Can brain training games help with hearing loss?
Posted on Apr 24, 2018
Improved memory and attention, speed of processing and problem solving are just a few of the benefits associated with playing brain training games. But can these puzzles also help the older generation living with hearing loss? Recent research seems to think so.
An overview of the study
This small-scale study focused on 24 elderly adults who were all living with some form of hearing loss and wore hearing aids1.
The group were split into two, both playing games on a digital touchscreen tablet that required them to complete jigsaw puzzles. However, one group of 12 played brain training games designed to improve memory but not hearing skills, while the remaining half played games focused on improving the ability to follow conversations in challenging listening environments.
Improved memory and attention and speed of processing are just two of the benefits associated with playing brain training games.
People within the memory group relied on word recall to assemble their jigsaw puzzle while the others used small changes in sounds within the game to complete their puzzles.
Over the course of two months, both groups played their games for 3.5 hours per week.
The results found that speech understanding wasn't improved by playing memory games. However, for those who played the games focused on following conversations,subjects could correctly identify 25 per cent more words in spoken sentences presented in challenging levels of background noise.
What could these results mean for people living with age-related hearing loss?
In Australia alone, around 50-60 per cent of people aged 60 or over live with hearing loss, according to The National Foundation for the Deaf2. This condition is commonly known as age-related hearing loss (ARHL) – a gradual impairment caused by the natural ageing process.
There is currently no cure for ARHL, so those affected must rely on various treatments to help ease the effects of hearing loss. With the results of this study showing a significant improvement in identifying words in spoken sentences, those living with ARHL may find some of the best benefits from playing fun and easy brain training games.
In Australia alone, around 50 – 60 per cent of people aged 60 or over live with hearing loss.
The best way to ease the effects of hearing loss is by wearing a hearing aid. HEARINGLife's advanced devices can improve speech understanding, offer superb sound quality, and the option for personalisation.
Call the team today on 1800 030 502 or click here to book a hearing assessment at no cost* to find out if you could benefit from hearing aids.
1Current Biology, Audiomotor Perceptual Training Enhances Speech Intelligibility in Background Noise. Accessed December 2017
2The National Foundation for the Deaf, Age-related hearing loss. Accessed December 2017