Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)
If you have trouble hearing in a noisy room Sound Therapy can retrain your ear to focus your listening.
What is the Cocktail Party Syndrome?
The “Cocktail Party Syndrome” is the name given to the inability to differentiate sound from background noise. Though not well known, this is a very common problem, affecting at least 20% of the population, both old and young. This condition may be, but is not necessarily, an indication of hearing loss. You may have acute hearing but simply have a problem with auditory discrimination. This is known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD.)
Signs and symptoms of this condition include:
- Being unable to hear in background noise
- Avoiding noisy restaurants and parties
- Finding it impossible to hear if there is a tap running, paper bags rustling, music playing or other voices
- Getting very stressed by noisy environments
- Trouble concentrating in noisy environments
“Tuesday, I was cutting up timber with my chainsaw with ear safety mufflers on. Big powerful chainsaw, plenty of noise, and I heard my mobile phone ringing. I carry my phone on my belt. So this was a f...”
Harry Cook – Victoria - Read More
Living with CPS (Cocktail Party Syndrome)
How bad is it really to live with a back ground noise discrimination problem? The difficulty this problem creates for most people is that they do not necessarily fit into the category of hard of hearing, so a hearing aid will not help. People know you are not deaf, yet you have to be constantly explaining that you cannot hear in a noisy environment. So much of our social communication takes place in noisy environments, so normal communication becomes a daily dilemma. You meet someone at a conference who lives near you and says “Oh, why don’t we take the train home together?” You immediately panic, knowing the stress and embarrassment that will be caused for you all the way home because you cannot hear your companion over the noise of the train.
At social gatherings you are always nervous that you will respond inappropriately and embarrass yourself. You may say yes when you mean no, or no when you mean yes. Or you could end up agreeing to a date or a business deal that you had no idea of. But you are not deaf! People telling you to get a hearing aid does no good, because you can hear perfectly well, you just can’t separate the foreground sound from the background sound. No one has ever heard of or acknowledged your condition. Practitioners tell you the problem is psychological and you just don’t want to listen! The good news is, you have exactly the same problem that brought Patricia Joudry to Sound Therapy and was the reason behind her developing the portable program, which is offered on this website, to help thousands of others like herself.
“Previously, trying to talk to a group of people in a room was nearly impossible, and a one on one conversation always brought signs of rejection, when everyone else thought that they ...”
Joseph Biggs – QLD - Read More
How does Sound Therapy help the Cocktail Party Syndrome?
There may be several factors which explain the remarkable effectiveness of Sound Therapy for background noise discrimination problems.
- The ability to differentiate and focus on specific sounds in a noisy environment is partly a function of the ear and partly of the brain.
- Dr Tomatis postulated that the middle ear muscles (the hammer and stirrup muscles) play a role in determining which sounds the ear will focus on.
- They have a tuning function, changing the tension on the ear drum and other membranes allowing the ear to tune in exactly to a certain sound input.
- The gymnastic rehabilitation of the middle ear muscles caused by Sound Therapy may contribute to the improved ability to differentiate sound from background noise.
Another aspect of the Cocktail Party Syndrome is Central Auditory Processing (CAP), which means the ability of the brain to sort and make sense of different, sounds you are hearing at the same time. Recent research on brain plasticity shows us how Sound Therapy can help.
We know from the results on learning, speech and short term memory that Sound Therapy improves Central Auditory Processing. By stimulating the ear, all the auditory parts of the brain are also being activated. The organised, harmonic structure of classical music with its stimulating effect further enhanced by the Electronic Ear has proved an effective way to increase the brain’s efficiency in processing sound.
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After 26 years in the Sound Therapy field, we really understand the Cocktail Party Syndrome and what it means to live with this condition. Every week we hear from our listeners thanking us for the relief they have found. Listeners have reported that they can now socialise normally with other people and are no longer socially isolated in groups.
If you would like to learn more in depth about how Sound Therapy helps Cocktail Party Syndrome, order Rafaele Joudry’s FREE eBook here and benefit from her decades of experience helping thousands of listeners with Sound Therapy.
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