Because most people wait 7-10 years to get their hearing checked after first noticing the impairment, the portion of the brain responsible for hearing gets progressively weaker over that time. This type of atrophy spreads to other parts of the brain responsible for things such as memory, speech and cognitive functions.
When this occurs, individuals are at a greater risk of developing dementia, mental fatigue, depression and social isolation.
The good news is that treating your hearing loss with hearing aids and getting support in aural rehabilitation classes can help retrain your brain to function more effectively in the face of hearing loss. Studies have discovered those who take part in hearing exercises regularly can improve their hearing in difficult hearing situations by up to 25%.
An easy way to train your brain to hear better is to practice focusing on another person’s voice while introducing other sounds to the listening environment. You could first turn on the TV and listen to the person’s voice. You could then turn on a fan and keep concentrating on the voice. After practicing, try the exercise in a typical noisy situation such as at a restaurant. After practicing regularly, you should start to see progress within a few weeks or months.
The aural rehabilitation classes are hosted from 3-5 p.m. on the following days at each location:
- Chelsea Village: 3rd Tuesday of every month
- Park Avenue: 2nd Wednesday of month
- Columbus Circle: 4th Tuesday of every month