How a concussion can limit the ability to “make sense of sound”

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Uncategorized |

The brain is a wondrous and highly complex organ. That means any injury to it – even a concussion – can cause a wide range of potentially debilitating symptoms. These can be physical, emotional, neurological and cognitive. A concussion can also affect a person’s vision and hearing.

Some concussions can limit a person’s ability to process auditory information, particularly when they’re in a noisy environment. For example, if someone is working in a loud factory, they may not be able to understand what their boss is saying to them. That doesn’t mean they can’t hear them. They literally can’t recognize that someone is speaking words to them. They may also suffer other auditory issues, like extreme sensitivity to loud noise.

How common is this symptom after a concussion?

A concussion that results in this “speech-in-noise” deficit is most likely to be caused by a loud explosion. That’s why service members are most likely to develop this problem if they suffered a concussion after being near an explosion. However, researchers have also found it in people who suffered concussions in other ways.

One neurobiology professor estimates that a fifth of people who suffer a concussion have difficulty processing sound. She notes, “Making sense of sound is one of the hardest jobs that we ask our brains to do. So, you can imagine that a concussion…really does disrupt sound processing.”

It can be impossible for doctors – even specialists – to know with certainty what kind of symptoms after a concussion will abate on their own, what new ones may arise and which may turn out to be long term or even permanent. That’s why it’s crucial that if you have been injured and your harm was the fault of another party, you don’t agree to a settlement until you know the full impact of your injury. Having experienced guidance can help you protect your right to fair compensation while you focus on healing.