How to Improve Understanding In Noise Faster

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by Garth Brears, M.S., Aud(C) Clinical Audiologist

As you have read previously, noise is a distraction which impairs the ability to understand speech. Listening in noise requires more focus and therefore more brain energy; more work than what is required in a quiet environment. This is true whether you have normal hearing or are hearing impaired.

Two ways of improving understanding in noise faster involve active learning on your part. Top-down learning is a way of saying “learning everything at the same time without actually identifying what you are trying to do.” If you want a top-down (a.k.a. shot-gun) approach, go to the article on “focus exercises” and start implementing them.

A bottom-up approach to aural rehabilitation would be to work on the L.A.C.E. program which can be purchased from your hearing aid supplier. This is a program designed to look at the different aspects involved in “listening” and work on each separately. It provides feedback quickly, it goes at your speed, and is based on specific learning theories that maximize your potential.

Having expressed my opinions regarding hearing aids, expectations, and outcomes in the previous articles, it is still true that some people simply do not do very well with hearing aids. Why?