Sound Therapy at Home Right Ear Dominance
If your child has difficulty hearing or understanding sounds, sound therapy at home might be the solution. Research has long known that the left ear processes speech more efficiently while the right ear deciphers tones and music better. But now a new study indicates our ears transmit auditory information differently to each other; this may explain why children with hearing impairment in one ear tend to struggle more academically than their counterparts with same difficulties in the other ear.
Traditionally, doctors have treated hearing problems with traditional hearing aids. But now scientists are revealing a more effective and natural solution.
In a six-year study conducted by UCLA and the University of Arizona, scientists joined forces to explore how newborns process sound. They employed rapid clicks and sustained tones as stimuli to test how quickly these infants understood sound.
Results revealed that the right ear amplifies sustained sounds such as music, while the left amplifies speech-related noises like rapid clicks timed with words. This is because our ears are mechanically designed to distinguish between different types of noise and send that data to our brains.
Sininger views this as an important discovery, since it suggests that our ears process sound in accordance with their functional anatomy. She notes that previously researchers assumed the two sides of the brain processed sound differently due to cellular properties unique to each hemisphere – but this is no longer the case.
Research has also demonstrated that the ear has a direct line to the brain, making it essential to listen with both ears in order to get an optimal experience. Our sense of balance relies heavily on this connection between brain and ear, so listening with both ears ensures we get a balanced sensation.
It has been demonstrated that our auditory nerve and brain are connected by the corpus collosum, an axon-like bundle of neurons located between the two hemispheres. This link allows the left ear to pick up sounds traveling through this corpus collosum and send them off into language-dominant left hemisphere for processing by that part of the brain.
But when that connection is disrupted, such as with a hearing impairment, the brain’s capacity for processing auditory signals can become impaired. This may result in communication problems, poorer listening skills and decreased interest in learning new things.
For years, doctors have been encouraging parents to seek assistance for their children’s hearing issues – particularly right-ear dominant hearing loss which has an especially severe impact on speech and language development. But the situation is further complicated by the fact that many people are born with asymmetrical hearing loss.
That means the right ear has a higher hearing capacity than the left ear, and often receives sound in an unexpected order. This processing speed difference has been linked to many issues associated with right-ear dominant hearing.
The brain must process all this data, and it can take some time for it to sort out what comes from the right and left. This can cause delays in learning and communication, as well as have an adverse impact on social interactions and mood swings.