ADD ADHD and “Auditory Processing Disorder” —ADD Tip O the Day 576

ADD ADHD and trouble hearing

A fellow ADDer recently asked me if his difficulties in hearing were part of his ADD ADHD. He particularly has trouble in a crowded restaurant, hearing the person across from him.

I’d never thought about it. I  thought my trouble hearing was age. In a restaurant, I like to sit with my back to the wall, but thought that was just paranoia. Maybe it’spart of ADD ADHD? I’m interested and curious and want to know what’s going on. But maybe it has something to do with hearing? Less noise from behind me?

Auditory Processing Disorder

So I did a little research and came up with  auditory processing disorder (APD).  Apparently, like dyslexia, there is a correlation with ADD ADHD  (see links below, once you get there).


1. Do you have trouble with hearing? Do you think it’s part of your ADD ADHD?

2.  Are these things, like APD, a basic part of ADD ADHD, or do they just run together because we have various brain dysfunctions, not just one.

3. Currently, ADD ADHD is divided into three types, hyperactive, inattentive, combined. But are there actually many more varieties, coming from different genetic combinations and environmental exposures and manifesting different combinations of symptoms?

Requesting Your Comments:

Your opinions will be appreciated,valued and respected (even though I may totally disagree with them).


Quote O the Day:

“Old age is not a battle. Old age is a massacre.”

Philip Roth

Bonus Quote O the  Day:

“Respeto tu derecho de su opinions, aunque sonidos como los delerios de un hombre loco.”

My attempt at  an old Spanish saying

Totally Irrelevant  Thought O  the Day:

“APD also stands for Albuquerque Police Department.”

(- because I have the gift of creativity, which takes me off on all kinds of irrelevant nonproductive tangents, although it has some good effects also.)

Bonus Irrelevant Thought O the Day:

Couldn’t APD  as well be called CHS?

Oh, well.

Finally, Here Are the Links:



auditory processing disorder

auditory processing disorder 2


ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,adult ADD,adult ADHD,benefits,gifts,controversy,controversies,add controversies,adhd controversies,hearing,auditory,auditory processing disorder,resolutions, goals

It’s not too late for yet more New Year resolutions!


About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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18 Responses to ADD ADHD and “Auditory Processing Disorder” —ADD Tip O the Day 576

  1. rammkatze says:

    I live in Germany and I speak and understand german perfectly, but I have trouble understanding german with loud background noise (the sound of the train I’m on going through the rails is usually enough). This doesn’t happen when I’m surrounded with people who speak my native tongue. However, no matter which language, I have a lot of difficulty understanding people if I’m not looking at them. This is true enough when I KNOW they’re talking to me. But if I hear someone talking, unless they call for my attention at the beginning, I just register noise, I don’t understand a word.


    • Ram – I’m not an expert on this auditory stuff, but does it make sense that a lot of what you’re describing has to do with focus. If someone gets your attention, if you’re focused on looking at them, then your brain is focused on hearing and understanding. Otherwise there is so much static and distraction which we’re not filtering out that we are lost.
      Thank you for commenting and adding to our understanding and information about the auditory issue.


  2. D K Powell says:

    As a musician my ears are my life. I live in fear that I lose my hearing one day. A few years ago that seemed to be coming true. I was turning the TV up more and more until my wife felt deafened and persuaded me after a few weeks to go get tested at the hospital.

    I went with great nervousness and sat through the listening tests with the audiologist. Afterwards she informed me that far from losing my hearing I had better hearing than 98% of the population! She suggested that my hearing issues were more that I was hearing SO much auditory information that I was struggling to drown out the non-important bits to hear the important. I was turning the TV up because noises from outside (like the occasional car miles away) were distracting me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ken – wow! so what was the strategy for this?
      we tend to be hypersensitive to noises, at least to some, but I’m not sure that’s hyper acuity?
      as always, thank you for your comment


      • D K Powell says:

        For me the security was knowing I wasn’t going deaf. I no longer felt stressed or frustrated by struggling to hear and there are times when I just accept I’m not going to hear what I need to and give up. Other times though I know it isn’t a problem if I turn up the radio or TV a bit – and my wife accepts this too as long as I don’t go too far!

        Liked by 1 person

        • ken- that is a great asset, to be able to accept things as they are. And of course, it is good to know what’s going on, like getting the right diagnosis of our ADD ADHD or your reassurance that you are not going deaf.
          and of course, we are also blessed by having tolerant wives
          thank you for the info.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Scott Marckx says:

    I too have hearing difficulty and trouble following conversations in crowded places. I never thought of it before as being related to ADD, but this makes sense on a certain level. Does it make sense to me because I have ADD? Heh, heh, heh! 😉
    This is fascinating, but I am going to try to be good and not go and read everything I can about it right now. Stay on task Scott!

    All the best,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scott –
      it does seem that a lot of us ADDer’s have auditory difficulties. This is a new concept for me.
      Good catch!- you don’t have to follow that tangent right now, and you can choose to stay on task.

      thank you for contributing.


  4. Yep, me, too. I especially have problems if there’s background music with words. Then I can’t hear anything except the words. And sometimes all I hear is a dull roar instead of individual words.

    A couple of years ago I was at church on Easter and there was a very rowdy family behind me. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t hear the pastor’s sermon. All I could hear was those folks talking and moving and opening wrappers and zippers. None of those sounds were that loud but they were so distracting that I seriously couldn’t hear the pastor. I tried plugging one ear – the one closest to them – and that helped a little but I still couldn’t hear. I heard nothing of that sermon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Homey – well, maybe it wasn’t a very good sermon.
      It seems like a lot of us ADDers have various hearing problems. I don’t know how to sort it out. and so far, I haven’t come up with a strategy for it, although maybe sitting with my back to the wall is a strategy?
      But your statement is interesting- maybe it wasn’t a hearing problem but a distraction/focus problem?


  5. busydarling says:

    I just let it down to being unable to focus and filter enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You betcha! It’s the brain-linkage – not the ears – another crappy “gift” of kludgy executive functioning!

    Can show up as struggles discriminating words in conversations in the presence of a certain level of background noise, hypersensitivity to sounds (or certain sounds), hypo-sensitivity to sounds (or certain sounds), poor symbology translation between spoken and written words – and so-much-more!

    As I continue to say – “There ain’t no IS about ADD!”

    QUITE some time ago now, a NYC doc on my referral list believed that **almost all** ADDers have some degree of audial processing difficulties – why he always began his patient’s meds trials with methylphenidate, which he found more helpful with audial processing than dex (Dr. Koch – pronounced “coach” lol – and probably retired by now).

    I believe Michael Merzenich (brain plasticity, Fast Forword™ – and more) also made the link between audial processing difficulties & ADD – right along with its link to dyslexia, autism spectrum disorders, etc. (and he has had AMAZING success with his FF program, btw – reading improvement based on improved/practiced sound discrimination – worth a Google).

    I’m fairly certain my ADDandSoMuchMore article on the Brain Science Podcast (use search box on my site for “Brain Science Podcast – really good stuff”) has a link to his pdf interview with Dr. Ginger Campbell – available for download – and WELL worth your time too.

    btw- link is UP between your prior “downsides to ADD” post and my article re: same (Tales from the ADD Dark Side).

    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Madelyn – thanks, lots of info. Do you think it’s part of ADD ADHD or a comorbidity? Or does it matter. I think I have trouble hearing, trouble discriminating words, and hypersensitivity to some noises.
      I note the overlap with traumatic brain injury, so it looks like abnormalities (some prefer the term, “differences”) in brain structures and networks can cause dysfunctions. Duh!
      thanks for your connections and your comments.


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