Auditory Processing Disorder Hearing Aid

Best Hearing Aid For Auditory Processing Disorder

Auditory brain development for children with hearing loss

Hearing aids are devices that are worn in or around the ears and are used to amplify sound. They can be helpful for people with auditory processing disorder , who have difficulty understanding speech, particularly in noisy environments. Hearing aids can make it easier for people with APD to follow conversations and participate in activities.

Can An Apd Be Treated Or Cured

APD in children and adults often is best managed by a multidisciplinary team of professionals that may include audiologists, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, and teachers, to evaluate and treat hearing, language, cognition, and academic issues.

Although APD treatment is usually determined based on the likely cause of APD, a variety of treatment approaches may be recommended. These approaches can include medical treatment, hearing aid amplification, assistive listening devices, auditory training, and special listening strategies. Treatment strategies are usually provided by audiologists, although physicians, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, teachers, and other professionals may be involved.

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How Common Is An Auditory Processing Disorder

The exact prevalence of auditory processing disorder is variable given the wide definitions of auditory processing and how it is measured in different areas.

Some research has suggested a prevalence of 2-3 percent in the pediatric population , with other estimates at 3-5 percent . Up to 5 percent in school-aged children according to the National Institutes of Health.

A 2:1 ratio of boys to girls has also been cited.

Efficacy Of Auditory Interventions


Some have criticized auditory training as ineffective because it does not improve language or reading skills7,63,65 however, as noted above, reading and language processing are influenced by many variables, some of which are far removed from the auditory domain.64 The purpose of auditory training is to improve auditory processes, not improve language or reading skills. Auditory training, as a bottom-up strategy, aims to improve sensory processing of individuals with auditory skills deficits2,3,66 with the expectation that such improvement is likely to benefit real-life listening situations. Improvement in areas not directly related to the targeted auditory deficit may occur, but is not the primary goal of auditory training.67

Several recent studies have provided behavioral and electrophysiological evidence that auditory training can improve the auditory processing skills of children with CAPD or auditory-based learning problems.66-73 Tests and procedures are needed to enable early diagnosis of CAPD in children 7 years and younger to maximize the efficacy of intervention. To do so, however, requires research to find measures of sufficient challenge to the CANS that can still be completed by young children without such variability that makes impossible reasonable cut off norms. In the meantime, we and others have recommended a number of informal interventions for children who are at risk but have not yet been diagnosed with CAPD.64,74

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Tests For Auditory Processing Disorder

To test for APD you may be asked to:

  • listen to speech with background noise
  • spot small changes in sounds
  • fill in missing parts of words

Other tests may include:

  • having electrodes on your head to measure how your brain reacts to sound
  • speech and language tests
  • memory, problem-solving and concentration tests

Testing for APD is not usually done on children under 7 years old.

Tenants To Address Apd Management In The Pediatric Population

Children are best evaluated and treated in an interdisciplinary team setting. APD is likely to overlap with other types of disorders for many children. They may have an Individualized Education Program that addresses something else, like reading, attention or language, and we must address those functional listening deficits regardless of the ideology of the APD.

About 60% of children with hearing loss have another co-morbid condition. It should not surprise us that kids with APD may have multiple deficits. I look at kids as little pies, and my job is to carve out what part of the pie we as audiologists contribute to both in the assessment and in the treatment.

Sometimes APD is not even on anyones radar when children present with other more recognizable concerns. For example, we see a lot of children with dyslexia or attention deficit disorder in our clinic, and we find that a big part of the pie is something related to either hearing loss or auditory processing disorder.

We know that we can have a separate disorder called APD, and we own that disorder in audiology. One of the things that seems to be a concern when I talk to school districts is that APD cannot be assessed clearly from ADHD, and we do not want to treat something that we are not supposed to be treating when it is not appropriate for us. This is why interdisciplinary teaming is important.

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Beyond Controversies: The Science Behind Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Research | May 2017 Hearing Review

There is general scientific agreement on the definition, diagnosis, and treatment of CAPD

Central auditory processing disorder is a complex and evolving subject, but remains a solid diagnostic entity. While there is some variance in diagnostic criteria across US and European professional association guidelines, this simply reflects the need for additional research with participants with confirmed CAPD. A considerable body of research exists demonstrating the efficiency of individual central auditory tests and central auditory test batteries based on performance of individuals with confirmed CANS lesions, including such lesions in children. This article provides information that will assist clinicians in making informed, evidence-based clinical decisions about CAPD.

Special Considerations: Adolescents And Adults

Hidden Hearing Loss Exercises (Adult CAPD) to Improve Hearing in Noisy Environments

Children with processing deficits may have more difficulty as they enter noisy auditory-based learning environments with high demands on their listening skills. As educational and vocational communication demands change or increase, adolescents and adults may experience more difficulties with understanding and listening. In addition, an acquired deficit, such as TBI or a stroke, may lead to spoken language disorders, which may have an auditory component.

The following considerations may be applicable for adolescents and adults with a CAPD diagnosis:

  • Make adjustments based on different contextual demands at home, school, work, and in the community
  • Provide multiple treatment options, such as academic and vocational training, career counseling, and transition planning
  • Assist with self-advocacy

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Who Is Affected By Apds

APD is often associated with various learning disabilities. Children with APD experience difficulties in less-than-ideal listening situations and may have difficulties with reading, spelling, attention, and language problems.

APD is common in older adults, particularly when hearing loss is present. It is likely that many processes and problems contribute to APD in children.

In adults, neurological disorders such as stroke, tumors, degenerative disease , and head trauma can contribute to APD.

What Is Central Auditory Processing Disorder

When researching his hearing issues, Dr. Davies had come across descriptions of Central Auditory Processing Disorder which seemed to describe what he was experiencing. CAPD, also referred to as APD, is a condition that affects the way the brain processes sound and speech. For people with CAPD, the ears and brain dont coordinate well. While the ears can hear well or well enough with assistance, the brain has trouble processing and understanding the sounds. As the auditory system ages, these issues can become more pronounced.

You may have heard of CAPD in relation to children. In fact, it is often referred to as a childhood learning issue. But adults can also have this condition.

To learn more, HearingTracker spoke to Rodolfo Sardone, AuD, MPH, Head of Population Health Research Unit, IRCCS Saverio De Bellis , who is researching age-related CAPD.

Rodolfo Sardone, AuD, MPH

There is no clinical difference between age-related CAPD and the childhood version of the condition, he explained. The only difference is that the assumption is that is caused by processes related to the brain aging.

Currently, the cause of CAPD is not fully known. Factors may include genetics and head trauma, among others. Researchers like Dr. Sardone hope to uncover more about this in the near future.

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How Can Parents And Teachers Help

The auditory system isn’t fully developed until kids are about 14 years old. Many kids diagnosed with APD can develop better listening skills over time as their auditory system matures.

There’s no known cure, but different strategies may help with listening and also improve the development of the auditory pathway over time, especially when started at younger ages. These include:

  • physical accommodations to improve the listening environment
  • individual therapies
  • speech-language therapy for language deficits
  • counseling to help with depression or anxiety
  • art therapy or music therapy to build self-esteem
  • occupational therapy to help with sensory issues or auditory timing concerns

One common physical accommodation is a remote microphone system, previously known as a frequency modulation system. This assistive listening device emphasizes a speaker’s voice over background noise, making the voice clearer so a child can understand it. The person talking wears a tiny microphone transmitter, which sends a signal to a wireless receiver that the child wears on the ear or to a speaker box.

Other physical accommodations often focus on optimizing a kid’s access to speech. Optimizing speech means reducing the interference of other things, like background babble, sound and sight distractions, and poor classroom acoustics. In a classroom, for example, the teacher might slow down their speech, speak clearly and deliberately , and seat the child where they can see and hear them better.

Evaluation And Management Of Adult Auditory Processing Disorders: Part Ii

Medical Apparatus Auditory The

Jennifer Shinn, PhD, Professor and Chief of Audiology, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Kentucky Medical Center

Trey Cline, AuD, Clinical Audiologist, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Kentucky Medical Center


As you will remember in Part I, we presented the case of a 39-year-old male who was diagnosed with an auditory processing deficit . He had longstanding difficulties hearing in background noise and with rapidly presented speech. Results of his APD evaluation demonstrated binaural integration, separation and temporal processing deficits along with difficulty with rapidly presented speech. After discussion regarding his management and treatment options, he elected to proceed with both formal auditory therapy and hearing aids.

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Causes And Prevention Of Apd Hearing Loss

There are quite a few possible causes of APD, though it can be difficult to determine case-by-case causation for every person. Unlike conductive or sensorineural hearing loss, where the cause is usually noise exposure or blockages, auditory processing disorder is neurological. Like many other disorders, it can be difficult to pinpoint a direct cause and solution for APD.

However, we can offer some possible links between certain conditions and APD:

  • Other types of hearing loss, like sensorineural or auditory nerve hearing loss. In children born hard of hearing, APD is common after they receive hearing aids.
  • Traumatic head injuries may lead to the development of APD APD can run in families
  • Chronic ear infections and meningitis in childhood can cause APD.
  • Lead poisoning increases the likelihood of APD.

Behavioral Characteristics Of Capd

Clinicians must be critical of incorrect assertions that CAPD is characterized by inattention, daydreaming, and generalized listening difficulties, and then use those characterizations to argue that these behaviors are more characteristic of other disorders and not CAPD. In fact, these are not the most common behavioral characteristics of CAPD. Most authors and professional association guidelines place greater emphasis on more specific auditory disorders and generalized listening difficulties. The most common behavioral characteristics of CAPD are difficulty understanding spoken language in competing message or noise backgrounds, in reverberant acoustic environments, or when rapidly presented difficulty with similar sounding words and difficulty following complex auditory directions/commands, among others.2,3,14-16

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Treatment Of Apd Hearing Loss

There is no cure for APD, but treatment plans and accommodations can help children overcome APD and navigate the world.

Before APD can be treated, its important that a hearing test and examination is administered. If any other form of hearing loss is present, it can require additional treatment. For example, a child with sensorineural hearing loss might require hearing aids before they can be treated for APD.

Once the child has been diagnosed or cleared of underlying problems, a treatment plan can be put together. Not every treatment plan is exactly the same, but many include the following:

If you think you, your child, or another loved one is suffering from APD, finding an audiologist in your area is the first step to getting diagnosed. Local audiologists, hearing care professionals , and their locations can be found using the Signia Store Locator.If this article gave you a better understanding of auditory processing disorder, consider checking out our articles on other forms of hearing loss. The Signia newsletter can also be used to stay up-to-date on all of our informational blogs.

A Closer Look At Auditory Processing Disorder

What is Hidden Hearing Loss (Acquired CAPD)? Hearing Loss, but Normal Hearing Test!

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Auditory Processing Disorder is known by different names: Central Auditory Processing Disorder , Auditory Perceptual Disorder, and Central Auditory Disorder.

Since APD is a condition that affects hearing, most assume it is a form of hearing loss.

This assumption is incorrect. APD is also not classified as a type of learning disability.

In short, APD affects the auditory centers of the brain. It interferes with how the brain recognizes and interprets sounds, including speech. There is a disconnect between the ears and the brain they dont coordinate as they should.

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Remote Microphone Hearing Aid Use Improves Classroom Listening Without Adverse Effects On Spatial Listening And Attention Skills In Children With Auditory Processing Disorder: A Randomised Controlled Trial

  • 1Ear Institute, Faculty of Brain Sciences, University College London, London, United Kingdom
  • 2Neuroscience Division, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 3Department of Statistical Science, University College London, London, United Kingdom
  • 4Neuro-Otology Department, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom
  • 5Biomedical Research Centre, National Institute for Health Research, London, United Kingdom

Background: Children with Auditory Processing Disorder often have poor auditory processing skills in the presence of normal peripheral hearing. These children have worse listening-in-noise skills compared to typically developing peers, while other commonly reported symptoms include poor attention and distractibility. One of the management strategies for children with APD is the use of Remote Microphone Hearing Aids , which can help improve the signal-to-noise ratio in the childs ears. The aim of this randomised controlled trial was to examine whether RMHAs improved classroom listening in children with APD, and to further test their effects on childrens listening-in-noise and attention skills following a 6-month intervention.

Use of RMHAs improves classroom listening, evidenced by the results of the questionnaire analysis, while a 6-month use did not have adverse effects on unaided spatial listening or attention skills.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Auditory Processing Disorder

Children and adults with APD often report difficulty hearing in background noise, in rooms that reverberate and/or other less-than-ideal listening situations.

Individuals often need more time to process auditory instructions, they mishear information and look for visual cues to help fill in the missing auditory information.

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Hearing Aids For Children With Auditory Processing Disorders

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  • Medicine, Psychology
  • Seminars in Hearing
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  • IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
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  • Journal of the American Academy of Audiology
  • International journal of audiology
  • Journal of the American Academy of Audiology
  • The Journal of speech and hearing disorders

Hearing Health: Auditory Processing Hearing Loss

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If you, your child, or your loved one is having problems hearing, the problem may be neurological, not aural. Here’s what you need to know about APD or auditory processing disorder.

About hearing

When discussing different types of hearing loss, there is one condition that is frequently overlooked. While many sites list three forms, there are actually four types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, mixed, and auditory processing disorder.

Many overlook auditory processing disorder when discussing hearing loss, since it does not affect the ears or the auditory nerve, but the brain itself. However, APD still manifests as hearing loss, and many of those with APD are considered hard-of-hearing.

Without proper testing, it can be difficult to differentiate between APD and other types of hearing loss. In this article, well be discussing what sets them apart, and how to recognize the symptoms and seek treatment.

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