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Topic Hearing Loss in PD Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By karolinakitty On 2009.08.11 20:55
I have a question regarding the hearing loss and PD. Jim has hearing loss, but what i find interesting, and maybe Bob and some other patients can help me out here, is there is a pitch difference in the hearing loss.
What i mean by that is high pitched sounds he can't hear at all... medium, as in most spoken words he has a hard time with.... low pitched sounds, like a deep bass sound drive him looney..... but then there are other sounds ..i'm not sure their range, that drive him crazy too. Ice tinkling in a glass...crunching of potato chips..... the running of our kitchen faucet, i have a pressure spray that, according to him, sounds like a bomb going off when i turn it on..... Is this common, rare or do we need to specifically let the neuro know that this is happening....
I also find it funny that my mother who was almost totally deaf talked sooooo loud because she couldn't hear herself, but Jim, as with some pd patients, talks so soft...

By lurkingforacure On 2009.08.11 21:06
I see two issues: one, hearing loss, and two, the startle reflex.

My boss had high-pitched hearing loss but was perfectly fine otherwise. I think as we get older we do tend to lose the ability to hear higher pitches, but I have never read that this is related to PD.

The startle reflex is well-documented to be exxagerated in PD. You can look on other forums and it is pretty common, little things can make someone with PD jump out of their skin. My husband and I used to spook each other a lot for fun but now I am afraid I may give him a heart attack so I don't.

I'm not aware of any meds that can help, either, unless maybe anti-anxiety meds but then you would have side our family we just try to keep the house as calm as possible which is pretty much impossible with little kids, but we do our best.

By lynn On 2009.08.11 21:32
This one I know. Hearing loss from long term noise exposure begins with the higher frequencies(like women's voices) and with repeated exposure starts to affect the lower frequencies. This is not specific to PD but is the normal pattern that hearing loss takes.

By karolinakitty On 2009.08.11 22:00
Jim wasn't exposed to much long term noise... he never was one to blast a stereo..didn't work in a factory or have high decibled jobs... being a chef, while there is noise in a kitchen i don't think is as loud as say ... working construction or paving .. things like that.... so maybe its' just hearing loss in general ...
i looked up the startle reflex ...most articles were hard to understand for me they were written mostly by doctors, but i get the gist of it.
and Lynn that's basically what i do ... keep the house as quiet as possible..... at least from the noises i know i get a reaction from.... i took off the sprayer from the faucet tonight and it seems to be at a better level for him my next trip to town means a normal head for the faucet.....

By lynn On 2009.08.11 22:23
Even with aging you tend to lose hearing in the higher frequencies. I also know that hearing loss is genetic.

By WitsEnd On 2009.08.12 09:54
Some other things cause hearing loss too. Repeated sinus/ear infections for instance.

There's also something called "selective hearing". That's when your spouse hears something he doesn't want to hear so he pretends he didn't.

By karolinakitty On 2009.08.12 20:24
Witsend ..... thanx for the laugh .... guess it's just age .... i thought the different pitches were a little wierd though.....thanx all ....

By Gidbud On 2009.08.13 16:55
I don’t have PD, but I do know what your husband is experiencing with the sounds that drive him crazy. I too have the “ski slope” hearing loss you described. From what you have described, this is similar to his loss. My hearing is virtually non-existent above 2-3K Hz, which is where all of the hard consonants like K, T, S, F, Th, Ph are heard. What he likely is experiencing is hyper sensitive hearing. There is a good article at Here is an excerpt that describes it:
“To compensate for the loss of hearing, the brain will often "switch on" all remaining nerve fibers to produce almost maximum loudness. As a result, even quite moderate sounds may seem to be unbearably loud.”

For me, the irritating sounds are my wife’s hair dryer, potato chip bags, water filling the bathtub, pretty much the exact same sounds that irritate your husband’s ears. My wife has a degree in Deaf Education, has PD, but no hearing loss. Hearing aids help to a degree as the brain learns that it can understand some of the high-frequency sounds.

BTW, if he needs hearing aids, I have a great source. I got an excellent pair of aids for less than $2,200 FOR THE PAIR. (And, no I don’t work for the hearing aid company. Just pass’n on a good deal).

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