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How a concussion can affect your ability to process “speech-in-noise”

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2022 | Car Accidents

Researchers are still studying all of the potential effects that a concussion can have on a person, both in the short term and long term. A person who has suffered a concussion, which is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), can experience physical, psychological, cognitive and neurological symptoms. 

What about the ability to hear? While a concussion typically won’t lead to deafness, it can affect a person’s ability to understand someone who is speaking amidst a lot of noise. Researchers who have been studying the phenomenon call it “speech-in-noise” processing. 

How does this disorder affect someone?

A concussion can affect a person’s ability to process speech when there is considerable background noise – such as machines or loud music. It’s not that they can’t hear it. However, they can’t process the sound of speech as words that they can recognize.

This particular concussion symptom is most common in military personnel or others whose head injury was caused by a blast or explosion. However, it’s not exclusive to this particular type of injury. It’s been estimated that about a fifth of people who suffer concussions experience difficulty processing sound afterward. Another, more common effect of a concussion on hearing is a sensitivity to sound.

According to one neurobiology professor, “Making sense of sound is one of the hardest jobs that we ask our brains to do.” It’s only natural that this ability can be affected by a blow to the head or other brain injuries, including concussions in car crashes.

If you’ve suffered a concussion in a crash caused by another driver, it’s crucial to understand the full extent of the injury and the ramifications on your life before you accept a settlement that may not be nearly enough. Having trouble processing sound, for example, can affect your ability to do your job – particularly if you work in a factory, restaurant or anywhere you have to communicate with people over background noise. 

The best way to help ensure that you get the compensation you need after a crash is to have experienced legal guidance.