpreting audible sounds and information. Although it is difficult to spot, the condition tends to form in childhood. If the patient does not receive proper treatment, APD may have far-reaching repercussions.

Trust Hoffmann Audiology for Treating Auditory Processing Disorder

Are you struggling with hearing issues? Hoffmann Audiology can provide a complete diagnostic report on auditory processing disorder. Our renowned audiologist and advanced facilities offer personalized treatments that can effectively alleviate the symptoms of auditory processing disorder. It’s time to bring your confidence back! Call us to schedule your appointment today.

Content Source: NCBI


Chris Lin Hoffmann

Dr. Chris Hoffmann is an audiologist who has been involved in hearing sciences for over 20 years. Her passion for helping people with their hearing led her to establish Hoffmann Audiology hearing clinic. Dr. Hoffmann has more than 14 years of clinical knowledge in hearing testing, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.

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