How Auditory Training Can Help Your Brain…
If you have hearing aids, these can help to amplify sounds and make it easier for you to hear. However, your brain might still have some trouble trying to understand what has been said. Boosting our brain hearing skills through ‘Auditory Training’ may be the way forward, and it can be done through fun apps and games.
Auditory training is similar to, but not quite the same as auditory rehabilitation. Auditory rehabilitation is usually overseen in an office environment by your Audiologist. This is usually for people with cochlea implants or for people with auditory processing disorder. Auditory training, however, is more of a self-directed method whereby the individual uses smartphone apps to build their auditory skills.
How does it work?
Auditory training programs targets key communication skills such as working memory and auditory processing speed. For us to be able to understand a conversation, we need to have a good short term memory, to be able to hold onto the words and put them into context. Additionally, most people speak at approximately 150 words per minute, and as we age our auditory processing speed drops. Auditory training is designed to improve both working memory and auditory processing speeds.
Another way in which it works to help our hearing is through auditory attention. Most people with or without a hearing loss struggle to hear in noisy situations. Picking out particular words from background noise is called auditory attention, and auditory training is again designed to improve our ability to filter out distractions.
Don’t just take our word for it! There are many scientific studies that prove the effectiveness of auditory training.
- Improves speech understanding in background noise
- Improves auditory attention skills in non-hearing impaired individuals
- Improves working memory of sounds in hearing aid users
Better still. a lot of the time auditory training can be disguised as a game, making it enjoyable to train your brain! There are a few free mobile apps that help with auditory training, but some can be costly. To search for some apps to help you sharpen your brain and hearing, go to your apple or google app store and search ‘auditory training’ and you can filter between free or chargeable apps.