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Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Auditory processing is the ability of the ears to communicate with the brain. Basically, what the brain does to what your ears hear. Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is an umbrella term for different disorders that affect how the brain processes auditory information. CAPD is often referred to as the hearing problem wherein the brain can’t hear.

CAPD is thought to affect almost 5% of school aged children. People affected by CAPD have normal hearing, meaning that their outer, middle and inner ear are all working well, but they are unable to process what is being heard. For children, CAPD will be more obvious when the child is in a noisy environment or when they are given a number of instructions at once. This can affect how the child performs in class.

CAPD is thought to affect almost 5% of school aged children. People affected by CAPD have normal hearing, meaning that their outer, middle and inner ear are all working well, but they are unable to process what is being heard. For children, CAPD will be more obvious when the child is in a noisy environment or when they are given a number of instructions at once. This can affect how the child performs in class.

What are the signs that a child or person has CAPD?
  1. Difficulty following, understanding or remembering verbal instruction
  2. Difficulty listening in a noisy situation
  3. Easily distracted or inattentiveness
  4. Difficulty remembering events or taking down notes
  5. Difficulty understanding people talking quickly
  6. Difficulty reading, spelling or comprehending
  7. Difficulty multi-tasking (taking down notes while listening to the teacher)
  8. Difficulty understanding sarcasm or jokes
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What are the causes of CAPD?

The causes of CAPD are still unknown. But what we do know is that CAPD involves changes in the way the brain processes sound, but we don't know why this happens. It is also not clear if the child is born with CAPD or if it develops after birth. It is also known that children affected with ear infections in multiple occasions are the most susceptible to developing CAPD.

What is CAPD Assessment?

CAPD will not show up in a standard hearing test. A specific test for CAPD is done to assess the auditory processing skills in addition to hearing ability. Before doing the assessment, an extensive case history is taken and a hearing test to rule out hearing loss is done. In an auditory processing assessment, an audiologist will perform a series of tests to determine if the person is able to listen to speech in background noise, repeat a series of words or numbers, listen to words coming to both ears at the same time, ignore words from one side and focus on the other side. Each test assesses one or more auditory function and is age appropriate. Given that the tests are quite complex, the assessments are usually done in 2-3 hours. And due to the complexity of the tests, only children who are 7 years old and above can be tested.

Diagnosing CAPD can be difficult because some signs of CAPD can also be due to problems with attention, speech, language and learning in general. Many disorders present behavioral characteristics similar to CAPD that can cause the listener to perform poorly on behavioral central auditory function tests and/or exhibit similar functional listening difficulties (Ferre, 2014). With a multi-disciplinary approach, working with audiologists, speech pathologists, psychologists, doctors and even teachers can ensure that the patient receives the right diagnosis and care.

What our customers say:

Person in charge nice and helpful with warm smiling face. Should you have hearing problem, can seek for her advise.

The Voice of two Generations in Singapore radio, Mr Brian Richmond, has chosen The Listening Lab to be his audiology and hearing services provider. We could not be prouder! Brian is the definitive household name in English Radio since the early years of Singapore's founding, starting with Rediffusion followed by Radio One and now with Gold 90.5FM as well as Vintage Radio Singapore. His honeyed voice and selection of music filling our ears as we lived the bustle of our daily lives. Soccer fans from the Malaysia Cup era of soccer will never forget his heart-pounding commentary from "live" matches, as we experienced the ups and downs of the Singapore Lions in the 1970s to 90s. Few people know sound as well as Brian so we are immensely proud that he has chosen The Listening Lab to be his choice and solution for better hearing. Our Executive Director Kelvin Lee is proudly beaming ear-to-ear in this photo with Brian. But you wont be able to see it through the masks!

I started experiencing loss of hearing sometimes in 2010 (41 years old) owing to some medical issue. I was having difficulties hearing conservation especially in meeting. Thus, giving me the fear in attending meeting. Initially I started with Phonak hearing aid. It helps amplified the sound and I could hear better then. Somehow, my hearing loss deteriorated further that in late 2012 (43 years old), there was profound loss of hearing on my right ear. Even digital hearing aid could not help. On my left ear there is still about 50% to 60% hearing with hearing aid. I was lost at this point of time. I was considering learning sign language. I went to see my ENT specialist and my audiologist Mr. Bala advised me to go for an CI as an alternative to my hearing loss. The Cochlear Implant I went to consult my ENT doctor (Dr Raymond Ngo) about CI and he described to me how it works. I was happy to learn that I could hear again with the CI. I was not concerned by the operation I needed to go through, it was the cost of that was my main obstacle. It cost about 15 to 20 times more than a normal digital hearing aid. My first CI (AB Q70) – 2013 (44 years old) In the beginning of 2013, I totally lost my hearing on my right ear. In December 2013, I went through the operation for my right ear. About one week after the operation, the processor (Advance Bionic Q70) was switched on. It was wonderful experience when I can hear again. At first, it sounded like “mickey mouse” voice when I hear people talking around me. But very quickly, I have adopted and though it is not perfectly the same as before my hearing loss, it is more enough to let me live normally again. It works very well in quiet environment but is still a challenge in noisy places, like hawker centre or site meeting etc. In 2015, my Q70 was upgraded to Q90 processor, which is what I am using today. The sound quality is much better and has more functions/program in its software. In 2016, my left ear also suffered complete hearing loss. Though hearing with just the right ear is sufficient for my daily routine, I still felt handicapped at times. I cannot hear properly if people stand on my left side while talking to me or call me from behind. Understand that our local government will not subside for the second ear implant and the cost of CI is also not cheap, I could only go with one hearing ear at the moment. I also thank God for Engineer and Scientist, giving them the knowledge to create such a complex and sophisticate device to help those with hearing loss like me. It will be all perfect if the cost is affordable too.

I took my mum to Listening Lab at Simei to get her hearing aid fixed, during our first visit, she patiently explained the whole procedure to my mum and also explain to my mum why she really in need to fix the hearing aid. She is very knowledgeable, and friendly, and we are encouraged to ask questions. she is also very patient with old people which is the most importance. Also her after service is superb so I highly recommend.

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