Today I had an appointment at Boots Opticians and hearing shop. I wanted to have my hearing checked because I had an idea that my hearing was a little worse than about 6 years ago when my hearing was checked.
Turns out that it is mainly age related, my left ear having less sound range than the right, so no great problems, not enough for intervention with an aid of any sort.
Interestingly she talked about the way that Alzheimer’s affects the way that hearing is processed. Imagine a room full of people talking, along with other sounds, and trying to focus on only one person in the middle of the room talking to you…very difficult. That can be what it is like for someone with Alzheimer’s trying to hear normally. I do experience this even in a quiet room, I am spoken to but I might be on the internet, or reading and somehow do not hear what has been said. So I have to say ‘sorry what did you say?’ over and over. Irritating or what!
So my focus of attention needs to be on only one thing to process what is being said. This is important for me and others around me to understand because when I am thinking; I have not heard, it may be that I have not processed what has been said.
She said I need to use change of behaviour to help any hearing problems, such as sitting with my back towards a wall in a restaurant so that I have no noise behind me. Facing people straight on when we talk so that my focus is on their voice – easier said than done when I have difficulties in maintaining eye contact!
All in all I am pleased that my hearing has not got worse, and interested to learn how my Alzheimer’s has an impact on how I process sound.
3 thoughts on “Hearing and the changes I have noticed with Alzheimer’s”
This would enforce your selective hearing argument for when people speak to you like a child 😉
I had my hearing tested when I was 50 (60 now) and couldn’t hear in a crowded restaurant. Apparently my loss of hearing is mainly my left ear and age related. I never socialise any more and never go to restaurants as I can’t isolate the person talking to me and shut out the background noise.
What I do find amazing is that while walking in the nearby Botanic Gardens, I can hear the faintest rustle of leaves indicating a bird is searching for worms near by. How very strange to hear the faintest rustle, but not the words of a person sitting next to me in a restaurant.
I am guessing Vicki that the Botanic Gardens has relatively low level of sound in it? I understand what you are saying though. I can hear higher pitch sounds better than lower so can hear things that some can’t.