Auditory Integration Training, AIT, Berard AIT, Auditory, Auditory Integration

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AIT At Home is an affordable and very convenient educational intervention that is practitioner supervised. 

AIT At Home is now available in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Europe and many other countries!

AIT requires 10 hours of sound therapy, with 20 sessions of 30 minutes each, done 2 times daily over 10 consecutive days. 

Berard AIT will efficiently correct hyperacute hearing and other auditory challenges using this proven protocol. 

AIT has been used successfully on children and adults who are challenged with many different types of diagnoses.

AIT  has been demonstrated to be a  highly effective as a remarkable and life changing educational intervention.

There are more than 60+ years of clinical research and 28+ scientific studies.

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Headphone Precautions After Berard AIT

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The AIT protocol processes and filters music for a therapeutic outcome.
 Using a special device that can't go above safe hearing levels, so wearing headphones during the Berard AIT listening sessions will not cause any harm.

After completing AIT....avoid using headphones or ear buds, especially for listening to music!

Headphone Guidelines After Berard AIT
About The Dangers of Headphone Use in General
Why Headphones Should Not Be Used After Auditory Integration Training!
Avoid the Use of Headphones After Auditory Integration Training
The Dangers of Headphone Use After Berard AIT
About Loosing it AIT Benefits After Headphone Use Or Loud Rock Concerts
Noise Cancelling Headphone Use

Headphone Guidelines After Berard AIT

  • Use of headphones for audiological testing at schools is permissible. These types of tones do not pose a risk to AIT gains.
  • Currently, there is no data available on the impact of using headphones to listen to the music/speech sounds used in a variety of sound-based interventions.
  • Parents and professionals need to be cautious about this since it is known that listening to music with headphones can have a negative impact on results.
  • Do not allow headphones to be used for listening to music, including commercial story tapes that have music in the background.
  • If headphones are needed in certain situations (such as for viewing the movie on an airplane) try putting the headphones around the neck and turning the volume to a level that can be heard by the listener.
  • This allows the sounds to be carried to the auditory system through the atmosphere, which is the way the ear is designed to work.

About The Dangers of Headphone Use in General

Ron Eavey, director of pediatric otolaryngology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary states:

"Using earphones for hours at high volumes basically causes "shock and awe" to delicate hair-like cells deep within the inner ear that help the brain process sound," "After years of abuse, those structures won't function anymore."

Why Headphones Should Not Be Used After Auditory Integration Training!
excerpts from "Sound Bodies through Sound Therapy" by Dorinne Davis
page 180 and 181 of this book:

"Dr. Berard has stressed that headphones should not be used after doing his method.

Headphones are typically used for personal listening, while the average listener plays the volume too loudly. Dr. Berard's concern remains with the health of the middle ear, the quality of the headphones - and most of all the intensity of the sound coming from the headphones. "

Dr. Berard describes the impact as follows: "After AIT, excessively loud volume delivered by headphones may cause a disruption in the balance established. Without headphones, the ear canal works like a shock absorber. The eardrum is the second shock absorber, and the ossicles are the third shock absorber, all protecting the cochlea.

With headphones, sounds go directly to the eardrum, thereby taking away the first protector, allowing sound to attack the cochlea more directly. The headphones per se, do not cause regression after treatment. The intensity level of the excessive volume input from the headphones causes the impact on the acoustic reflex, which in turn directly impacts the cochlea."

Avoid the Use of Headphones After Auditory Integration Training by Dr. Guy Berard

"From the moment I became interested in the problems of hearing, I have been aware of the studies by the health organizations concerning hearing deficiencies caused by wearing headphones for certain occupations.

The statistics were related to telephone operators, translators, and musicians, and even though I cannot exactly quote the results now, I remember that the people whose hearing had been impaired through occupationally-related causes could obtain an official pension. Thus, it was officially recognized that wearing headphones to listen to speech or music could lead to some hearing damage. Afterwards I was asked by several lawyers to evaluate the percentage of hearing loss of these individuals. This percentage was very different for each person, probably because of differences in the physiological and physical resistance of each person.

If it was admitted that wearing headphones to listen to speech or music could lead to some damage to normal individuals, it is obvious that someone who had been treated with Auditory Integration Training, who had some problem of hearing, would be more sensitive to all hearing aggressions, including wearing headphones. This is the reason why I forbid the use of headphones, or at least, if people have to do this because of their work, to minimize the amount of time for this use."

The Dangers of Headphone Use After Berard AIT

The answer to the question about headphone use is NEVER - after AIT.

Dr. Guy Berard advises that headphones never be used again to listen to music. The only headphone use will be IN AIT, and if a child  is required to undergo a second session.

The problem with headphones is that the sound source comes too close to the ear drum, there is distortion and the risk is there that one will lose the gains acquired through AIT.

What's the difference between using headphones in AIT and using headphones recreationally?

There is a huge difference:

  1. In Berard AIT, the headphones used are of a superlative quality. These headphones are expensive, recording studio headphones, with a good impedence at the top of the range of headphones for acoustic precision.

  2. The music played back via an AIT device is electronically modulated. The person never hears the full musical (frequency) spectrum - high and low broad band filters remove either of these randomly. Therefore the music intensity is vastly different to listening to music recreationally.

When a person undergoes Berard AIT the music levels are predetermined by means of testing and careful attention to the client's comfort levels.

No settings are above 80 dB's output and hence the person is protected against damage to the auditory system due to sudden excessive changes in loudness levels.

Recreational music isn't the same and people often tolerate music far louder through headphones than through free-field listening - in fact - one of the top manufacturers of headphones internationally, Beyerdynamic, places warnings to that effect on their equipment packaging, which states that listening to music through these headphones at levels louder than 80 dB's will cause irreversible hearing loss.

No child has adequate audiological knowledge to know when music is "too loud" and when the headphones are on, no parent can intervene, as you simply can't hear how loud the sound is, that the child is listening to.

What Causes A Hearing Problem When Headphones Are Used?

"Normally, when you hear sounds, such as music, talking, noises from your own behavior, songs of the birds, as well as thunderclaps, any kinds of engines or of explosions, they reach your tympanic drums after passing through a large quantity of atmosphere. This air works as a shock absorber to diminish the intensity of the impact on the eardrum.

However, when you are hearing sounds coming directly from the membrane of the headphone to your tympanic membrane, through the one square centimeter of air included in your outer ear canal, the impact is practically direct, without any possibility of easing this aggression.

This constant aggression is transmitted to the ossicles, then to the inner ear. This explains why many of people working with headphones have a trough, or drop on 4000 Hertz on their Audiogram or Listening Test, similar to that of people working in noisy factories.

On the other hand, wearing headphones eliminates all the sounds coming from outside, increasing the sounds coming from your own body, your own voice, creating a sort of echo.

This aspect of the problem is more important for people wearing earplugs placed directly in the outer ear canal close to the eardrum. Then there is no more air to help the vibration of the tympanic drum and all your own sounds lead directly to the cochlea and the brain, which is not satisfactory, physiologically or psychologically.

As soon as I became aware of the existence of walkmans, I warned officials of the danger of this type of device, for the same reason ... in vain. Now the same officials are discovering this danger and giving precautions."

About Loosing AIT Benefits After Headphone Use or Loud Rock Concerts

The most weighty reason for advising parents to avoid earphone use after AIT - in fact at any time, is the mounting number of reports of people who have tried to use earphones, ignoring this rule, only to find their auditory problems return - sometimes more severe.  The direct volume level that is unmoderated by environmental sound has distorting effects on the ear.  Exposure to loud music in a disco or rock concert is also in the dangerous category.  Do your best to  avoid loud rock concerts, very loud weddings, parties or loud, extended social occasions.

Noise Cancelling Headphone Use Before And After AIT

From what we know about the low levels of the brain, mainly the brain stem level systems for noise suppression, is that in the case of noise cancelling headphones, they are kept functioning by minute-to-minute daily use. For example, using earplugs to damping noise so we can sleep. But it is a little like a muscle: use it or lose it. The best research along these lines is for much more severe auditory deprivation than mere addiction to noise suppression gear. Research is on children with severe, chronic, long standing middle ear (conductive) hearing loss.  

It has also been studied in lab mice that were purposely deprived of sound for crucial days of development. In the mice where one could look at structures, many brain stem cell systems were under-developed compared to the normal-hearing mice. Then, with hyperacusis or hypersensitive hearing, we have the added problem of the person's damping defense against noise which means the stiffening of the cochlear hair cells to temper the sound coming in, which causes the depressions in the Audiogram or Listening Test or "greater hearing loss", when not using the ear protectors.

We recommend to  parents that they do what they need to do until AIT, but then wean the child off the ear plugs or noise canceling headphones, except in situations where we would want to  protect any normal listener such as during loud performances, fireworks, etc.


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