Can brain training help with hearing in noisy places?
4 MIN READ
Communication sits at the very heart of all our social interactions. It’s a superpower so natural to us that we often don’t consider how valuable it actually is.
As we age, most of us will find it more challenging to hear speech in noisy places. Even just listening to a friend or discussing projects with colleagues requires a huge amount of work. Whilst our ears are receiving the sounds, it’s our brain that actually processes them and applies meaning to what we hear.
Research has shown that listening requires much more effort than talking. When we listen, we need to hold onto the thoughts and ideas that occur within a conversation until it’s our turn to speak, and this can take a lot of effort. Whilst we’re doing this, our brains also have to filter out the sounds we want to focus on - the speaker, for example - and to tune out any other distracting background noises.
There are two parts to our hearing: the first is our ears which make up our physical hearing capacity, the second is our brain and how well it processes the different sounds we hear. Both parts of our hearing affect how well we can hear speech in noisy places. No matter your age or hearing ability, everyone finds it harder to hear when there’s lots of background noise, but a little bit of practise with this can help. Our ability to focus on speech in background noise tends to improve when we expose our brains to controlled environmental stimuli. Research undertaken at eargym has clearly helped to show this important link in understanding.
What is cognitive brain training?
Think of learning any skill, driving for example. At first the coordination of gears and pedals feels awkward. Given time and practise, we ultimately become so used to it we barely need to think about what we’re doing. Our brains ‘learn’ when we regularly subject ourselves to an activity. If we stop performing the activity, then we gradually become less proficient at it. We don’t lose the ability altogether, but we may refer to this as becoming ‘rusty’ at that skill. Continual exposure has the opposite effect, our brains gradually become more and more proficient at performing the task.
Brain training to improve hearing - how it works
As with most forms of learning, or training, there are essentially two elements. The first is regular exposure to the activity, and the second is in controlling the exercise to gain the most benefit. Think of building fitness at the gym, or perhaps playing an instrument, to see progress we need to practise regularly and follow a routine of exercises provided by the instructor. Maintaining and developing the routine will help to improve our ability.
At eargym, we use the latest science and conduct research to develop our gamified hearing training that’s designed to improve hearing. All in one convenient mobile app, eargym helps to improve speech in noise skills with results often showing within a few weeks.
eargym’s training uses real-life environments and immersive audio to help train how well we can hear speech in noise, whilst also strengthening our hearing and cognition skills.
Can brain training improve hearing?
So, the big question. Can brain training improve hearing health? The short answer is yes. eargym research has clearly shown that practising hearing skills can significantly improve speech in noise recognition and overall hearing health. eargym training programmes have helped thousands of people take care of their hearing health and are always evolving as we continue to work in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society and UK Research and Innovation.
Speech in noise - what improvement can I expect?
68% of participants improved their ability to hear in noisy places in just 7 weeks
*Measured with participants who listed this as an area they wanted to improve in.
Is eargym's training safe?
Yes, eargym is non-invasive and safe. We suggest setting your phone’s volume to around 50% to protect your hearing. eargym’s training is designed to help with mild hearing loss, which affects many of us as we age or are regularly exposed to loud noises.
eargym offers a range of hearing and well-being tests within the app which enable you to set your baseline and track any changes over time. Regular hearing checks help you monitor your hearing, see the progress you are making, and spot any issues as early as possible so you can get the right treatment and support.
Can I try eargym for free?
Yes, if you’d like to check your hearing and try out eargym premium features you can sign up to get 48 hours free. This free trial is a great way to discover your current hearing level and try our training game, Busy Barista, to see how well you can hear speech in noisy places.
It takes regular practise for hearing training to have an impact. After your 48-hour free trial you have the option to purchase lifetime access to eargym premium features, including training and all future app updates, for a one-off payment of £9.99.
Our research studies show eargym users experience noticeable improvements to hearing health in just 7 weeks.