Thursday, November 30, 2017

ITEN in St. Louis helps launch clEAR auditory brain training

ITEN success story

Your audiologist may be able to help you in an entirely new way

Tired of not hearing? Try something new on Monday.
clEAR Auditory Brain Training

Audiologists have new tools for treating hearing loss

When hearing aids aren't enough

In the news: New treatment for those who have hearing loss

News story about new directions in auditory training
clEAR Auditory Brain Training

Maximizing the effectiveness of auditory training

Summary of latest research about fundamental principles of auditory training

clEAR Auditory Brain Training

Online Auditory Training Programs for Adults who have Hearing Loss

Update from Brian Taylor
clEAR Auditory Brain Training

Washington University in St. Louis reports about clEAR Auditory Brain Training

Washington University and Tech Transfer
clEAR Auditory Brain Training

Latest from "The Hearing Review"

Summary of latest research about hearing loss treatments
clEAR Auditory Brain Training

What to look for when looking for an audiologist

From a hearing aid manufacturer

clEAR Auditory Brain Training

Auditory Training with a Frequent Communication Partner Works

Scientific report about training effectiveness
clEAR Auditory Brain Training

clEAR Auditory Brain Training in the News

clEAR and introducing audiologists to new horizons in hearing healthcare

clEAR Auditory Brain Training for people who have hearing impairment

Learn more
clEAR Auditory Brain Training

Customized approach to hearing loss: Washington University in St. Louis

Tackling hearing loss

clEAR Auditory Brain Training

To train hearing, listen to your favorite voices

Learning to listen again

clEAR Auditory Brain Training

Washington University in St. Louis reports about research concerning hearing loss

Interventions for hearing loss

clEAR Auditory Brain Training

Auditory brain training in the news for treating hearing loss

Summary of latest research

clEAR Auditory Brain Training

More news about hearing loss and learning to recognized the voice of your loved ones

Playing games to improve hearing

clEAR Auditory Brain Training

Adjusting to a new hearing aid

"If you have recently been diagnosed with a hearing loss and fitted for hearing aids, the experience of sound may be overwhelming at first. The period of adjustment requires some time and patience in order to truly experience the benefits of hearing aids. It does take time to get used to amplified, crystal-clear sound. Here are a few tips for adjusting.
Avoid wearing your hearing aids immediately in loud situations, such as a restaurant or a grocery store. Start slowly at first, wearing your hearing aids around your home. Get used to your own voice by reading aloud to yourself.
As you grow more comfortable, invite your loved ones over for coffee or a meal. Ease into conversations with them. During these visits, avoid playing music in the background and turn off any other distractions (TV, radio, etc.). Even if you do not invest in clEAR technology, you can practice with your loved one’s voice – and enjoy quality time together in the process!"
David Dekriek, published on June 5, 2017
clEAR Auditory Brain Training

You loved one's voice could help you with hearing loss

Read more about how you might learn to recognize your loved one's speech

clEAR Auditory Brain Training

Reversing the effects of hearing loss

In the news: auditory brain training
clEAR Auditory Brain Training

What is customized hearing healthcare and how can it help me with my hearing loss?

Key elements of customized hearing healthcare

Fighting hearing loss

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports about hearing loss

What's new in hearing healthcare?

Read about the changing climate of audiology

Hearing loss in the workplace

Research about how hearing loss affects a worker's office life

What's on the horizon for children who have hearing loss

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Hearing loss is more than just hearing loss

“You can treat hearing loss with a device such as a hearing aid or cochlear implant, and it will make sounds more audible. But that doesn’t compensate for changes that occur with aging beyond the ear. Some problems aren’t simply not being able to hear, but not being able to process it well either.” –Samira Anderson, PhD, University of Maryland

Ear train the brain

Thursday, November 16, 2017

"Look at me so I can hear you!"

So said my friend's mom one day. Although this remark caused my friend and her siblings to chuckle, her mother was absolutely right. She had a hearing loss and she truly needed to watch her daughter's lip movements in order to recognize the words that she could only partially hear.

In one of our studies at Washington University in St. Louis, we found that a group of older adults with hearing loss recognized only about 30% of the words in a word test.  However, when we let them see the talker, so they could also lipread as well as listen, performance jumped to 80% correct!  The take home messages are these:

  • If you have hearing loss, you'll understand much more of what talkers say if you can see their faces. Position yourself wisely and ask people to face you during conversation.
  • If you are talking to someone who has hearing loss, be sure to face them head-on so they can watch your mouth movements.

 Ear train the brain

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Treating hearing loss can decrease the risk of dementia

Dementia is a silent disorder that may begin during middle age.  Researchers suggest that the ages of 45-60 years are a prime window of opportunity for early intervention and prevention. One of the most potent interventions is to ensure that you maintain good communication with those people who are important to you and avoid the social and emotional isolation that often accompanies hearing loss. This is where customized hearing healthcare comes into play: By using good hearing aids and engaging in auditory brain training, you can engage more successfully in everyday conversations and thereby stay connected to your family and community. Stay active:
Ear train the brain

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hearing is not the same as listening

Are hearing and listening the same thing?
Surprisingly, they are not because:
  •       Hearing allows you to receive acoustic information.
  •       Listening requires your brain to attend to and interpret speech. 
Once a speech signal enters your ear, your brain must rapidly process each word and hold that string of words in memory long enough to comprehend and make sense of its meaning. Not only must your brain distinguish each word from all other possible words, but it must invoke mental skills such as auditory memory, auditory attention, and auditory processing speed in order for you to engage successfully in conversation.

If you have an example where you thought your were listening, but instead, you were just hearing, please share.

EAR train the brain: visit

What's on the horizon for children who have hearing loss?

At our lab at Washington University in St. Louis, we are developing computer games that provide auditory brain training and lipreading lessons to children who have hearing loss.  The key features of the games are:
1) They teach children to better recognize speech, especially in the presence of background noise, as in a noisy classroom.
2) They teach children to lipread their teachers for an upcoming school year so children are more confident and competent on that first day of school and the following first few weeks.
3) They're fun to play!  A key component of making training effective is that training must be engaging and entertaining.  A bored child doesn't learn.

The games will soon be available through the clEAR website.  To view a short news video about the research, please visit: News video about clEAR training games for children with hearing loss

Ear train the brain with clEAR

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Training with the voice of a loved one can improve your ability to recognize her speech

Research has shown that training to recognize the speech of your loved ones can improve your ability to recognize their speech, using games that provide auditory brain training. At Washington University in St. Louis, patients who have hearing loss played computer games where they  were required to recognize words and sentences spoken by their spouse.  At the end of their clEAR auditory brain training program, they were able to recognize their spouse's speech more accurately, especially when there was background noise, as in a noisy restaurant. Moreover, the participants in the study noted that overall, their listening challenges were much easier to handle. 

It is possible to be proactive with hearing loss and to feel empowered over its consequences.
For more information, there is an easy-to-read summary of the study which can be found at this web address:

Summary of the study

For more information about how to ear train the brain, visit clEAR's website and...
If you want to ear train your brain with your loved one's speech go to:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

a "p.s." about hearing aids being cool

p.s.  After reading my blog about hearing aids being cool, a patient emailed to say that his 4-year old grandson asked if his hearing aid allowed him to hear aliens from outer space. My patient jokingly said 'yes' and now his grandson is begging his mom for his own hearing aid.  Talk about cool...
Ear train the brain:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Hearing aids are cool

The New York Times published an article on October 31 entitled, "Glasses are cool, why aren't hearing aids?" by Jennifer F. Boylan. In a nutshell, the article suggested that people with hearing loss who could benefit from using hearing aids often opt not to use them because they perceive that there is a social stigma associated with doing so.  Readers' responses to the article were highly variable, ranging from "I'm loving my new hearing aids," to, "I just hate to admit my body isn't as young as it used to be." However, over all, there were many readers who wanted to share how hearing aids had changed their lives.  Here are some highlights from the responses, suggesting that hearing aids indeed can be cool:

"I'm 53 and have been rocking my hearing aids for nearly 3 years. I had my hearing checked after my daughter suggested that I needed to (I had promised her I would not behave like her stubborn grandparents). My hearing loss is moderate, and wow, the world sounds so much better when I have my ears in. Besides not having to ask people to repeat themselves, music sounds phenomenal again - and apparently my dryer has a squeak."   Barbara

" For too long many members of the hearing loss community and the hearing public believe that people with hearing loss have intellectual problems. Nothing can be further from the truth. Pres. Bill Clinton, Tom Brokaw, Steve Colbert, NYC Police Commisioner Ray Kelly, Pres. Ronald Reagan and now Jennifer Finney Boylan to name just a few famous people all have come out of the hearing loss closet and it's about time. Listen up America, hearing loss is nothing to be ashamed of."   Howard

"There are definitely some cool hearing aids out there. My latest set are Bluetooth-enabled, and with an adapter music from my phone plays directly into my ears. The same technology connects with a handheld mic to bring the sound directly to the hearing aids. The difference is staggering. Comprehension can rise to 100% even if your hearing loss is severe."   WRL

"Speaking just to the quality of life, putting on hearing aids after functioning so long without them makes you realize a few things. When I stepped out of the audiologist's office, I could hear the birds chirping. Been a long time. I could understand someone in a conversation, and didn't need to guess at the words they were saying. I could hear traffic approaching from in front of and behind me. No more closed caption, which I found irritated my friends and family to a degree. And I didn't need to say "what?" 3 or 4 times to understand someone."   Steve

"Having hearing aids is way cooler than saying "what?" over and over, or lamely nodding in agreement when you have no idea what the person you're talking to just said. It's also cooler than avoiding noisy social situations like restaurants and parties."   Bruce

Ears Train the Brain

clEAR auditory brain training is now even more accessible to people with hearing loss!

Read about the new model in The Hearing Review!