Skip to content

Case study: scientists have found a way to boost human hearing in noisy situations

A human ear model with people doing a hearing test blurred in the background

Do you often find it hard to keep up with conversations in noisy environments? With age, the brain has increasing difficulty processing rapid changes in sound. A new technique called rate discrimination training can help improve hearing. Here’s everything you need to know.

What’s rate discrimination training?

Rate discrimination training is a technique whereby patients practice differentiating between the speed of sounds. Patients undergo several sessions, during which they distinguish between sets of tones played in rapid sequence. They then must spot changes in frequency and identify tones of higher and lower pitches in a series.

Patients who undergo rate discrimination training have shown improvement in their ability to discern changes in audio pitch and speed. Overall, this training has the potential to partially restore temporal processing in older listeners.

Soundwave Hearing Care is the only clinic in southern Alberta and Grande Prairie offering auditory processing assessments. Our team will work with you to develop personalized rehabilitation strategies to assist in improvingauditory processing skills, leading to sustained improvements in listening and functioning in school, social and employment settings.

Noise-cancelling hearing aids

Many people assume that hearing aids only amplify sound. However, somemodern hearing aids have conversation-boost capabilities, which help filter background noise. Hearing aids can now amplify sounds you want to hear, like the voice of the person sitting across from you, while reducing the volume of background noise, like silverware clinking.

Soundwave Hearing Care carries Starkey’s  , rechargeable hearing aid, the Livio Edge AI. This model usesEdge Mode, which conducts an AI-based analysis of the environment to make immediate adjustments designed to offset background noise.

Simple ways to protect your ears from loud noises

The best way to prevent age-related hearing loss is to protect your ears from loud sounds that can damage your hearing. Exposure to 85 decibels (dB) and higher can permanently damage your hearing.

You can safeguard your hearing by wearing earplugs and lifestyle molds when you know you’ll be exposed to loud sounds. Hunters, musicians, motorcyclists and construction workers spend extended time in loud environments and should always wear ear protection. It’s also important to listen to music and TV at low volumes whenever possible.

Advanced hearing solutions in Alberta

If you’ve noticed symptoms of damage to your ears from loud noise and want to improve your hearing, visit Soundwave Hearing Care in Alberta. We conduct hearing tests for all ages and carry hearing aids from top brands like Starkey, ReSound and Phonak. Our team can also fit you with custom hearing protection. Contact us today to schedule an assessment.

All the blogs are reviewed and edited by our clinic's lead audiologist, Dr. Anne Wooliams. Dr. Woolliams is an experienced audiologist specialized in pediatric audiology, auditory processing, and tinnitus/sound sensitivity therapy. She is dedicated to providing top-notch hearing care and helping her clients improve their language and communication abilities. Dr. Woolliams' expertise in literature and linguistics, combined with her passion for helping people improve their language and communication, make her an incredibly valuable asset in the field of audiology. Learn more about Dr. Woolliams.