Picture of girl with arms in the airYou exercise your body, but what about your ears? Exercising your ears means exercising your brain, too, which is important when you consider the effect hearing loss can have on cognitive functioning. Noise filtering helps you focus only one sound, “filtering” out any background noise to really concentrate on something important like a conversation.

Getting Started

This is a very basic hearing exercise that requires just a few tools. You’ll need:

Music from two different sources – say your TV and your laptop

A person to have a conversation with – that’s your focus

Sit down in a room where you can turn your music sources on and off easily during your noise filtering practice.

Noise Filtering Exercise

The goal is to mentally filter out the music and focus on your conversation. Why do this? For one thing, people with hearing loss tend to get overwhelmed by background noises. Something as common as the air conditioning kicking on is a game-changer. This task teaches you the art of hearing focus, so the environmental noises have less of an impact.

Sit in a comfortable spot with a friend and get ready to talk. Try to pick an area where the distraction will be minimal, so you can really work the exercise. Make sure you both are sitting upright and relaxed enough that you won’t be fidgeting, too.

Now, turn on one music source, keeping the volume down low enough that you can hear your partner’s voice. Have a conversation. It doesn’t matter what you talk about – discuss your day, the weather, your favorite TV show. Focus on the voice only, ignoring the background music. Make sure you both use a normal speaking tone, too. If you have to yell, turn the music down a bit.

Once you have comfortably mastered filtering out the first music source, add the second one and start all over again. As time goes by, you might even add a third background noise to further challenge your abilities. This is an exercise you both can do to at once, too, and enhance your hearing focus together.