Symptoms of ADHD can sometimes make it look like as if you have hearing problems

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Can ADHD affect hearing?

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Can You Hear Me?Health Stuff TO Know

“Can you hear me now?” I think many of you remember this commercial from Verizon: their famous “Can You Hear Me Now?” campaign.

Did You Know: Can you hear me now?” is one of the most common & significant hallmarks of ADHD!

If you’re one of the many people who have a hard time understanding or comprehending conversations--and you think you've got ADHD--I’ve got some tips for you.

What does ADHD sound like?

✅ Not being able to fully comprehend conversations is a huge sign of ADHD. The ADHD brain generally doesn’t have good working memory; and, this lack of working memory can affect one's ability to hear and understand things.

I'd like you to know that working memory is responsible for you holding on to pieces of information that you’ve just received. Dr. Puja Uppal.

So, if you have ADHD, when you’re talking to someone on a detailed boring topic, your brain is likely to ‘zone out.’ The end result is that the other person in the conversation may feel that you’re not listening to them.

“Can you hear me now?” This really becomes a big issue!

Dealing with the “Can you hear me now" syndrome, is somewhat easy. You’ve got to address a couple of things:

  1. Determine if you need medicines to strengthen your working memory.
  2. Controlling the anxiety that comes from conversations.

Steps to take:

First, you’ll have to talk to your healthcare team and figure out if you have working memory deficits. Your doctor will test you via many screeners and tests, among them: the ASRS-5.

If they determine that you've got ADHD, many medicines and therapies can improve your deficits.

Second, try to understand that feeling anxious or exhibiting anxiety, when listening to others, can be a coping mechanism for the ADHD brain.

Many times, a sense of panic results, because you know that you’re going to forget what’s being said. So, instead of focusing on the details, your brain ends up panicking.

Unfortunately, this can cause you to lose your place in the conversation. The end result is the same: “Can you hear me now?”

  1. You can overcome this anxiety by visualizing the conversation.
  2. Make a movie out of the conversation in your head.
  3. You can ask the person to slow down.
  4. You can ask them to explain things to you without adding a lot of tangents to the conversation.

Tips for success:

  • Understand that the ADHD brain is unique and needs special attention.
  • Understand that having hearing or comprehension deficits does not mean that your brain is "inferior."

Knowing this can really strengthen work productivity and personal relationships.

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Health Stuff TO Know provides digestible health & medical news from doctors. Expert information on the day's top health news. Dr. Puja Uppal is a board-certified physician. Dr. Uppal is Chief Medical Officer of Health Stuff TO Know & ThinkHealthy

Michigan State
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