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Hearing aids reduce problems with hearing acuity, but they cannot develop the listening and mental skills that are necessary to comprehend conversations, particularly in challenging listening situations. Hearing aids provide access to sound by making it louder and clearer but they do not provide hearing training that trains the brain to interpret speech, hence the role of Auditory Training programs such as clEAR.

Combined with hearing aids, hearing training (or auditory training) is a crucial part to maximising your hearing and communication potential.  Auditory training has been described as physical therapy for the ears and the brain. With auditory training, you will be able to understand conversations in more adverse, noisy listening environments. This can help you to feel more confident even in difficult to hear situations, such as when you go to a party and the music is louder than you would like it to be.

As we get older, there are key changes in our brain that affect our ability to hear in noisy restaurants and in group situations. Auditory training will address these difficulties, by training the hearing part of the brain to process sounds more effectively.

CLEAR auditory brain training
clEAR Auditory Brain Training

clEAR auditory brain training is a set of customisable computerised auditory brain training games that help improve specific cognitive and listening skills.  This hearing training is designed to complement your hearing aid or cochlear implant technology by teaching you to better recognise speech with your hearing devices.  It was developed following extensive research by hearing scientists at Washington University in USA. 

With clEAR Auditory Brain Training, the user joins an online community with whom they can share tips or compete with to further drive success. clEAR is motivating to play as it’s gamified and adaptive, so it’s fun and challenging to use.

The auditory brain training games provide training in seven categories that are important for successful listening:

Phoneme discrimination:

This allows one to more easily distinguish words that sound alike, such as ’car’ and ‘tar’, to recognise phonetic distinctions in a more meaningful way.

Auditory attention:

One learns to extract meaningful speech from a background of speech babble, as you would in a noisy restaurant or at a family dinner table.

Auditory processing speed:

Learn to recognise speech quickly hence reducing the amount of listening effort required when listening to words in succession, such as during everyday conversation.  This also allows one to be able to follow rapid speech from fast talkers.

Bound morpheme identification:

The presence or absence of a bound morpheme greatly affects the meaning of a sentence.  Learning to distinguish words that vary in bound morphemes, such as ‘can’ versus ‘can’t’ is crucial for accurately understanding conversations.

Discourse comprehension:

This listening practice helps one to understand connected speech that is often heard during everyday conversation.

Recognising frequently used words:

To be able to recognise more easily recognise common words that are most likely to occur during everyday conversations, such as ‘boy’ and ‘chair’ helps to develop overall listening skills.

Auditory memory:

  • Practice retaining speech information that you hear so you can recall it and apply it later. This is an important skill for maintaining conversation.

Research performed at Washington University in St Louis USA has shown that clEAR Auditory Brain Training provides users with:

  • Improved conversational confidence in more listening situations
  • Reduced listening effort to be actively engaged in conversations
  • Relieves the exhaustion from the strain of trying so hard to hear.
  • Improved recognition of words
  • Improved discrimination of speech better in background noise

clEAR Auditory Brain Training provides customised plans for nine different user types, including: the new hearing aid user, those with central auditory processing disorders, clients not yet ready for hearing aids, clients who cannot tolerate noise, clients who have specific difficulty hearing women’s and children’s voices, those that complain of hearing in noise, new cochlear implantee’s and includes two additional plans for those that have difficulty hearing a specific person or frequent communication partner.

clEAR Auditory Brain Training is available through licensed hearing healthcare professionals and is tailored to your individual needs.  Maximise your hearing and communication potential with auditory training.  Contact Hearing Professionals on 1300 768 108 for further information and address your auditory training needs.

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