When you want to run a marathon you train, when you want to hear better you have to train! Auditory training which can sometimes be referred to as Aural Rehabilitation is designed to help people with hearing loss and those without hone in on their hearing skills. Should you add auditory training to your New Year’s Resolution?
Auditory training is the way in which you can strengthen your ability to listen with hearing aids. With a hearing loss, people will often miss out on things they did not know they were missing. Often people who have hearing loss when they get hearing aids report hearing sounds like the water faucet running, or birds chirping. Hearing aids are only a part of the equation, your brain needs to relearn how to hear after a hearing loss. Just like a muscle you haven’t worked out you have to retrain your brain to hear more clearly even with assisted listening devices like hearing aids.
There are 3 ways Auditory training apps train your brain:
- Auditory Working Memory– having a word saved in your short term memory to be accessed quickly
Example: If a friend is telling you a story about a swimmer, you would be able to know that you heard the word swimmer and that the story is being told about the swimmer.
- Auditory Processing Speed– the ability to quickly recognize speech and what is going to be said next.
Example: If a friend says “I am going to …” you would be able to anticipate the next word to be the.
- Auditory Attention– being able to focus on a speaker even with background noise
Example: You are at a cocktail party and you are speaking with the host in the main party space. You would be able to focus on just your conversation with the host and not the conversations happening around you.
Most Auditory training apps create exercises and games to help strengthen these 3 areas so that a person can better succeed with communication.Instead of going to the gym, you can use your smartphone or computer to “work-out” your brain for better listening. If you are interested in becoming a better listener and engaging in conversation try using some of these apps designed for Auditory Training. There are many options on Auditory Training apps and you have to find the right one for you! These apps are just a few options that are free of cost and easy to access:
- Angel Sound– an app that can be used for children or adults that is designed to go at your own pace. It can also be accessed on the computer, which gives you access to more stimuli and more difficult listening environments.
- AB CLIX– designed by Advanced Bionics (a hearing implant company), this computer tool helps a person break down listening to a word or sentence level.
- KTH Speech tracking– an interactive story game which requires the user to correctly identify the words in a given auditory story.
- Hear Coach- This app is designed for both new and experienced hearing aid users as it adjusts its difficulty.
If becoming more social and engaging is a goal you have for the upcoming New Year, you should add auditory training to your New Year’s resolution. Speak with one of our hearing professionals about hearing aids and auditory training.