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.
Want to develop your listening skills?
Aside from the many games and apps available to help you develop your listening skills, here are some additional tips:
- Always maintain eye contact and face the speaker
- Try to visualize the words that you are hearing
- Be present and do not interrupt, waiting for the right moment to speak
- Ask questions once the speaker has finished speaking
- Practice empathy in conversation