Hearing aids are immensely helpful devices for individuals who have hearing loss. They provide many benefits for speech clarity and listening in the presence of background noise. However, hearing aids do not repair hearing or give you normal hearing again. It is still important to accompany your use of hearing devices with appropriate rehabilitation. If you get a new knee, you don’t just jump up and run a marathon. You start with the basics. You practice moving your leg, then standing, then walking. With more time and practice, you can get back to running. The same concept goes for your new hearing with hearing aids! You must practice the basics. How do you hear yourself? How do you hear others? As you get accustomed to your new hearing, you can begin listening in more challenging environments like restaurants, meetings, family gatherings, and church.
Your audiologist is the best resource for what activities will be best and most beneficial for your specific needs and hearing loss. The following list gives some of the options that are available for auditory training practice at home. Some of the activities can be performed with a computer; some of the activities are apps for a phone or tablet.
Angel Sound (For computer or app use) http://angelsound.tigerspeech.com
Angel Sound provides practice in discriminating and identifying sounds and speech components through a series of self-paced modules that cover different aspects of the listening process. The level of difficulty is automatically adjusted to match your developing listening skills. The program provides audio-visual feedback, highlighting areas you can continue to practice.
Postit Science: Brain Fitness Program (For computer use) PositScience.com
BrainHQ has 29 online exercises that work on attention, brain speed, memory, people skills, navigation, and intelligence. If you want, you can have BrainHQ tell you exactly which exercises to do and in which order: the personalized trainer feature, designed by scientists, continually measures your performance and serves up the exercises that are right for you. Or if you prefer, you can design your own program, choosing exercises and workouts that meet your personal interests, mood, and schedule.
The Listening Room by Advanced Bionics (For computer use) https://thelisteningroom.com
The Listening Room provides free, fun activities and resources to support the development of speech, language, and listening skills in people of all ages with a hearing loss.
AB CLIX by Advanced Bionics (For iPad use only)
CLIX is the first installment in a suite of rehabilitation applications that make up the Advanced Bionics Listening Exercises. This free program is for adults using hearing aids or cochlear implants who want to practice listening for word differences in both quiet and noise. The ability to discriminate between vowels and consonants is a skill that improves with practice. This app is designed for both self-study or work with a friend or other party.
Hear Coach by Starkey (For app use)
Hear Coach is a suite of listening games developed by Starkey Hearing Technologies that challenges both your cognitive and auditory sharpness. It is designed for people who might have a hearing loss or hearing aid wearers who want to get the most out of their listening. It has different background noises within each of the levels, which helps you to train your auditory system in different environments.You can unlock more challenging levels as your performance improves.
HAPPYneuron (For computer use)
HAPPYneuron has games and challenges to stimulate cognitive functions. The brain training program, scientifically developed by a neurologist, is customized to your natural ability with games designed to help you remember more, concentrate better, react quicker, think sharper, and increase confidence. To give your brain and ears a workout, play the games specifically focused on sound. A subscription required; however, there is a seven-day free trial. HAPPYneuron is a complete brain training method to stimulate the 5 main cognitive functions: memory, attention, language, executive functions (reasoning, logical thinking), and visual and spatial skills.
Lumosity (For computer or app use)
Try this as a free app on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch or sign up for a membership and play games online. Either way, you’ll enjoy challenging your brain with daily workouts specifically adapted to your cognitive level with games developed by a team of scientists experienced in neuropsychological research.
While online brain games are fun, you can also do some daily hearing exercises at home without a computer or tablet. The following activities are best when practiced with a partner.
-Practice having conversations in noisy situations by simulating those environments at home. You can do this easily by turning on the radio or television to a normal volume, then have a conversation with others in the same room. Focus on the conversation while tuning out all other sound.
-Close your eyes and ask your partner to quietly move to different parts of the room and make noise. Can you identify the direction of the sound? How about the distance?
If you have any questions about what auditory training exercises would be most beneficial to you, reach out to your audiologists at Professional Hearing Center! We are happy to help!