The statistics on hearing loss in America are pretty grim. Itâ€™s the #3 health issue for older adults, after arthritis and heart disease. It can lead to depression and mental decline, and it has major implications for quality of life.
Fortunately, humans are rational creatures who do sensible things to improve their circumstances, right?
Not so fast. Only 20% of people with hearing loss who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wear one. And typically, those folks have waited 7 to 10 years after their initial diagnosis to get fitted with hearing aids.
What the heck is going on?
We know thereâ€™s a stigma associated with hearing aids (though fortunately thatâ€™s changing). The hearing aids may be physically uncomfortable. Orâ€”and this is the case for countless folks who have purchased expensive hearing aids, only to stick them in the back of a drawer a few weeks laterâ€”the onslaught of sound from brand-new hearing aids is just too much. Background noise is too loud while speech is too quiet; the volume control doesnâ€™t work the way we want it to; and it all just gets too frustrating to deal with.
This is whyÂ audiologists at Neurotone invented Listening and Communication Enhancement (L.A.C.E.). L.A.C.E. doesnâ€™t change the way your eardrum operates. Instead it changes the way your brain interprets sound, training it to filter out unwanted noise, focus on speech even in noisy environments, and sharpen concentration so you can stay with a conversation, even one thatâ€™s moving quickly.Â Think of it as physical therapy for your brainâ€™s listening center.
Just like physical therapy, L.A.C.E. requires you to practice. The programâ€”which you can use online, install on your home computer or purchase as a DVDâ€”consists of 30-minute daily sessions in which you listen to recordings of speakers and then determine how much youâ€™ve comprehended by answering questions. In some exercises, two speakers are talking at once. In other exercises, background noise competes with the speaker in a realistic approximation of being at a party or restaurant. In still another exercise, the speaker talks very quickly, challenging the listener’s ability to focus and keep up.
Depending on which program you choose, the training lasts 11 or 20 days, with a variety of interesting topics to choose from each day. You get instant feedback about your progress. Â (Read the 5 Best Things About L.A.C.E. Training)
The best thing? It works! One study of people who had completed the L.A.C.E. program found “statistically significant improvements” in four out of five categories related to listening and comprehension.
Curious? Try the free L.A.C.E. demonstration, no strings attached. Thereâ€™s no better time than Better Hearing Month to do something to improve the way yourÂ world sounds!