Chronicle of a deaf audiologist

Overcome Noise With Auditory Training

Do you have trouble hearing when there is background noise—such as in a restaurant, at a party, or in a crowd of people? Join the club. Difficulty with hearing in noise is a sign of hearing loss.

Photo credit:  © Monkey Business Images |

In fact, it is a major reason that people get hearing aids. Hearing aids undoubtedly improve our ability to hear in noise, especially when directional microphones are used. And directional microphones these days are better than ever.

Problem solved, right?

Well, no.

Almost 30 years ago, a research study showed that the ability to understand in noise is determined not only by hearing loss, but also by the age of the listener.


As we age, it is harder to hear in noise. Even for people with normal hearing.

Even for people with normal hearing.

This is huge.

Because if this is true even for people with normal hearing, then hearing aids are not the only answer to hearing better in noise.

Too often, people get hearing aids, and then stop. They don’t do anything else to help themselves hear better in noise. And more importantly, nobody tells them that there is more to do.

Too often, people aren’t ready for hearing aids (80% of people with hearing loss don’t wear hearing aids), and then stop. They think that because they are not ready for hearing aids, nothing else can be done. And more importantly, nobody tells them that there is more to do.

Auditory training can help. As we age, there are some key changes in the brain that make it hard for us to hear in noise. Among them are changes in processing speed and working memory. These abilities are not fixed—they can improve with training. We can train the brain.

The LACE program is unique in that it is intended for consumers with hearing loss, and it specifically addresses the changes in the brain that happen as we age. The results with LACE are positive—and research has shown that the effects are long-lasting.

Here is information on how to get started with LACE hearing training.

  • Photo credit:  © Alan Fortune

    Sandra Vandenhoff

    Dr. Sandra Vandenhoff is an audiologist with hearing loss, founder of HEARa, Hearing Rehabilitation teacher, and Canadian author, who does not remember saying on her first day of wearing hearing aids: "Mom, I can hear my shoelaces!"

Scroll to Top