Brain Exercises Could Help You Hear in Noise


One of the most important things a person with trouble hearing can do is learn new ways to listen. Hearing training helps the brain learn how to listen. Auditory training, also called “auditory rehabilitation,” is a formal program that teaches the brain to recognize speech and other sounds that may not be as clear as they are for people with normal hearing. It also shows how to get the most out of what you hear.

Military roots 

As with many technologies, hearing training started in the military during World War II. Back then (as now), a lot of people in the military lost their hearing. Since hearing aids weren’t very good, and the military couldn’t afford to lose these men, they devised ways to improve hearing instead.

The main focus was on both reading speech and training the ears. Patients were taught how to fill in the blanks using their knowledge of the language and the situation.

As hearing aids improved after World War II, most hearing centers, like the League for the Hard of Hearing in New York, stopped offering auditory rehabilitation (now the Center for Hearing and Communication). But hearing training is now required for babies and young children who get cochlear implants, and many adults who have them would also benefit.

Smart hearing helps older people hear better. 

Many studies have shown that aging changes the brain in a way that changes how the brain stores sound and makes it harder to understand. This is true even if the sound is made in a quiet place and the audiogram shows that the person has normal hearing. It means more when there is noise in the background.

This topic was talked about in a study in the Journal of Neurophysiology. Samira Anderson, Ph.D., and her colleagues at the University of Maryland compared the brains of adults between the ages of 61 and 73 with those of adults between 18 and 27. They found that the brain gets worse at processing speech sounds when there are other sounds around simultaneously as it ages. Older adults did much worse than younger adults at understanding speech in noisy places.

A speech-in-noise test and an audiogram showed that the Hearing of both groups was normal. So, why did people need to understand each other’s speech in the same way? The answer may be that the brain is getting older. Researchers used two different kinds of brain scans to look at the midbrain, which is where most vertebrates process basic sounds, and the cortex, which is where humans process speech. No matter if there was background noise or not, the cortex of older adults took longer to process speech.

A new appreciation for brain exercises for hearing loss.

Some people who work in the field of hearing health think that auditory rehabilitation can make the difference between being able to hear well with Hearing aids or not. Auditory training will help you get used to hearing aids or a cochlear implant and help you “hear” better. It will help you tell the difference between hard consonants and vowels. It will help you understand things faster. And because trying to hear is tiring, it might give you more “stamina” for listening.

Types of brain Exercises.

So, what kind of brain exercises can improve hearing in noise? Here are a few examples:

Cognitive training: This brain exercise involves activities that challenge the brain, such as puzzles, memory games, and reasoning tasks. These exercises can improve cognitive function, including the ability to hear noise.

Perceptual learning: This type of brain exercise involves training the brain to process specific sounds, such as speech in noise. This can be done through listening exercises, where the brain is trained to focus on a specific sound in a noisy environment.

Auditory working memory training: This exercise involves training the brain to remember and process sounds. This can be done through exercises such as repeating a series of numbers or words in a noisy environment.

Remember that your hearing doesn’t change, nor does your hearing aid. You can hear better, faster, and more accurately if you train your ears. We may not be able to replace hearing aids with brain training, but it remains a great supplement. Contact us today.