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jgilhuly, July 1,  2019  7:50pm EST

Auditory Perception Problems Since Stroke

Hello, I'm new here and starting to research what's wrong with my hearing since an ischemic stroke in my right temporal lobe on July 27 last year.

I was at home, immediately knew it was a stroke, was almost completely unaffected on my right side so I was able to call 911 and open the front door for the paramedics.  I was in ICU and getting a CT Scan within an hour of the onset of symptoms, so they were able to give me tPA and within a few days I had almost equal movement left and right, and I could pass the requirements for normal behavior in all therapeutic categories.  Separately my vision and hearing tested normally.

I realized shortly after being out of the hospital that my hearing perception was unusual.  sound seemed out of balance, llike the music of a movie soundtrack seeming too loud for the dialogue. Then I realized familiar music sounded strange in any environment, headphones or not, computer or car.  Songs I've known my whole life are generally easily recognizeable but the music itself seems disjointed, like all the parts don't make a true whole.  I can home in on parts of the music better than before, hear things in the mix that I ouldn't perceive before, but the whole thing sounds broken.  Not out of tune, just 'off'.  Other complex auditory situations are also a problem, like multiple people in conversation, or in an acoustically difficult enviroment like a gym or a store can leave me confused, not surte what to focus on.  I have to walk out every so often from movies to get some peace and quiet away from the bombardment of dynamic orchestral music, speech, and sound effects. It causes tremendous anxiety sometimes and makes some ordinary situations really challenging. 

Anyway, it may be a form of auditory agnosia, which is a deficiency in being able to associate meaning with sound.  Some people lose the meaning of words or can no longer associate noises with the animals who make them.  I'm much more fortunate than that, but my condition seems to be getting worse and I've found no evidence online of anyone having an experience like this that resolves.  My neurologist tried referring me to a behavioral neurologist but there are none in my area and the department at UCLA only takes referrals from within their own network.  So I'm kind of a research project looking for a researcher, or any information about anyone else whose stroke left them with auditory or visual meaning deficiencies.  It's fascinating but it's increasingly frustrating too.  Thanks for reading.

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