Hearing everything, and inability to filter background noise



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04 Apr 2008, 9:56 am

Hi all, I'm new here. *waves*

I find that whenever I'm talking to somebody, i need to be in almost silent surroundings. any background noise, whether it be cars on the street, other people talking, or music in a pub, greatly interferes with my ability to 'listen' to the other person. I always seem to hear everything thats going on around me, and lack the ability to filter out background noise like other people so easily seem to, and I'll give a few examples.

People doing roadworks outside my office - so my colleagues close the window, and the noise of pneumatic hammers and other similar stuff s muffled slightly - and obviously it annoys others in my office, but eventually they can tune it out - whereas it slowly drives me insane all day, means i cant focus on speaking to people on the phone or colleagues, and generally have a crappy, unproductive day.

Effectively doubling my social ineptness in loud pubs and clubs ( i know that it's loud for everyone, but lean toward them or speak in their ear and they get what you're saying) - It doesn't matter if someone shouts in my ear or leans toward me to speak, the background noise of music, people shouting/talking, and whatever they are trying to say to me all jumble together to a sort of 'white noise'

Being with a group of friends, and sitting in the middle, one conversation going on to my left and one to my right, no excessive background noise, but i can follow and participate in a singular conversation, but when two are going at once i can't follow either, so i usually just sit in silence.

Are there any tips to dealing with this? I s this something common to AS - because at the moment I'm self-diagnosing, after only finding out about AS a few days ago, but everything i've read and aspie tests seem to suggest i am an aspie.



foxman
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04 Apr 2008, 10:54 am

Hello!

I have similar sensory issues... for me that lack of filtering happens with auditory, visual, and tactile sensory information. All the info takes on equal importance in my brain. At least for me, it doesn't turn to "white noise" until right before my brain starts to shut down.

Tips for dealing with it. Well, in high school, my shrink suggested that I keep as many senses actively busy as possible, to avoid distraction...so sugerless hard candy and rubbing stones were on the menu. They didn't do much for me, but maybe they might help. My shrink last year said that if necessary she could put me on anti-psychotics, so that might be an option.

I personally find that being well rested is the best way for me to manage. The more rested my brain is, the easier it is for me to try to focus.


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MartyMoose
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04 Apr 2008, 10:57 am

Anyone else irritated in a quite setting and someone opens a bag of chips?



foxman
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04 Apr 2008, 11:10 am

MartyMoose wrote:
Anyone else irritated in a quite setting and someone opens a bag of chips?


Yes!


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Mike777
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04 Apr 2008, 11:38 am

I have the same problem, but I learned how to neutralize those sounds 'in my brain'. Whenever I hear something annoying I'm just trying to keep my brain too busy to get impulses from ears. It usually works for me.
Noise of messing with plastic bag is what I hate the most. :wink:



DevonB
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04 Apr 2008, 11:58 am

I'm on an atypical anti-psychotic....and it helps alot. Before I found it very difficult. I still find it hard, but the job I'm in allows me alot of flexibility. It's a very quiet place...and I'm in charge of the radio. It can be completely dead quiet if I choose. It's lovely.

As for going out...I don't really. I find it difficult to be in a social situation in a restaurant. I can't hear what people are saying. It does happen at home as well with the kids and the television all going at once, but I can just turn everything off until I get to that place where I can focus again.

Lights also cause me to over-stimulate. I'm sensory defensive..so sound will also drive me over the edge, I'm afraid.

I try and prep myself and stay as focussed as I can. I call them tactical strikes. I end up telling people my ears are blocked, or I have a head ache...add to that I suffer from tinnitus (ringing in your ears)...it's all sorts of grand fun.


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oblio
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04 Apr 2008, 12:20 pm

Mike777 wrote:
I have the same problem, but I learned how to neutralize those sounds 'in my brain'. Whenever I hear something annoying I'm just trying to keep my brain too busy to get impulses from ears. It usually works for me.


don't you find that when it works, and you do succeed in keeping up with the conversation, that you wish you hadn't - as you just substituted annoying white noise and got other annoying noise for the bargain?


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Beenthere
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04 Apr 2008, 12:27 pm

Welcome.

I think this is a problem for alot of us. I have this problem too, haven't really found a good way of dealing with it either. If someone talks to me while I'm on the phone I go blank even.


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Jeyradan
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04 Apr 2008, 1:03 pm

Yes, yes, yes!
A lot of this is sensory... the fact that I hear *everything* and can't filter it out. And often, it can be so distracting that I just can't focus, or so "loud" in total that I can't hear.
It may also be related to APDs - something to check out if you really want it dealt with.



Age1600
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04 Apr 2008, 1:14 pm

Have you ever heard of CAPD? Central Auditory Processing Disorder? Might be something to look into, i was diagnosed that when I was 12, can't block out any noises, hear wayy too good, when you try to listen, things sometimes seem mumbled or backwards.


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Brandon-J
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04 Apr 2008, 1:19 pm

Age1600 wrote:
Have you ever heard of CAPD? Central Auditory Processing Disorder? Might be something to look into, i was diagnosed that when I was 12, can't block out any noises, hear wayy too good, when you try to listen, things sometimes seem mumbled or backwards.


I know I definately have it. I have perfectly good hearing cuz I've actually had an hearing test to check my ears because alot of times I wouldn't be able to make sense what the other person was saying even though I heard them talk.



Turtle000
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04 Apr 2008, 1:20 pm

Hi and Welcome.
I have that problem too and it seems like it's just getting worse. It didn't used to bother me so much but now I just go insane everytime I'm watching tv and the phone rings because it's just too much noise at once. I have to pause it or turn it down until the ringing stops. I also can't stand when people talk with the tv or music going on in the background. I'd just be sitting there thinking Oh My Gosh does no one else hear how loud the tv is?! I hate when I'm talking to my mom and it's so quiet and perfect and then she'll turn on the tv as if she needs the background noise.

I haven't really found a way to deal with multiple conversations going on around me. Recently instead of trying to focus on the conversations around me, I tried to focus on the tv going on in the background. It didn't really work though. Maybe just with some more practice I can learn to tune the other stuff out.



KateShroud
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04 Apr 2008, 2:01 pm

I experience problems like those listed above, but I'm finding other ways to cope besides meds. I might take something occasionally for anxiety, but I will not take antipsychotics. Right now, I use a pair of Boes noise reduction headphones. They're amazing, and they help me filter out the background noise so I can focus on the conversation or task at hand. If you can't hear two people talking to you at once, that's just something that has to be worked around. For example, if I'm talking to someone on the phone, and my friend or husband starts talking to me also, I just ask the person on the phone to hold on for a second. Then I remind the other person that I can't understand anything when two people are talking at once. As far as bars are concerned, I avoid them.



Mike777
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04 Apr 2008, 2:35 pm

oblio wrote:
Mike777 wrote:
I have the same problem, but I learned how to neutralize those sounds 'in my brain'. Whenever I hear something annoying I'm just trying to keep my brain too busy to get impulses from ears. It usually works for me.


don't you find that when it works, and you do succeed in keeping up with the conversation, that you wish you hadn't - as you just substituted annoying white noise and got other annoying noise for the bargain?

To tell the truth, I didn't take it into account. I almost never talk under difficult conditions. I can only try to read lips movement of person talking to me or (the better option) act like I understand everything. :)



wisteria
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04 Apr 2008, 2:41 pm

I have this too, I'm certain I have CAPD. I don't hear human voices as being different from any other noise. It all becomes a blur. I even have trouble understanding a single strand of speech sometimes, again, because I think I'm hearing "noise" and not "message." The phone is difficult for me, if there's even a little bit of static, or if the person's voice is just slightly muffled, I lose most of what they're saying.



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