In this medical video learn how doctors are using a special interactive computer game to help regain hearing loss.
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Jennifer Matthews: Gerald Blackwill thought a hearing aid would be the answer to his hearing loss, but it wasn't. Gerald Blackwill: It's frustrating because you really want to understand what somebody's telling you. Dr. Robert Sweetow: No matter how good the hearing aids are, you're not going to achieve maximal communication skills without some kind of training. Jennifer Matthews: That's why Audiologist Robert Sweetow and colleagues created an interactive computer program called listening and communication enhancement or "LACE." Dr. Robert Sweetow: The hearing aid is designed to get the sound into your ear and up to your brain, but what your brain does with it is not going to be a function of the hearing aid. Jennifer Matthews: LACE helps patients develop better listening skills through a series of exercises. In this one, try to hear the male voice. Did you get that? The spine consists of 24 segments of bone. The exercise trains people to focus on one voice when two people are talking. As the brain gets conditioned, it gets easier. Listen again, Gerald Blackwill: I think it's a really good training tool. Jennifer Matthews: Studies show LACE can improve listening and comprehension by up to 30 percent. Gerald Blackwill: That could be the difference between hearing the person next to you and the person two seats down in a restaurant. Jennifer Matthews: For Gerald, it also meant the difference between interacting with people and isolation. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.