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Do brain-training games improve listening skills?

improve listening skills

Findings from a recent study at Harvard University in Boston, suggest that adults with hearing loss, who play computer games designed to improve audio skills, may have an easier time understanding conversations in a noisy room.

Researchers asked 24 elderly hearing aid users to spend 3.5 hours a week for eight weeks playing computer games. Half the participants were randomly assigned to play games designed to help improve their ability to follow conversations, while the other half played games focused on memory (games that weren’t intended to help their hearing skills).

People playing the games designed to help improve their ability to follow conversations were able to correctly identify 25 percent more words in spoken sentences after playing the games. Therefore concluding that brain-training games may help people with hearing loss understand speech in a noisy environment. 

Why is this important?

In noisy environments, following conversation can be a struggle for people with hearing loss, even with the use of hearing aids. Missing out on conversation can lead to social isolation and depression.

Read more: I felt isolated with hearing loss until I did this

Do you want to try brain training games?

There is a variety of brain-training games available aimed at helping people with hearing loss.

The Listening Room, sponsored by Phonak and Advanced Bionics, offers a host of free, activities and resources to support the development of speech, language, and listening skills in people of all ages with a hearing loss. There are three sections with content created specifically for different age groups: ‘Infants and toddlers’, ‘Kids’, and ‘Teens and Adults’.

Although these activities may seem simple, they can have a big impact on your listening. Especially if you are new to wearing hearing technology, auditory training can benefit your brain and help it get used to processing the different sounds. 

The activities in the listening room range from practicing word discrimination, to vowel sounds, and music development. 

Registering for The Listening Room is easy and free! 

Register now and practice activities to improve your listening skills.

Author Details
Phonak hEARo, Angie is a freelance journalist and content writer. Angie was diagnosed with Otosclerosis in her right ear at the age of 30. In 2011, she suffered sudden profound hearing loss in her left ear. She uses a Phonak CROS II with a Phonak Audéo V hearing aid. You can follow Angie on Twitter @hearinglosshour and join in #HearingLossHour on the first Tuesday of the month.