Obscure Auditory Dysfunction is an example of an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). It’s an auditory disability, where an individual has difficulty hearing speech in the presence of background sounds, yet hearing test results provide normal hearing thresholds.Obscure auditory dysfunction (OAD) is the clinical presentation of reported difficulty understanding speech in the presence of noise accompanied by clinically “normal” hearing thresholds, and no other obvious cause. It is a multifactorial syndrome ( group of symptoms) with contributions from auditory, psychological, and linguistic factors.
It is in the group of auditory processing disorder (APD) that describes a difficulty listening to sounds even though the ear seems to be working normally. APD may be suspected when there is particular difficulty listening in noisy situations (e.g. children in classrooms). It often occurs with and may contribute to language problems (e.g. dyslexia), but you can have APD without a language problem and vice versa. A sizeable number (perhaps 20%) of both children and adults referred to hospital ear, nose and throat departments pass the usual tests (including hearing very quiet tones – the ‘audiogram’), but still complain of listening difficulties. These people may have APD (sometimes called ‘obscure auditory dysfunction’ – OAD – or King-Kopetzky syndrome).