I Couldn't Understand What Others Were Saying
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Reviewed By:

Bret Mobley, MD, MS

Bret Mobley, MD, MS (Neuropathology)

Dr. Mobley graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School, completing a masters degree in neuroscience between his second and third years of medical school. He trained as a resident in pathology at Stanford University Hospital before joining the faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee in 2010. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018 and to Neuropathology Division Director in 2020.

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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Content updated on Apr 4, 2024

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  • People were saying sounded like noise and you could not understand them

  • I just couldn't understand what people were saying

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About the Symptom

Aphasia is a problem with communication. In receptive aphasia, the patient cannot understand written or spoken language. Also, the words a patient uses sound normal but do not make sense. This communication problem may happen as a temporary single episode associated with a migraine headache, a seizure, or a transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Possible Causes

Generally, I couldn't understand what others were saying can be related to:

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) disease in which the immune system attacks parts of the brain and spinal cord. The direct cause of MS remains unknown, but certain risk factors have been identified such as low vitamin D levels, tobacco smoking, exposure to UV radiation, childhood obesity, and infection with the virus that causes mononucleosis. The disease tends to affect young people more commonly as well as people living in higher latitudes. MS typically occurs in "attacks" which can include but are not limited to painful eye movements, blurry vision in one eye, numbness or weakness in hands or feet on one side, or double vision.

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, I couldn't understand what others were saying may be related to these serious diseases:

  • Aphasia

    Aphasia is a disorder caused by damage to the brain areas responsible for producing and processing language. It can happen suddenly after a stroke or head injury, or develop gradually due to a growing brain tumor or disease. A person with aphasia may struggle with speaking, reading, writing, repeating words or sentences, and understanding language, with varying severity. Additionally, aphasia can cause a person to have halting (broken) speech or say nonsensical words.

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Have you ever had trouble understanding what people were saying?

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Find Similar Symptoms

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Reviewed By:

Bret Mobley, MD, MS

Bret Mobley, MD, MS (Neuropathology)

Dr. Mobley graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School, completing a masters degree in neuroscience between his second and third years of medical school. He trained as a resident in pathology at Stanford University Hospital before joining the faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee in 2010. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018 and to Neuropathology Division Director in 2020.

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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