How Auditory Training Can Retrain Your Brain to "Hear" Better

April 02, 2018

How Auditory Training Can Retrain Your Brain to "Hear" Better

The most popular treatment for hearing loss involves using in-ear devices that help amplify sound. With the use of hearing aids, users can more clearly distinguish sounds and speech that might otherwise go undetected.

Hearing aids are able to amplify sounds but they don’t address the problem that of three skills that are weakened when even a mild hearing loss is present. Thanks to extensive neurological research over the years, we now know that the brain plays a central role in hearing. The ear may be responsible for capturing sound, but it’s the brain that ultimately processes this information.

Because of this unique relationship, even a mild hearing loss can create changes in the brain. And this can negatively impact your:

  • Auditory memory
  • Sound processing speed
  • Ability to discriminate sounds

This explains why hearing aids aren’t always enough for those who have difficulty processing sounds in noisy settings like restaurants or parties.

The good news is that with auditory training, it’s possible to slow down, stop, and even reverse hearing complications that originate in the brain.

How Auditory Training Works to Improve Hearing

The brain is like a muscle. And by “exercising” those areas responsible for sound processing, you can rebuild neuro pathways that have been weakened.

Unfortunately, many audiologists view auditory training as an “add-on” – preferring to rely exclusively on more traditional remedies like hearing aids.

But at The Hearing Solution, we believe auditory training is an essential component of the treatment process. And we’re not alone. According to Joe Montano, Chief Audiologist at New York Presbyterian,

“Getting hearing aids without auditory training is like getting a knee replacement without physical therapy.”

There are many different auditory training programs out there. But at The Hearing Solution, we’ve found that clEAR delivers the most consistent benefits to our patients.

Developed by Nancy Tye Murray, PhD of Washington University, clEAR is a computer-based auditory training game that evolves to address your specific hearing loss needs. The program offers real-time feedback, allowing you to track your progress over time. These benefits are further amplified when your audiologist also monitors your performance as well.

 

We especially like clEAR because it’s incredibly entertaining – whether you play each game on your own or in a group (which is the preferred method due to the social component).

Getting the Most Out of Auditory Training

After years of experience, we’ve found that combining hearing aids with auditory training offers the best results for those who have difficulty distinguishing sounds in noisy settings.

But it sometimes happens that auditory training alone is enough to reduce – if not eliminate – the need for hearing aids entirely. This is because regular use of programs like clEAR can help the brain regain crucial sound processing capabilities.

If you’d like to learn more about auditory training and its effectiveness as a hearing loss treatment, we host free monthly workshops at The Hearing Solution. Even if you don’t wear or require hearing aids, these meetings can help you better understand the long-term benefits of auditory training.

In addition, you can request a private session with one of our on-site audiologists.

To get started, schedule a consultation with us today.

Interested in learning more? Attend one of our regular hearing solution events to learn more about our unique approach to hearing loss or give us a call at 916-646-2471.

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