Background Noise Problem or Cocktail Party Syndrome (CPS)

The inability to differentiate sound from background noise is a very common problem affecting at least 20% of the population, both old and young. This condition may be an indication of hearing loss or you may have acute hearing but simply have a problem with auditory discrimination.

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

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, 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 to help thousands of others like herself.

How does Sound Therapy help CPS

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, simultaneous auditory inputs. It is quite apparent from the results on learning, speech functions and short term memory that Sound Therapy facilitates Central Auditory Processing. The ear is the end organ through which the auditory parts of the brain can be stimulated. The organised harmonic structure of classical music with its stimulating effect further enhanced by the Electronic Ear has proved an effective way to increase neural efficiency in processing sound.

If you would like to learn more about how Sound Therapy could help Cocktail Party Syndrome, and other related conditions, please request our FREE INFORMATION in the side bar to your right.