Why is Hearing in Noise So Hard?

Why is Hearing in Noise So Hard?

After over a year of living a very isolated life for most of us, many are feeling ready to get out and about after being vaccinated. Venturing out to restaurants, eating outdoors, maybe getting together with friends or small groups that are also vaccinated are on the agenda now as summer arrives. 

After being in very quiet surroundings for this amount of time, you may notice that your ability to take part in conversations around a table of four is a bit more challenging. It should be, you haven’t used that muscle in over a year. 

The ability to hear in noise is complex. To hear in noise, we use our brain’s higher areas which are responsible for our processing ability. Hearing in noise is dependent upon a couple factors.  

1. Your ability to hear all the sounds of speech. 

If you have hearing loss, this is more difficult. When you are properly fitted with programmed hearing aids (verified using real ear probe mic measurements) by a doctor of audiology, you are provided with exactly the right amount of sound for your unique hearing loss.

2. What we do with what we hear. 

This ability is dependent upon many different skills that we develop in our brains. The skills are some of the following: 

  • Your ability to focus on the speaker 
  • How fast you process what you hear 
  • Your ability to remember what you have just heard  

These skills decrease when we have hearing loss. Even if it’s a mild hearing loss considered normal within our current definition of “normal hearing sensitivity,” it can still make hearing in noise difficult.    

The Good News?

The best news is that these are skills! Skills can be improved. We can form new pathways and strengthen existing ones to make listening easier.

At The Hearing Solution, we have a way to do this with games that are specifically for this purpose and can be played anywhere. The games were designed by a pioneer in the audiology field, Nancy Tye Murray, PhD. Dr. Tye Murray has dedicated her career to aural rehabilitation. This is an area of audiology where we maximize the hearing that we have. 

Dr. Tye Murray’s first program, clEAR, was launched five years ago. Since then, she has created a new program improving and expanding upon her experience with clEAR. The new program is called Amptify. With this new program, you don’t have to be tied to your computer. It is designed (just in time) for your life that you may be resuming and are possibly more on-the-go. You can play the games on your smartphone or iPad while waiting for your friends to arrive for lunch, relaxing at home, or do we even say it aloud...at the airport waiting for your flight to a new destination.  

We are introducing this program as a group program that you will do on your own schedule and from anywhere on your phone or iPad. 

The participants in the past programs gained many skills, BUT they ALL noticed an improvement in their ability to focus on the speaker, even in background noise.  

Learn more about this program by attending our informational session on Friday, June 18th at 11am or 1:30 pm. If you are not able to attend, please email us at julia@thehearingsolution.com and we will make sure you have an opportunity to learn more and be a part of this program.

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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