Professional musicians at greater risk of developing hearing loss

The sad fact is, once you start feeling symptoms of hearing loss, the damage has already been done. It is often irreversible. Many musicians fall victim to hearing damage, but they can take steps to prevent long-term, permanent hearing loss by scheduling an appointment with an audiologist before you experience symptoms.
Although rock stars are at greater risk for developing hearing loss or tinnitus, they can take certain protective measures to avoid this.

Chris Martin, the lead vocalist for the band Coldplay, has suffered from tinnitus for many years. He says:
“Looking after your ears is unfortunately something you don’t think about until there’s a problem. I’ve had tinnitus for about 10 years, and since I started protecting my ears it hasn’t got any worse (touch wood). But I wish I’d thought about it earlier. Now we always use moulded filter plugs, or in-ear monitors, to try and protect our ears. You CAN use industrial headphones, but that looks strange at a party.”

Several other musicians have suffered hearing damage, such as Neil Young, Ozzy Osbourne, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Bono, Sting, Ryan Adams, and more, many of which express regret that they hadn’t done more to give protection to their ears through the course of their careers. Lars Ulrich from Metallica stated: “If you get a scratch on your nose, in a week that’ll be gone. When you scratch your hearing or damage your hearing, it doesn’t come back. I try to point out to younger kids … once your hearing is gone, it’s gone, and there’s no real remedy.”
Go see an audiologist for advice. He or she can test your hearing and suggest remedies, such as custom ear plugs.

How musicians, and fans, can protect their ears

An audiologist can recommend custom musicians’ plugs or in-ear-monitors that will give protection to your hearing without limiting your musical abilities. As a musician, you have unique needs for hearing and hearing protection, and audiologists or hearing specialists are the experts specifically trained to offer you this customized protection.
Many musicians can experience one or more of these symptoms:
Difficulty comprehending speech
Difficulty following discussions in the presence of background noise
A ringing or buzzing noise in the ears
Any pain or discomfort in the ears

Even concert-goers are susceptible to hearing damage. 120 decibels of hair-cell-killing volume is pumping from the loudspeakers right into your ears. Wear ear plugs and take other actions to protect your hearing each and every time.
Louder is not better
To properly show the problem, hearing loss starts with routine exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels (decibels being a unit used to calculate loudness). That may well not mean much to you, until you take into account the decibel levels connected with common actions.

In non-technical terms, rock shows are literally ear-splittingly loud, and repeated unprotected exposure can cause some substantial damage, which, sadly, many popular musicians have recently attested to. Check this out:
Whisper at 6 feet: 30 decibels (dB)
Common dialogue at 3 feet: 60 – 65 (dB)
Motorcycle: 100 dB
Front row at a rock show: 120 to 150 dB

Exposure over Time

Over time, extremely loud noise will cause irreversible harm to the hair cells of the inner ear, which are the sensory receptors responsible for transmitting sound to the brain. They can be damaged from repeated overexposure to loud noise. Sadly, you can’t regrow these hair cells.
Popularity, wealth, and screaming fans are all part of the life of a professional musician. In spite of this, a lot of “hearing loss” or “tinnitus” can result from all that fortune and fame. The sad fact is, a musician’s hearing is what is most vulnerable to harm from the performance of their trade.

Take a look at the facts: musicians are four times more likely to acquire noise-induced hearing loss compared with the average individual, says researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology. The scientific study also determined that professional musicians are roughly 57% more likely to suffer from tinnitus.

To prevent this from occurring in your own life, take the necessary measures to protect your ears, such as through ear plugs and regular visits t your audiologist.

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Preventing work related hearing loss with high fidelity, custom-fit ear plugs

You could be putting yourself at risk every day for hearing damage, especially if you play in a rock band or regularly attend concerts.
However, performers aren’t the only ones at risk; here are some of the decibel volumes associated with conventional work related activities: a power saw can reach 110 decibels, a newsprint press 97, a chain saw 120, a sporting show 105, and a jet plane takeoff 150. performers, factory workers, construction workers, airport staff, emergency workers, plumbers, and craftsmen are all at risk of developing major hearing loss and tinnitus.

85 decibels. That’s the sound level at which repeated exposure can result in significant hearing damage.
100 decibels. that is the noise degree reached by a rock show, which is not-so-good news for musicians or live concert goers.

It’s also a component of a larger problem: According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about 30 million people in the U.S. are exposed to detrimental sound volumes, representing one of the biggest occupational threats over the past 25 years.

Work-related hearing loss impacts thousands

Kevin Twigg of Stockport, England, worked on diagnosing and repairing police car sirens — which get to between 106 to 118 decibels — for more than 30 years.
After retirement, Twigg started to suffer intense tinnitus in addition to substantial hearing loss that obligated the usage of hearing aids. Having failed to take on the defensive measures that would decrease the noise levels, Twigg’s employer was found accountable in court, losing a case in which Twigg would obtain a considerable settlement.
This story is in line with the statistics: the Bureau of Labor Statistics says in 2009 there were about 21,000 cases of occupational hearing loss documented.

How to protect your ears at work

So here’s the problem: the world requires music players, craftsmen, and emergency and construction staff, but you can’t really make power saws and law enforcement sirens any quieter.
The remedy? minimize the level of noise that comes in through your ear. Simple, right? Well…not so fast.
You could simply travel to the neighborhood store and pick up some disposable foam ear plugs, but as it turns out, there is a much higher quality alternative.
The ideal method requires the use of custom-fit ear plugs, sometimes referred to as musicians plugs, that your hearing consultant can personalize specifically to you, your job, and your needs.

4 reasons why custom-fit ear plugs are superior than the off-the-shelf foam variety

Here are four reasons why custom-fit ear plugs are far superior to foam ear plugs:
1. maintenance of sound quality
Regular foam ear plugs muffle speech and music. By limiting sound mainly in the high frequency range, rather than in the mid-to-low frequency range, music and voices sound unnatural and indecipherable. Foam ear plugs also minimize sound by 30-40 decibels, which is excessive for the prevention of hearing injury.
Custom-fit ear plugs will minimize sound more evenly across frequencies while lessening sound volume by a lower decibel level, thereby maintaining the all natural quality of speech and music.

2. prevention of the “Occlusion Effect”
With foam ear plugs, the user will hear a hollowed out or boomy sound in their voice when speaking, singing, or playing an musical instrument. This aggravating noise is referred as the “occlusion effect.”
Custom-fit ear plugs are shaped to the ear, generating a deep seal that helps prevent this distracting sound.

3. preserving the environment
Disposable ear plugs create a lot of waste:
5 days per week X 52 weeks per year = 260 pairs of foam ear plugs thrown out every single year.

4. price & convenience
Custom ear plugs can last up to four years, almost always at a price tag of well below $100.

Take a look at the cost for disposable foam plugs:
$3.99 for 10 pairs equals $0.39 per pair
$0.39 per pair X 5 days per week X 52 weeks per year X 4 years = $405.60
With custom-fit ear plugs, you will certainly save money in the long run and will prevent all of those visits to the store. No one looks forward to picking out ear plugs, so while the initial visit to the audiologist seems like a burden, in the long run you will also conserve time.

Schedule a consultation

Make an appointment with your doctor to get custom-fit ear plugs, particularly if your occupation exposes you to a high risk for hearing damage, or if you attend rowdy live shows or sporting events. Custom-fit ear plugs will protect your ears, and distinct from the disposable foam varieties, will also conserve the high quality of sound for your optimal health.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Hearing Aids

Don’t know much about hearing aids? We can fix that. Just check out these 10 facts about hearing aids, which have come very far in regards to technological advancement over the past 200 years. This advancement, often spurred by the dedication of scientists who know someone close to them with a hearing problem, results in growth of the industry. Just take a look at Alexander Graham Bell, whose wife was deaf. In addition, his mother had a hearing impairment.

1. For optimal operation, hearing aids should be programmed before use by a professional. This makes the hearing aid unique to the individual, by saving comfort settings and reacting to stimuli in the environment.

2. Induction loops work alongside hearing aids to keep crowd noise to a minimum so the user can clearly hear announcements or someone at a meeting. You’ll often find this in conference rooms at businesses. These loops also eliminate background noise and frequency distortion that are notorious at airports, concert halls and stadiums.

3. Digital hearing aids help with feedback reduction, which eliminates echoes and background noises, prevalent in the last 20 years. Digital hearing aids can take away outside distractions that older versions simply couldn’t achieve.

4. Along with the amplification of sound, hearing aids can now address the ear ringing that is prevalent in people who have tinnitus, providing a special kind of tinnitus therapy.

5. The trend today is to be proud of the device and wear hearing aids in bright colors and patterns. Younger people in particular take this approach. Boring beige used to be the sole color in which hearing aids were available. That’s no longer the case, even though the neutral colored ones provide discretion and blend in better with the ear.

6. Were you aware that now water resistant and waterproof hearing aids allow you to spend time in humid environments or even go swimming? Water resistant devices will resist very high humidity levels, such as in tropical locations or within a steam room, while waterproof models won’t get wet when you go swimming or take a shower.

7.  Heavy and cumbersome, the earliest hearing aids were extremely large and posed challenge for the users. These devices did not even increase the sound all that well. Fast forward to today’s tiny versions of today which are so lightweight users hardly know they’re wearing them.

8. Technology has brought us state of the hearing aids and wireless devices that can be used in tandem with Bluetooth for a seamless connection. This gives users the ability to integrate their hearing aids with a smart phone, TV or MP3 player.

9. While sound amplification is a big component of any hearing aid worth its sale, the clarity of sound and filtering of background noises can be even more crucial. Thanks to modern hearing devices, the listening experience is much better for each individual.

10. Featuring rechargeable batteries, today’s models help you save money and hassle. Why? You don’t have to keep buying and installing new batteries each time they wear out.

The technology behind hearing aids is amazing, coming so far in the last 200 years. Knowing all these facts brings us closer to more growth in the industry.

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How Hearing Loss Can Affect Your Holiday Gatherings

One of the best times of the year for meeting with family members is during the holidays. Most people are absolutely thrilled to have time to spend with the people they love, but it can be very difficult for people who suffer from hearing loss. Not being able to reach out to their family members can be very isolating and can also result in medical problems. It is important to examine how hearing loss can affect your holidays in order to be more aware of the implications as well as what can be done to help.

The Dangers Of Hearing Loss

There are many different reasons that hearing loss is one of the biggest threats to the holiday gatherings. First and foremost, people with hearing impairment cannot hold a conversation in the same way that most other people can. In a crowded room, it becomes more of a chore to keep up with the conversation than it is to get knowledge or enjoyment from the process. For many people, it becomes better to simply avoid the trouble and isolate themselves.
While not being at the center of conversation may not seem like the end of the world to some people, it still presents significant medical problems. First of all, the constant isolating effect of hearing loss has been known to induce anxiety in people who would like to talk to people, but feel nervous that they will make the effort awkward. Avoiding interactions altogether can lead to depression, which has been known to morph into even more serious complications in patients of any age.

How You Can Help

There are many different ways that you can help people who suffer from hearing loss during the holidays. The easiest way to help your loved ones is to work with them when they come over to your home or to any family gathering during the holidays. Make them feel welcome by inviting them and confirming their attendance ahead of time. Make sure that they are not left alone in rooms around the house, and ask them to share a story or two so that they are more involved with the holiday atmosphere.
The other major way to help people who suffer from hearing loss during the holidays is to help improve their hearing. An appointment with a hearing specialist can result in many new ways and possibilities when it comes to treating hearing impairment. It usually comes down to two different things: being able to get a hearing device or going for surgery. A hearing specialist can typically help in either one of these areas. A hearing aid or cochlear implant will allow the patient to recover significant amounts of hearing, giving the patient confidence to participate in conversation. Surgery has many different positive outcomes when it is a possibility, and can restore a great deal of hearing if it is merely a structural problem. These are just a few ways that you can help people who suffer from hearing loss during the holidays this year.

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Brain Hearing Restores Optimal, Natural Hearing

Brain hearing is a phenomenon that is sweeping the hearing loss communities around the world. For too long people have relied on the hearing aids that have been ineffective at meeting their needs, and now, with the help of these ingenious devices, people are being given a second chance to hear well again. Brain hearing is a complex solution to a very complex problem, but it has shown many signs that it could be just the solution that everyone has been looking for. We will take a look to see why researchers and people with hearing loss alike are so thrilled by this device.

What Is Brain Hearing?

Brain hearing is a process that begins when people understand that hearing does not only involve the ears, but the brain as well. Many models of hearing aids that are on the market tend to focus on just the damage done to the ears to help people with hearing loss. They attempt to amplify sounds and then push them into the inner ear for interpretation, with limited results. Poor sound quality and processing exhaustion are two common outcomes.

Thankfully, researchers have discovered a new approach to hearing loss and have discovered a more intimate way of looking at how sound is processed in the brain. Armed with this knowledge, they have made a device that capitalizes on this knowledge to help people hear well again.

How Do Brain Hearing Devices Function?

Brain hearing devices can lead to incredible hearing outcomes for most patients. They do this by only changing the incoming sounds that the inner ear could not handle on their own and passing them along to the brain. This limits the amount of sound amplifying that has to occur in order to induce hearing and leaves the user with a more natural version of incoming sound. This leads to four incredible benefits that make these aids unique.

  1. Sound Focusing: people who use brain hearing aids can pick out certain sounds even in the presence of competing noise.

  2. Spatial recognition: since the brain hearing aid takes in sound from both ears, you can figure out where the sound came from like someone with normal hearing levels.

  3. Speech recognition: your device will focus on speech patterns around you, letting you home in on personal conversations better than a regular aid.

  4. Sound Filtering: a brain hearing device can do away with unwanted sounds in a conversation that would cause distraction or sensory unpleasantness in other devices.

What Does Everyone Think?

There have been many studies done about the recent mainstream release of the brain hearing device. These devices have garnered a great deal of professional support as well as support from people who have used them, culminating in a 95% approval rate from these sources.

For those that are still stuck using the older models of hearing aids, they only have a 79% approval rate for their personal devices, showing how much of a leap forward these devices represent.

Lining Up To Get One

Before you hop into your vehicle and go to the superstore, be aware that you cannot purchase these brain hearing aids there. You have to make an appointment to meet with a professional audiologist who can work with you to help outline your needs and customize the device. After you have been fitted, you will understand where all of the extra time goes in, as you will hear better than ever before an even pick up on some sounds that you may not have noticed along the way.

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10 Ways Good Hearing Can Help Keep Seniors Young

You may not realize it, but you really can stay young by protecting your hearing. From the ability to avert disaster to better interactions with others on a daily basis, you can hold onto your youth with optimal hearing health. This works in much the same way as your physical health, which is important to maintain in order to stave off illness, diseases and  those dreaded extra pounds. Take a look at 10 ways you can grasp onto your youth a little longer.

 

  1. Engage in productive interactions in daily life. Hearing loss can unfortunately alienate people from getting the information they need to go about their daily lives. It’s tough to effectively communicate with anyone from friends and co-workers to check-out clerks and butchers when you suffer from hearing loss.

  2. Keep up with a sharp mind. No one wants to think about it, but dementia is a very real possibility for older seniors. The National Institute on Aging has linked hearing loss with dementia, thanks to the brain shrinkage we experience as we get on in years.

  3. Your risk of falling will lower. Individuals who can’t hear well don’t have as much of a stable awareness of their surroundings, and can trip and fall easier. People with a 25-decibel hearing loss are three times more likely to fall than others with no hearing impairments, says Johns Hopkins Medicine.

  4. Hear better at work. Improve your job performance with better hearing. If you can’t hear well, you obviously can’t pick up on important instructions or safety precautions. You certainly can’t readily participate productively in coworker discussions or meetings. The result? An impact on your job performance.

  5. Have a quicker reaction times to outside stimuli. When you have a healthy hearing level, you can better react to fire alarms and sirens so you can get out of the way and not get hurt.

  6. Increase blood flow to your ear canals. Exercise is great for the ears. Via aerobic activity, you send oxygen-rich blood flow to the ears which protects them from additional hearing loss.

  7. Interact better in school. Do you find yourself back in school after many decades away? You won’t learn as well if you constantly have to sit up front and ask the teacher to repeat herself. Maintaining a healthy level of hearing means you can understand the teacher’s instructions more clearly. In addition, you can interact with your classmates and participate in projects much more easily.

  8. Boost your self confidence in everyday situations. Those who have trouble hearing can have a lack of self confidence or self-esteem because they are afraid to engage in conversation with others. They fear they won’t be able to engage in a healthy back and forth discussion, so they tend to stay away from social situations.

  9. Better mental health. Falls and other events are big problems for seniors. Hearing loss can compound these risks. When you end up in the hospital, you have long periods where you’re relatively inactive as your recuperate. This can easily lead to feelings of depression.

  10. Get more friends and have better sex. It’s true! Studies have shown that hearing impaired seniors who wear hearing aids, along with seniors who have no hearing loss, tend to have an improved social life and sex life. They also experience better mental health and independence.

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Should You Try Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy for Your Vertigo or Dizziness?

Feelings of dizziness, vertigo, and loss of balance are more common than most people realize; 42% of the United States population (ninety million people) experience this at least once during their lifetime, and for many the situation becomes chronic. Dizziness is the number one reason that people over the age of 75 visit doctors, and falls due to a loss of balance are the leading cause of death and serious injury in people over the age of sixty five.

Most (seventy five percent) of these cases are caused by peripheral vestibular disorders in the inner ear; examples of these conditions include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), vestibular neuritis, acoustic neuroma, labyrinthitis, perilymphatic fistula and Ménière’s disease. All of these conditions affect the inner ear and the delicate system that handles our sense of balance and enables us to maintain control over it. Although most cases of chronic dizziness and vertigo occur in adults, the condition can affect children suffering from it even more, because they are so active that a lack of balance can prevent them from engaging in sports or other activities.

These conditions can be treated with surgery and drugs, but there is another treatment methodology that uses physical therapy to stimulate and retrain the vestibular system and provide relief – Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT). The VRT exercises are individually prescribed for each patient’s symptoms and complaints, but in general they consist of gait training, eye exercises and head movements designed to reduce symptoms and improve stability. The goals of Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy are to improve balance, minimize falls, decrease the subjective experience of dizziness, improve patients’ stability when moving or walking, improve coordination, and reduce the anxiety they often feel as a result of their condition.

For many people suffering from bilateral or unilateral vestibular loss and the conditions described above, Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy has often been shown to be effective in reducing their symptoms. The effectiveness of VRT in patients suffering from these conditions who did not respond to earlier treatment methodologies has been proven in several clinical trials. On the other hand, Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy is not as likely to be beneficial if the underlying cause of dizziness or vertigo is due to low blood pressure, reactions to medications, migraine headaches, anxiety or depression or transient ischemic attacks (TIA).

It is difficult to provide a general overview of the VRT exercises because they are individually tuned to and prescribed for each patient. But most of the exercises involve therapist-led movements of the head and body to help your brain and body retrain themselves to compensate for the erroneous information they are receiving from their inner ear, and thus regain control over their balance and equilibrium. Consult a balance specialist if you have experienced dizziness or vertigo for long periods of time, and if an inner ear cause of the problem is indicated, ask for more information about VRT. You can also get more information from the pamphlets and training materials provided by the Vestibular Disorders Association.

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How Hearing Aids Are Programmed

For the millions of people around the world who suffer from some form of hearing impairment, one of the tools that they can use to help themselves interpret sounds better is a hearing aid. These devices give the user the ability to take in and listen to sounds with an individually-built hearing system. By going to an audiologist and working with them to establish your specific needs, a person can have better hearing outcomes than ever before. That is why we want to take a closer look at how hearing aids are programmed: to help every wearer have a better understanding of the capabilities of the devices and the work it takes to make them function.

What Factors Can Be Adjusted?

For most people, the list of things that ask their audiologist is short until they see the ways that each one of these aspects can impact their overall hearing. Patients usually begin by asking to change the level of environment sounds that are let into the hearing aid device. Some of the other more common sound options that are changed are volume, frequency, compression values, as well as max power output on the part of the device. Remember that not every hearing aid can adjust all of these options.

Processing Time

For people who suffer from hearing loss, there are a variety of different reasons why you need to go to have your hearing aid updated. In times past, there was no way for you to have your hearing aid adjusted, what you bought was what you got. Now, you have the chance to have over one hundred different settings tweaked so that they can give you the absolute best hearing health outcomes. This necessitates that the person with hearing impairment goes to a hearing specialist to have their device properly programmed for them. This is a rather long process for some, and it can still require future updates as your brain become acclimated to the new means of sound imparting. Keep in mind that all of this tumultuous early stage will be well worth it once you have the chance to have the best hearing possible.

Programming Hearing Aids

Via real ear measurements, mind mapping and environmental simulations, a listening device can be custom made to best suit a person with hearing loss. Real ear probe micro-phones can perceive the amount of sound traveling to the eardrum so the physician can be precise in his work. Visible speech mapping informs the doctor how a number of sounds reach the eardrum. This is an amazing replacement to traditional measurements as the hearing aids of today can be of great help in reducing noise and response trimming algorithms. In the real programming procedure, many physicians use a surround sound program to replicate actual noise from the environment and make changes based on real time response. This surround system can replicate crowd sounds to ascertain what they will do to manage noise reduction. This feature is quite helpful as most people with hearing devices say they perform better when there is silence but as soon as they go to crowded places, they have to struggle with all the background noises. The hearing aid programming procedure requires the right hardware, cables and cables to link to the hearing device. Most individuals learn how to program their hearing devices but the device can be quite expensive and its accuracy level goes down. It is always a good idea to have a professional audiologist perform this important procedure for the purpose of hearing health.

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The Preferred Method To Clean the Ears

Congestion of the outer ear canal from a build up of ear wax is one of the most common reasons for temporary hearing loss. If you are reasonably certain that ear wax is the cause of your temporary hearing loss, you most likely want to clean out your ears. The real question is how to do this safely, and without causing damage to the sensitive tissues of your ear canal or your hearing.

To stress health and safety when cleaning your ears, let’s start with what not to do. Do not insert any foreign objects in your ear. Whether it‚Äôs a cotton swap, Q-tip or other object, you’re much more likely to make the situation worse by further compacting the ear wax if you start poking around in your ear. Under no circumstances, use any device that injects water under pressure. The pressurized water stream can perforate your eardrum. And, if you suspect either an ear infection or a ruptured eardrum, do not try to clean your ears at home. Have a hearing specialist do it right. If you think you might have an infection, common signs and symptoms to look for include fluid draining from the ears, ear pain, fever and vomiting or diarrhea.

Cleaning your ears correctly in your own home is possible with a rinse solution and a bulb or syringe from your local pharmacy. You can purchase a carbamide peroxide solution at the local drugstore, or make your own using equal parts of glycerin, mineral oil and 3%-4%.

When applying this solution, it is recommended to lay on your side on top of a towel or lean over a bowl, basin or sink; then you just squeeze the carbamide peroxide solution slowly into each ear, ideally without touching the ear with the bulb or syringe. Keep the solution in each ear for a couple minutes giving it time to work on dissolving the ear wax.

After this rinse solution has softened and loosened the ear wax, flush your ears with lukewarm (not hot) water, and then dry your ears thoroughly with a towel, being careful not to insert the towel into the ears themselves. If the congestion continues, repeat this process of cleaning your ears two times a day for 2 or 3 days. Talk to your a hearing specialist or hearing instrument specialist if the issue continues.

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Will Therapy Help Children with Central Auditory Processing Disorder?

Identifying Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is challenging for a variety of reasons. Conventional hearing tests don’t always identify CAPD because the problem originates in the brain, not the ears. Youngsters with CAPD can hear spoken phrases and sounds, especially speech, but their brains incorrectly process the information received from the ears. Additionally, kids who have Central Auditory Processing Disorder often establish coping mechanisms to conceal or disguise their condition; they cannot really comprehend the words people are saying, however they figure out how to read expressions or their lips to pretend to understand.

These characteristics of CAPD also make treatments for the condition difficult, because any person wanting to enhance the child’s speech comprehension must constantly keep them in mind and develop methods to work around them. At present there is no generally accepted cure for Central Auditory Processing Disorder, and no therapy that works equally well across all kids with the disorder, so treatment must be highly individual and modified for the capabilities and limitations of each patient. But there are therapy approaches that appear to be effective, which can significantly improve the prognosis of children with Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

These methodologies are usually described using three broad categories – environmental change, direct treatment and compensatory strategies.

  • Direct Treatment – Direct treatment procedures include the use of computer-assisted learning and 1-to-1 therapy sessions to make the most of the brain’s inherent plasticity – the capacity to establish new neural pathways or modes of thinking. These treatment methods commonly include (in therapy sessions, at home or in the classroom) the use of the “Fast ForWord” educational software from Scientific Education or Hasbro’s “Simon” game to help pupils to improve the discrimination, sequencing, and processing of acoustic inputs. Other types of direct treatment use dichotic training (to enable children to hear multiple sounds in different ears and yet process them correctly), or use Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s “Earobics” program (to improve phonological awareness).
  • Environmental Change – Within the class of environmental change one technique is lowering the level of background noise via soundproofing and installing acoustic tiles, wall hangings or curtains because surrounding noise is proven to make it difficult for a person with CAPD to comprehend speech. Amplifying voices in the classroom is also helpful; the teacher dons a microphone and the CAPD pupil puts on a tiny receiver that enhances the instructor’s voice to make it more distinguishable from other sounds or speakers. One more environmental modification is improved lighting. A well-lit face is easier for a person with CAPD to read for clues.
  • Compensatory Strategies – Compensatory strategies concentrate on supporting the CAPD individuals with better skills in problem solving, attention, memory, language, and other critical coping strategies. The focus of the compensatory strategies is to teach skills that generally improve learning and academic success while also training CAPD students to be accountable for their own academic progress. Techniques and strategies of this type consist of drills in solving word problems and active listening.

The overall message is that therapies are available if your child is identified as having CAPD, but keep in mind that the initial step is properly diagnosing the problem, and doing so as soon as possible. Keep in mind that our professional hearing professionals are here to assist you in any way possible and to point you to other respected area specialists for the best CAPD diagnostic and treatment choices.

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