Don’t let your ears get lazy:

Apps and tips to strengthen your hearing

Exercise for the ears?

We all like to joke about having “selective hearing,” but failure to listen isn’t necessarily a choice.  There are many reasons why we may mishear what someone is saying to us.  Whether it is due to a significant hearing loss or perhaps the slowing down of our brain, we all can struggle with hearing from time to time.  But don’t despair!  There are many games and exercises available to sharpen your listening skills and keep your ears healthy and happy!

Skills to Build                                               

Our hearing is very complex, involving many parts working together.  A problem occurring in any part can cause the whole hearing process to fail.  The following skills are just a few that can make a significant impact on our everyday listening:

Auditory memory: Retaining information you heard in order to recall and use it later in the conversation.

Phoneme discrimination: Ability to distinguish one speech sound from another in the context of a word.  For example, distinguish the word “sail” from the word “fail.”

Auditory processing speed: Recognizing words quickly allows for less listening effort in everyday conversation.

Auditory attention:  Focusing on speech in the presence of background noise or in a group situation.

Apps and Websites for Adults

AB CLIX: Created for hearing aid and cochlear implant users, this free app focuses on listening for word differences in quiet and noise.

HearCoach by Starkey: Interactive listening games that allows you to unlock new levels as your performance improves in various background noise environments.

clEAR: www.clearworks4ears.com: Subscription based program working on several auditory skills with fun and engaging games.  Allows you to record the voice of a frequent communication partner.

LACE (Listening and Communication Enhancement): Online program that adapts the difficulty based on your performance and tracks your progress.

Read my Quips: Works on lip reading skills in a crossword puzzle format using words instead of letters.  Noise level increases as you improve.

Apps and Websites for Kids (and adults)

Zoo Caper Sky Scraper: Works on dichotic listening (simultaneous stimulation of the right and left ear with different sounds) using identification of which animal made the sound.

Insane Earplane: Focuses on tonal pattern training using a bird flying an airplane.

Blob Chorus: Helps children learn pitch by identifying the blob in the chorus that sang the same note as the “king blob.”

Auditory Workout: Uses a basketball theme geared towards ages 4-10 to improve auditory attention, memory and processing of verbal directions.

General Brain Games

Lumosity: Uses games to challenge various cognitive abilities.  Analyzes your results to highlight strengths and weaknesses.

FitBrains: Developed by neuroscientists and game designers.  Targeting memory, processing speed, concentration, problem solving, language and even emotional intelligence using engaging games.

HAPPYNeuron: Subscription-based online program offering personalized training for main cognitive functions such as memory and attention.  For auditory specific training, choose the games that focus on sound.

Exercise those ears!

Don’t let your ears get lazy!  Work out those listening skills and keep your hearing healthy!   Call our office at 616-994-2770 to schedule a consultation with one of our audiologists.  For more information visit the following websites:

www.asha.org

www.howsyourhearing.org

www.fitbrains.com

www.happy-neuron.com

www.lumosity.com

www.acousticpioneer.com

www.lacelistening.com

www.advancedbionics.com