A recent study has found that it is possible for the brain to cancel out some sounds, and focus on others when directed to. This is a particularly important consideration in hearing aid wearers, who need to relearn to listen with an acquired hearing loss. Hearing aids only provide an aid to hearing, focused listening and hearing tactics are just as important in achieving improved hearing.
I am constantly trying to reinforce to my patients that listening is just as important as hearing and that while I control their hearing they control their listening. Many patients are overwhelmed by sound when they are first fitted with a hearing aids, resulting on them being distracted by noise rather than listening to speech. However, when the patient finishes their acclimatisation period and is wearing the hearing aid all of the time, they will begin to become selective again. However, this is not a passive activity for the hearing impaired it is a much more demanding activity, that will take time to improve. Continued dialogue with your Audiologist is important to make the best progress.
The link below is to a video which explains the details of the hearing study in more depth