Central Auditory Processing
CAP Testing is used to assess the auditory pathways within the central nervous system or brain. This testing is suggested when a patient’s hearing appears to be within the normal range but the patient claims they are not able to hear well in certain environments.
Headphones or speakers are used for CAP testing. The patient listens to words or sentences that are presented with noise. Those experiencing central auditory processing issues generally have normal hearing. They do have difficulty with receiving and understanding the auditory information.
Auditory processing disorders can happen at any age but are often diagnosed in children. Teachers will often find that a student is falling behind in reading development. They are often unable to complete or recall directed tasks. Often, children with auditory processing issues also have a history of ear infections. Of course, adults can also experience similar challenges and should also consider CAP testing when they do.
Human hearing is very complex and extends far beyond the ability to detect sound. In fact, while hearing begins at the ear, there is a complex process that follows. The auditory cortex of the brain does all of the heavy lifting. This is where sounds are decoded, analyzed, and interpreted. Importantly, while hearing and understanding speech are closely related, they are not the same thing. That is why for some people, communicating with background noise, or following rapid speech can be difficult. Generally, understanding complex instructions is also challenging. Others may feel that the person is inattentive or easily distracted.
Evaluating auditory processing involves a series of specialized listening tasks and comparing the results to data collected from peers in their age range. If a problem or disorder is found, it is then important to decide what steps should be taken next. It’s important to determine if communication strategies, environment modifications, or other interventions should be implemented. At Brampton Audiology, our Doctors of Audiology perform comprehensive examinations and provide fully interpreted reports to guide patients, parents, physicians and educators.