How White Noise Actually Improves Your Hearing

How White Noise Actually Improves Your Hearing

Are you finding it hard to hear because of all that ruckus? Add in some more, this study says.

It’s true, some noises are unavoidably penetrating. If you have a jack hammer running into the ground outside your front window, you may find concentrating on your task to be a challenge.

But if you’re trying to listen to music on low in a quiet environment, try adding in some white noise for a better listening experience.

Why might this work? When you add white noise to an environment, your brain finds its easier to distinguish between subtle tone differences, a study done at the University of Basel has found. Somehow, the white noise helps your brain focus.

Related: 4 Common Things That Can Damage Your Hearing Without You Knowing It

Researchers say it inhibits activity of the nerve cells in your auditory cortex, and in doing so, your brain finds it easier to perceive pure tones. It’s still difficult for you to hear sounds that are close together on the frequency spectrum, but those that are further apart become clearer.

Have you ever tried whispering in a busy cafe? It may be easier to hear your partner there than in the silence of a library.

Researchers say they hope their findings will contribute to bettering cochlear implants. It’s possible that the implants could be stimulated with something like white noise to improve hearing in the user.

For information on hearing and how it contributes to your quality of life, click here.

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