Auditory processing involves how we make sense out of information we receive through our auditory system. Included in this information is conversational speech we want to hear clearly along with competing conversation, environmental noise and reverberation.
An auditory processing disorder (APD) can exhibit several of these symptoms:
- Difficulty listening in the presence of background noise
- Hears words incorrectly
- Difficulties with phonics and speech sound discrimination
- Distracted by background noise
- Delay in responding when participating in oral communication
- Tiring easily when listening for extended periods
If there is hearing loss and an APD, effective amplification can require speech enhancement/noise attenuation hearing aid technology.
Screening for APD
The number one reason people are dissatisfied with their hearing aids is their ineffectiveness in complex listening situations.
A successful hearing aid is one that is sufficient not only for the hearing loss (as measured on an audiogram) but also matches an individual’s auditory processing ability (hearing ability in competing noise) with listening needs and lifestyle.
For example, if a prospective wearer has, in addition to the hearing loss, considerable difficulty hearing and understanding conversation in noise as well as a demanding listening lifestyle, advanced hearing aid technology to lessen background noise and enhance speech will be necessary. The hearing aid manufacturers offer several levels of this technology along with a price range. If a wearer doesn’t choose the most advanced technology level, there is no way to know how well conversation can be heard in the listening environments they live, work and socialize. But does everyone need the highest most expensive technology level? Can a lower level be sufficient?
This is where Hear Well Again Centers is truly unique. Rather than reading well written manufacturer’s summaries of the technology levels that only can describe engineering features and not listening results, we have designed JUST LISTEN. Just Listen is the best way to choose a new hearing aid. It is based on the assumption that listeners are rational and act in their best interest. We will review how Just Listen works in a separate section.