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-   -   Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS) (https://www.englishforum.ch/general-off-topic/124597-background-noise-problem-cocktail-party-syndrome-cps.html)

Nil 06.09.2011 14:01

Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
Anyone has this problem?

I found out that I was not deaf but had this syndrome. It makes my life quite challenging when in a group, outside with traffic, etc.

I get often scared when someone enter the room because I can't hear them if it has some background noise. And it doesn't need much noise, just a bit to cut me out of the conversation and be able to understand. If my daughter speaks in the same time than my husband, I can't hear him and it is the same if someone speaks in the same time than me, I lose track of what I was saying.

Any experience and tips to share?

TitanTurbo10 06.09.2011 14:04

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
I've thought about getting my hearing checked because of the problem you describe. Not so much if it's just 2 people, but definitely in a group I find it very difficult to keep up with conversations. Pubs and bars are pretty bad. I'll have to look into this. Thanks for posting this.

jaudi 06.09.2011 14:09

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
Suffered from this for as long as I can remember. I find it almost like an aural dyslexia. It's not that I can't hear stuff but I can't distinguish the important stuff and focus on it. I cannot retain my concentration when others are talking to me in a crowded environment, so quickly lose track of what's being said. It always amazes me that others can do this so effortlessly.

Nil 06.09.2011 14:12

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
If we walk in the street and my husband talk to me while looking in the other direction, it doesn't matter if he is very next to me, I can't hear him.

cyrus 06.09.2011 14:14

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
I get it when I'm tired, or sometimes I'm just distracted by other problems and I find it hard to listen to anyone. I find looking at the speakers mouth can get me back sometimes (but don't look too intently, or you might look a little weird!).

On rare occasions I'd have to leave busy places because I just can't understand anything anymore and start getting really distracted and uncomfortable.

jaudi 06.09.2011 14:20

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nil (Post 1328934)
If we walk in the street and my husband talk to me while looking in the other direction, it doesn't matter if he is very next to me, I can't hear him.

Haha, and the follow-up:

"If we are doing anything and my wife talks to me while looking anywhere, it doesn't matter if it is life or death, I can't pay attention to her" :D

Amanandhisdogs 06.09.2011 14:21

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
More or less the same with me, but I suffer a hearing loss from a massive ear infection just after arriving in Switzerland. I have a hearing aid now, but the problem with this is that it amplifies all the background noise. So, it's even harder to concentrate on what people are saying, let alone when several are speaking simultaneously...

TitanTurbo10 06.09.2011 14:22

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cyrus (Post 1328943)
On rare occasions I'd have to leave busy places because I just can't understand anything anymore and start getting really distracted and uncomfortable.

Just last Friday I ended up leaving the Viadukt anniversary celebration after about an hour just because of that. It was crowded, noisy and hot, but those factors weren't too bad (it was a celebration so it should be crowded and noisy!). However, as a newcomer I knew no one there and couldn't keep track of any conversations in a way that meant I could contribute. So rather than look like the strange guy hanging around not saying anything, I left. No one did anything to make me feel uncomfortable, and the people I did try to chat with were all friendly, I just was struggling.

mimi1981 06.09.2011 14:29

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
Hi Nil, I have the exact same problem. If mini-mimi is talking when the other half is then I can't hear either of them. It's the same if I am watching TV and someone talks to me and also the same thing as you when people don't look at me when they are talking to me.

I think it is because I use music at work to shut out other noise and focus on my tasks. That and the fact that I am getting old :msnblush:

The only way to cope is to have an understanding partner who doesn't get arsey when you ignore them or when you get frustrated at them because you constantly find yourself asking them to repeat themselves.

Nil 06.09.2011 14:32

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
When I was young, my parents kept asking me: Are you deaf? Because they had to constantly repeat what they just said. But I wasn't nor that is was out of an habit but because of the background noise.

To the point than I can't identify where a noise is coming from. I can hear a tic and I think it is coming from the kitchen but it is actually coming from outside, etc.

In a group, I do a lot the lip reading to follow and it is tiring.

Amanandhisdogs 06.09.2011 14:37

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mimi1981 (Post 1328979)

The only way to cope is to have an understanding partner who doesn't get arsey when you ignore them or when you get frustrated at them because you constantly find yourself asking them to repeat themselves.

It is quite a lot to expect, but it IS the only way... at home. Outdoors, or at work, it really bothers me to explain to anybody or everybody that they should look at me while speaking.

bilgen 06.09.2011 14:40

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
Hi Nil and all
I had the similar problems and had my ears checked and faced with a massive hearing loss.. and even had an operation here in switzerland after 1 year after moving here

One other sign of hearing loss is you always have the intention to talk on the phone with a better hearing ear of yours. This comes naturally.

So, u are not alone. Hearing loss is terrible. Lip reading is great :-)

mirfield 06.09.2011 15:10

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
I didn't know that existed. I guess I have it too, but I just assumed everybody (especially men) had difficulty hearing when other people are talking.

Now I feel even older and more decrepit :(

bilgen 06.09.2011 15:14

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
actually there are different reasons behind hearing loss. Not necessarily getting old :-)

BHBT 06.09.2011 15:45

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
Nil, have you had your hearing checked recently? Have you ever gone through any central auditory processing testing, perhaps as a child? Auditory processing disorders relate to normal functional hearing but the brain cannot sort multiple sound inputs to it, so that the signals cannot be understood.
Sometimes hearing aids can help to distinguish certain signals from others, and often a form of auditory training or sound therapy can help too.

mimi1981 06.09.2011 15:51

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mirfield (Post 1329068)
I didn't know that existed. I guess I have it too, but I just assumed everybody (especially men) had difficulty hearing when other people are talking.

Now I feel even older and more decrepit :(


Oh lordy. You can imagine now how fun it is in the mimi/mirfield household people :rolleyes:

mirfield 06.09.2011 15:53

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mimi1981 (Post 1329136)
Oh lordy. You can imagine now how fun it is in the mimi/mirfield household people :rolleyes:

I find it quite peaceful when the telly's on.

Swissoconnors 06.09.2011 15:54

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
I started noticing something similar after my son was born (five years now) and eventually went to the doctor to find that I've actually lost a whole lot of hearing in just one ear. Low-pitched noises are ok, but nothing else. One to one I'm fine but like you all said, if someone talks without looking at me or there is a large group or - in my case - someone is walking on my "wrong" side, zilch. After five years I've developed coping skills so I rarely need to tell anyone about it, but I do avoid situations that are likely to have a lot of background noise.

In the last three years I've acquired dizzy fits to match, so now I have a diagnosis of Ménières Disease (which means "you have dizzy spells and hearing loss on one side but we don't really know why and we haven't worked out a cure/treatment yet")

The reason I'm posting that is to encourage you all to go to the doctor and get it checked out (those who haven't already, that is). Because looking back I'm aware that I've always had a "good" ear (for the telephone for instance, and for conference interpreting, which used to be my job) and yet only now has it developed to the point where I have a seriously bad ear as well. Worth getting checked out, sometimes there are things they can do if they catch stuff early.

And lots of sympathy to all of you. It must be frustrating to suffer all the symptoms without any apparent physical reason. At least I can explain to people that I'm partially deaf (although I hate doing it and it always involves convoluted explanations of how come a hearing aid wouldn't help in my case!)

nic80 06.09.2011 16:02

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
I have this problem. It got so bad in my late teens that my sisters demanded I go and get my ears checked :o
The audiologist told me that I there was nothing wrong with my hearing but that a small percentage of people have trouble discerning individual noises. It just means that I spend rather a large amount of time going 'pardon?' when my husband is talking to me outside and that I tend to have to make eye contact with a person to be able to understand them in bars or clubs. This is probably why I avoid them, it's exhausting and I feel like a fool nodding and smiling when I'm not always entirely sure what they've said :msnblush:

PaddyG 06.09.2011 16:13

Re: Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
 
Pardon?
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