Tips for Better Hearing in Noise

Tips for Better Hearing in Noise

If you have hearing loss, it is likely that you could have first realized it while trying to communicate amongst noise. It may have been in a crowded restaurant, party, or even busy grocery store. Sometimes even the hum of loud appliances like the fridge or air conditioner can create so much racket that it is a challenge to hear. Isolating and prioritizing sounds in a crowded environment is a common challenge as hearing declines. Even if you have taken the leap to invest in hearing aids you may still have issues differentiating sounds amongst noise. While hearing aids can help significantly, there are certain strategies you can employ to make it easier to hear in a sea of competing noises. 

Challenges with Background Noise

When you suffer from hearing loss, complex sound environments can make it difficult to create hierarchies of important sounds. If someone is having a conversation while you are attempting to have a completely different conversation nearby, it is a common struggle to separate the two. Even if you find that you are able to hear, it may still be hard to comprehend what is being said.

Use Binaural Hearing Aids

No matter how advanced a hearing aid technology is, or how long the person has used their hearing device, it can still be difficult to hear. However, the use of two hearing aids can make a significant difference in making sure this is less of an issue. This is because we use both ears, known as binaural hearing, to decipher where sounds are coming from, how fast and how close. It is common for one ear to not hear as well as the other. This is often referred to as the “bad ear”. However, it is very rare that hearing loss is unilateral. Amplifying both ears, even if the loss is slight in one, can improve your brain’s ability to distinguish front and background noises and improve localization of sound. This can also help you stay more alert in listening environments and prevent accidents that can potentially occur. 

Style Matters

If you have been enjoying hearing aids for years this is wonderful news. Using hearing aids improves your ability to communicate amongst friends, family, and co-workers. It helps you stay independent, socially active and protects your brain from cognitive decline due to a lack of audio and social stimulation. However, hearing aid technology is rapidly changing and there are more and more features available to make hearing easier than before. This is particularly true of hearing amongst background noise, which has been a complaint of many hearing aid users for years. The latest technology in hearing aids has background suppression which prioritizes conversation in front of you, by pointing a microphone towards the speaker you are facing. This is called directional microphone systems (DPS): single or dual microphones, which capture and process sounds coming from the front of the device differently than those from the back. 

DPS also provides wind and background suppression to minimize ambient noise which could interfere with your hearing experience. This is achieved by preserving signals that can fluctuate, such as speech, in which the patterns of high and low frequency as well as loud and soft sounds can quickly shift. In addition, many hearing aids are now compatible with Bluetooth and Telecoil technology, which can send sound wirelessly to your hearing aids so you can hear media more clearly in a noisy auditorium or another crowded space. 

Training Yourself to Improve Your Listening

While hearing aids can make a world of difference, there are several ways that you can train your brain to hear sharper and clearer. This is especially essential for those who may have gone without hearing aids for years. There is a real need to train yourself how to hear again after potential decades of not hearing these sounds. There are several programs designed to help people hear sound amongst other competing noises. Some of these are complementary while others require a paid subscription or one time purchase. These programs employ games and memory strengthening activities to help people to prioritize sounds. The Listening and Communication Enhancement (LACE) program has been found to enhance ability to hear speech in noise significantly based on a 2011 study. 

Dealing with Your Hearing Loss

If you notice that you are having issues with hearing in noisy places, it’s time to have your hearing tested. Even if you are already using hearing aids, it may be worth your while to explore what options there are for you to hear even better. Schedule a hearing test today and find out what the world of hearing enhancements can do for you, to hear through all the noise.

Going Digital with Your Hearing Aids

Going Digital with Your Hearing Aids

Do you remember your old cassette players? How about vinyl records? These recording devices used an analog process to express sonic information. By imprinting tape or wax with a continuous representation of sound, this device became a carrier for a sonic imprint that was transformed into an electrical signal. 

Once the electrical signal entered your home audio device, it was further transformed into the variations in air pressure that we recognize as sound. What a remarkable process! However, since the advent of the CD, we have been living in the digital audio world built around strings of 1s and 0s. This manner of representing sonic information has much to offer us in terms of precision and compatibility with computer applications.

Hearing aids have advanced remarkably in the past decade, and many of these improvements can be credited to digital audio technology. Not only do the latest aids make it possible to work with sound in a highly precise and individualized manner, but they also create the context for other digital features and services. 

Before digging into the benefits of digital hearing aids, let’s begin by exploring the comparison with analog technology. The new possibilities might surprise you, and there are many ways to understand how our sonic environment is shifting with the introduction of digital sound. 

Analog vs. Digital Hearing Aids

What is the difference between analog and digital hearing devices? The difference is much like that between the music recording and reproduction technologies mentioned above. Analog hearing aids use tiny microphones to capture differences in air pressure according to sound. That pressure is converted into an electrical impulse that is then amplified and projected at a louder level through the speaker in the devices. At no point does this process require transformation of audio into a binary code of 1s and 0s, but digital hearing aids do just that. 

With digital hearing aids, after using a microphone to identify those pressure differences we call sound, that signal is converted not only to an electrical impulse but into a code. That code includes fine-grained details about the features of the sound. Just like the vast information included in other digital applications, this process makes it possible to analyze digital sound by complex algorithms. Let’s take a look at some of the types of analysis that digital hearing aids can provide that analog ones cannot. 

Digital Audio Analysis

When your digital hearing aids convert sound into binary code, they can transmit that information through wireless technology to an application in your smartphone or computer. Once housed there, your app can analyze many components of the sound captured by your hearing aids. 

Benefits of Digital Hearing Aids

One of the best offerings of digital audio is the presence or absence of background noise. when there is a consistent hum, whir, or buzz in the background, this analysis can identify the “noisy” parts and separate them from the variable parts, such as speech. Analog hearing aids simply raise the volume of the entire sonic context, meaning they raise the volume of background noise alongside speaking voices. 

Digital hearing aids make it possible to keep the background noise at a lower level while raising the volume of voices. Digital audio is also able to isolate the proximity of voices. This ability makes it possible to raise the volume on the voice of a person talking to you close by while keeping the other voices of people in the room at a lower level. These remarkable offerings of digital hearing aids make them better able to serve the functions of communication that make them most valuable to you. 

In addition to these functions, digital hearing aids can use wireless technology such as Bluetooth to connect to a wide range of other services, apps, and streaming audio. Not only can you use this digital technology to send phone ringers and notifications directly to your ears but you can also listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, and television directly through your aids. 

By seamlessly transitioning from listening to a television program to picking up a phone call and then walking outside and hearing the birds, you can integrate many aspects of your life into a single set of tiny devices: digital hearing aids. 

Looking for an Upgrade? 

If you are interested in learning more about digital hearing aids or think you might benefit from an upgrade to the latest technology, we’re here to help! Contact us today to learn more and to schedule a consultation. 

Advantages of Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Advantages of Rechargeable Hearing Aids

For many people, buying and replacing batteries is a part of using hearing aids. However, rechargeable batteries are changing the way we interact with hearing aids. Rechargeable hearing aids are a fairly recent and welcome addition to the hearing healthcare landscape. In the past, rechargeable batteries didn’t provide enough power in a small enough battery to be feasible for use in hearing aids but the days of regularly changing your battery are coming to an end.

Depending on your hearing aid model and level of usage, your old standard zinc air replaceable batteries will need to be changed every three to ten days. Most hearing aids give you a signal when the battery is about to die. Recently, though, thanks to lithium-ion technology, rechargeable batteries are not only available, they are also long lasting and reliable for use in hearing aids!

You’ll Never Want to Go Back

The days of changing your battery every 3-10 days are over. Rechargeable batteries provide confidence and certainty to the wearer that their battery will be ready to use each morning after a night’s charge and hold a charge throughout the day. Just like you would charge your mobile devices overnight, the same practice takes place with a rechargeable hearing aid. You will never miss or pause an important or special moment due to having to change a battery when using rechargeable hearing aids.

The personal benefits of rechargeable hearing aids depend on your preferences and lifestyle. However, the use of lithium-ion batteries is creating a world of possibility for hearing aid manufacturers and wearers alike. So, while you might find some of these benefits rewarding, others might not yet see value in going rechargeable. If you’re curious about what it means that rechargeable hearing aids have finally arrived, here are some serious benefits to using lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.

No Extra Costs

When hearing aids use replaceable batteries people often spend up to $100 per year on disposable batteries.  You will never have to worry about not being able to get more hearing aid batteries or deal with shipping and handling costs. With rechargeable batteries the battery is built into the unit, and they can be recharged as many times as you need.

Don’t Be Caught Off-guard

Once you establish a routine, you’re less likely to get caught off-guard with a dead battery on the go. All you have to do is plug in your hearing aid in every night the way many people already plug in their smart phone when they go to sleep at the end of the day. Disposable zinc-air batteries don’t offer the same protection. They can run out anytime, with little warning beforehand. You will no longer have to carry backup batteries everywhere you go or worry about them running out.

Better Performance in Cold Weather

Zinc-air disposable batteries struggle to function properly in cold weather. The lack of moisture and low temperature zaps the batteries power quickly, draining your hearing aids and causing issues with the sound quality. Rechargeable hearing aids are becoming extremely popular in areas that experience extreme winters since they’re more cost effective and easier to use. Lithium-ion batteries suffer little to no loss in cold weather.

Environmentally Safer

While it’s important to state that lithium-ion batteries must be properly disposed of when you get rid of your hearing aids, they can also be recharged thousands of times. Compared to zinc-air batteries, which can only be used once and tossed out and end up ultimately in landfills.

More Accessible for Older Users

Many older wearers complain that the process of buying and replacing batteries is taxing on them. They might not have the means necessary to run to the pharmacy and buy batteries, and those with motor-control issues might struggle to open the battery compartment. With rechargeable hearing aids, this troublesome process is completely cut out.

Energy Efficient

A fully charged Lithium-ion battery can last the entire day, which is 19 hours of battery life. Instead of buying more disposable batteries, you can simply put your hearing aids in their charger at the end of the day.

Find out more at Hearing Consultants

With so many benefits of rechargeable batteries there are few reasons to still use zinc-air batteries. If by now you’re interested in rechargeable hearing aids and think you might benefit from them, you might be curious about how to make the switch, and what type of hearing aid to choose. Contact us at Hearing Consultants to find out all about which hearing aids could best for you and your lifestyle.

Myths about Hearing Aids

Myths about Hearing Aids

 

Hearing loss is often referred to as an “invisible disability,” because it is not always obvious when people have hearing loss, and often it is not talked about.  Studies show that only 1 in 5 people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses them, and on average, people with hearing loss wait almost 10 years before they do something about it. Using a hearing aid presents a number of advantages to a hearing-impaired person. First and foremost, you will hear a lot better. Hearing aids do not restore your hearing to normal, but they improve it significantly. Hearing aids usually improve the user’s social, psychological and physical sense of well-being.

Sometimes it’s related to cost, but other times it has to do with the stigma that hearing loss carries. People might associate hearing loss with becoming old or obsolete or don’t want to wear hearing aids because they find them aesthetically displeasing.

There are a lot of misconceptions that people have about hearing loss that if dispelled could help allot of people seek the treatment that could benefit them greatly.

Myth: Only the Elderly are Affected

Truth: An estimated 48 million people live with hearing loss in the U.S., and about two-thirds are under 65 years old. A 2010 Journal of the American Medical Association study found that 1 in 5 children ages 12 to 19 showed some sign of hearing loss in one or both ears. The World Health Organization has warned that 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss “due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars, and sporting events.”

Myth: Your hearing loss was caused by clubs and concerts years ago.

Truth: While attending too many loud shows without the proper ear protection can be a major contributor to hearing loss, there are many other contributors, including the normal aging process, genetics, medications, smoking, a poor diet and diabetes. All of these destroy the hair cells in the inner ear — and it’s the hair cells that send auditory signals to your brain. Once hair cells are damaged, they’re damaged and they will not grow back.  It’s important to understand the contributors to hearing damage so you can take the appropriate steps to protect your hearing.

Myth: If other people would just talk louder, you would hear just fine.

Truth: Hearing is the body’s biological microphone. If you’ve ever heard anyone speak into a microphone that’s damaged, it might be loud, but there’s a  distortion that makes sounds hard to comprehend. The goal of today’s digital hearing aids is both to make sounds louder, clearer, reduce background noise and extract the most important aspects of sound to clarify speech.

Myth: Hearing loss does not affect the other aspects of my health.

Truth:  An untreated hearing loss increases one’s risk of experiencing cognitive decline, falls, social isolation, and depression. There is even a link between untreated hearing loss and dementia. It’s theorized that the “cognitive load” on the brain may take away resources the brain uses for other function, such as short-term memory. Researchers have observed that treating the hearing loss, such as with hearing aids, can reverse or even prevent some of these conditions. New research from Johns Hopkins University shows that hearing loss may increase your risk of developing dementia. The upside is that research also shows you can improve memory and mood by correcting the hearing loss.

Myth: As long as you can hear some sound, it’s OK to wait to get hearing aids.

Truth: The longer you wait, the worse your hearing will become, making it harder to treat than ever. When the auditory system in your brain isn’t stimulated, the brain stops recognizing sound. If people wait too long to start using hearing aids, they can find that they don’t help as much as they hoped. Fortunately, our brains can “relearn” to hear, thanks to neuroplasticity — the fairly recent finding that the brain can reprogram itself into very old age with the proper stimulation. Practically speaking, that means you have to teach your brain to hear again, by wearing the hearing aids regularly.

Live Your Truth

All the research points to treating your hearing as soon as possible.  If you have suspected that you’ve had a hearing loss for a while, don’t delay any longer. Contact us at Hearing Consultants to schedule a hearing test and join those hearing and living life again!

 

Closed-caption Phones Open Up Doors for People with Hearing Loss

Closed-caption Phones Open Up Doors for People with Hearing Loss

 

Hearing loss can detract from a person’s life in a myriad of little ways where gradual difficulties can accumulate into significant challenges. While hearing loss affects our overall health, our cognitive ability and even our earning power, the area people most poignantly feel hearing loss’ impact is through new problems communicating. Not being able to hear other people can lead to feelings of isolation and alienation and separate us from the people and activities we love the most. Hearing loss, if left unaddressed, can leave you feeling out of the loop and excluded from the conversation.

Fortunately, solutions exist to help people with hearing loss bridge those communication gaps. Hearing assistance can take the form of hearing aids or cochlear implants which help their users hear better everywhere they go. Specific assistive devices also exist to help the hearing-impaired stay safe and facilitate better communication. For example, instead of relying on sound-based alarms, a person with hearing loss may opt for a bed-shaker or vibrating alert that can help them wake up in the case of danger – or even just the start of a workday.

Improving the Phone

One major victory for disability rights was the passage of the ADA which, in part, codified the right for people with hearing and speech challenges to access appropriate telecommunications solutions. The ADA victory has helped make some assistive devices, like telephones adapted for the hearing impaired, widely available and often free-of-charge to qualified users.

Many states across the country have established programs to help people with hearing loss connect with assistive telephones, from try services and closed-captioned phones, to telephones that offer dramatically increased amplification. Just as people with hearing loss use diverse strategies to help them navigate the world around them, different telephone solutions accommodate different ways of hearing.

The Closed Caption Phone

Many people with hearing loss find using a standard telephone challenging. Vocal quality is often muffled and distorted through a telephone receiver. That’s where a live-captioned conversation can really improve access to talking with friends and loved ones.

Services like CapTel or CaptionCall make use of live captioners working in tandem with automatic speech-to-text translators to provide swift, accurate captioning for telephone calls. Using a landline telephone, captioning is delivered to a small screen attached to the phone which scrolls as the call progresses. A captioned call allows the phone user to engage in voice calls while keeping track of what is said via written text. Maintaining the vocal component of a phone call makes captioned phones more than simply texting. With the aid of a captioned phone it is possible to communicate with young children and doesn’t require the dexterity that texting does.

Each state has different programs available to help customers access captioned telephones. Here in Ohio, models of CapTel captioned telephones are made available to customers at a reduced cost and several counties are now helping people access close captioned phones free of charge.

Smarter All the Time

Better access to the phone doesn’t have to exclude the smart phone revolution. More modern hearing aids are incorporating device streaming into their impressive list of hearing aid features. New frontiers in sound streaming mean that audio from a smart phone and other compatible digital devices can be directly delivered to your Bluetooth enabled hearing aids for optimized listening – even your doorbell!

Hearing aids play a huge role in treating hearing loss effectively and alongside them, smart phones are making huge advances in becoming important assistive devices in their own right. Speech to text technology developed for hands-free note and memo taking is being developed into ever more accurate live-captioning software. The acceptance of texting has also let phone users with hearing loss stay connected to the people closest to them, alongside managing professional communication and correspondence.

Hearing Consultants

With so many options to choose from, you can’t let your hearing loss hold you back. From taking advantage of hearing aids with streaming audio to finding the right fit with an assistive phone, modern technology is helping people with hearing loss fully realize their telecommunications rights. If you have questions about your hearing, or devices and therapies that can help you manage your hearing challenges you know where to turn: Hearing Consultants. We proudly offer a full range of audiology services to the greater Cincinnati area.

 

Going Digital with Your Hearing Aids

Going Digital with Your Hearing Aids

Over the past several decades a digital revolution has happened in the hearing aid industry creating a new generation of hearing aids with astounding power and nuance, alongside sleek and discrete design. What exactly is digital hearing technology – and what has it replaced?

Analog Vs. Digital

Whether a hearing aid is digital or analog, it has the same basic structure, although it will process sound differently. In both cases, a microphone is used to pick up sounds in the surrounding environment, it is then amplified and delivered to the ear canal via a receiver.

Analog hearing aids directly amplify the sounds they receive without digital assistance. This means that all incoming sounds undergo amplification, and it can be harder to parse speech from amplified background noise.

Analog hearing aids do offer some programmable features, such as presets that can help a user adapt to sound in distinctly noisy or quiet environments. Programmed presets have similar capabilities to an analog sound mixing board in terms of creating legible sound environments, but it functions without the responsiveness and nuance of digital processing.

The Digital Advantage

With the arrival of the first digital hearing aid by Oticon in 1995, a new frontier emerged in hearing technology. Since then, hearing aids have advanced in leaps and bounds alongside technology.

Digital hearing aids work on the same principles as analog, but add additional processing of incoming sound to make the listening experience better matched to the user’s hearing needs. A microphone still feeds incoming sound into amplification circuits which delivers sound to a receiver in the ear.  Within the amplification process, digital hearing aids truly outshine analog capabilities.

Digital hearing aids are built around digital signal processing, or DSP for short. DSP converts incoming sound into a digital signal which is processed by microcomputers within the hearing aid to amplify and deliver sound to the user. In addition to having programmable presets for sound environments, digital technology further extends the hearing aid’s ability to selectively parse specific sounds. With the development of speech recognition software, digital hearing aids now have adept abilities to suppress background noise while foregrounding directed speech and conversation.

With all incoming sound converted from sound waves to digital signals, digital hearing aids can deliver exacting performance in boosting the specific frequencies your hearing loss requires. Sound processing algorithms mean that incoming sound can be continually and fluidly adapted to –beyond basic presets. Your hearing specialist will work with you and the results of your hearing exam to ensure the digital processing is handling sound to your best advantage.

Digital hearing aids are also on the forefront of hearing assistance that integrates itself into smart phones and digital devices around your home. Bluetooth hearing aids with digital streaming can deliver sound from smart phones and digital devices directly to the ear canal, making it easier to talk on the phone, listen to shows or music, even catch the ring of your smart home doorbell. As smart technology becomes more fully built into our daily lives, digital hearing technology will be further able to make hearing more comfortable and natural.

Choose Wisely

Digital hearing aids offer a plethora of advantages in treating hearing loss, but not every digital hearing aid is built alike. Off-brand digital hearing aids offered at steeply discounted costs usually lack the technology and programming to make digital sound truly assistive to hearing loss. The result is digital hearing aids that actually underperform their analog counterparts.

When choosing a hearing aid stick to reliable brand name solutions. Hearing aids today rely on complex and remarkably tiny audio processing technology, built with an investment of research and development. Digital hearing aids should be programmable to adapt to your specific hearing challenges in addition to nuanced environmental changes. While industry leaders make hearing aid technology smaller, smarter and more durable than ever before, cheap knock-offs cut costs by severely compromising the quality of the hearing device.

Hearing Consultants

Picking the right hearing aid can change your life – we see it every day at Hearing Consultants where we help match your hearing needs to our expansive selection of the best in digital hearing technology. We work with you to find the best match for your life style budget and hearing needs, and provide custom hearing aid fitting and programming to optimize your hearing health.

Hearing Aids Are Found to Improve Depressive Symptoms

Hearing Aids Are Found to Improve Depressive Symptoms

Hearing loss is a condition of our auditory system, but the effects of hearing loss aren’t just limited to our ears. Hearing loss has repercussions for many aspects of our health and quality of life. Among the risks, untreated hearing loss diminishes our cognitive functioning, increases our risk of accidental falls and decreases our earning power. One of the most damaging effects of untreated hearing loss is an increased risk of depression.

Unfortunately, most hearing loss is permanent, but new research is uncovering how effective treating hearing loss can be. Newly emerging research is tracking the benefits of hearing aids and cochlear implants, specifically on reducing symptoms of depression.

Depression and Hearing Loss

What connects hearing loss to depression? Hearing loss makes us more susceptible to depression in the way it alters our life and communication with others. When hearing loss is left untreated, it can gradually change our life and behavior and fuel depression. Living with hearing loss can diminish our passion for events and activities we once enjoyed, when hearing makes social events more challenging than fun. Trouble hearing can even sap the joy from watching our favorite movies or listening to music.

Hearing loss can also create distance between ourselves and the people closest to us. Keeping in touch with family and friends by telephone can become difficult and frustrating with hearing loss. Big family dinners or gatherings can create sound environments that are difficult to navigate with hearing loss. Challenges with hearing and comprehending speech make it both hard to understand others and feel understood.

By pushing us away from social participation, hearing loss creates conditions where depression can flourish. Depression is a serious disease that requires attention and treatment. It is linked not only to great losses in quality of life, but also to other health factors, such as substance abuse, heart disease and suicide.

Treating Hearing Loss

Hearing loss, when left unchecked can greatly increase our susceptibility to depression – but can treating hearing loss help? A recent study based at John Hopkins University recently published hopeful short-term findings. In the framework of a twelve-month study, researchers looked at over one hundred older adults, tracking indicators of depression and how they corresponded to hearing treatment. The study tracked depression levels using a metric called the Geriatric Depression Scale, administered questions that rank on a scale from 0-15. The study looked at participants with untreated hearing loss who were introduced to hearing aids or cochlear implants.

Over the course of the study, both treatment protocols alleviated depressive responses, leading the research team to be optimistic about conducting longer and more in-depth studies of the treatment response. The study also bodes well for people with hearing loss hoping to mitigate side effects like depression through treatment.

Earlier the Better

Most hearing loss happens gradually, sometimes at a slow enough rate it is hard to notice that you are experiencing a significant hearing issue. However, as hearing loss progresses, it stresses our cognitive functioning and fundamentally changes the wiring of our brain. Although occasional difficulty hearing may seem trivial, it can point to the start of a larger problem.

Stay aware of your hearing and watch for hearing concerns. If a friend or family member talks to you about your hearing, consider their concern – they may be noticing things you are missing. Similarly, if you find speech often sounds muffled or mumbling it is a sign that you are experiencing hearing loss and a hearing exam should be your first step.

When you seek treatment for hearing loss, the earlier the better. Cognitive strain can significantly change your hearing and your overall health, worsening your hearing and making it harder to adapt to treatment.  Stay on top of your health, and connected to the people most important to you – treat hearing issues when they arise.

Hearing Consultants

Have you noticed recent changes in your hearing? Have you altered your behavior in the past month because of hearing-related anxiety? When hearing concerns arise, Hearing Consultants is here to help. We specialize in all aspects of hearing treatment and care from testing and diagnosis to fitting and programming hearing aids. Our team of hearing specialists brings a personal approach to every situation. Remember, the earlier you seek help for a hearing concern, the better, so set up an appointment with Hearing Consultants today!

Oticon’s HearingFitness App Wins 2018 CES Award

Oticon's HearingFitness App Wins 2018 CES Award

Have you been wondering if your hearing aid is doing everything it can to help you hear, or if there’s anything else you need to know about your hearing health? Oticon has just released an exciting new app called the HearingFitness App that’s designed to help you get your ears in shape, and make sure your hearing aids are simplifying your life. The experts all love this revolutionary new technology, and the HearingFitness app recently won a 2018 CES Innovation Award.

How the App Works

If you’ve been wanting to learn more about your health and your hearing health, then this astounding new technology is for you. The HearingFitness App is the first of it’s kind dedicated to hearing fitness and helping you hear. Working with Oticon’s Opn line of hearing devices, the app tracks data on your hearing health, like how much you wear your hearing aid, your listening environments, and your listening fatigue.

Not only does the app track your hearing, it also collects data on a host of other health measurements, such as sleep cycles, heart rate, and activity levels. This means that by using a single app you’ll have a clear understanding of your overall health and wellbeing. Tracking these health markers means you’ll be able to see what needs improvement, and where you’re already healthy.

Brain First Technology

One of the things that makes Oticon so unique is their brain first approach to hearing loss. Rather than focusing on hearing loss at the level of the ear, they design hearing devices that help the brain hear better, reduce listening fatigue, and make sounds as natural as possible. Their BrainHearing technology, developed by researchers at the Eriksholm Research Centre, is designed to help the brain hear so that you can have energy to participate in the conversation without worrying about your hearing. The hearing aids analyze all the sounds around you, determine which sounds are important, and help you focus on what you want to hear. The HearingFitness App will also help Oticon further improve their hearing technology by sending data from the app back to Oticon for analysis of hearing aid use as well as user feedback.

Providing Encouragement

The app doesn’t just tell you about your health, it also provides valuable suggestions for ways to improve your hearing and your health. Using the app will help you hear better, know when you need to protect your hearing, and encourage you to make healthier choices.

Linking Dementia and Hearing Loss

Recent research has been discovering clear links between untreated hearing loss and dementia, and this is one of the factors that inspired the HearingFitness App. Living with untreated hearing loss is known to cause rapid cognitive decline. Those with hearing loss often face social isolation, choosing to stay home alone rather than go out with friends where they can’t follow conversations with all the background noise, and often feel upset or embarrassed when they aren’t able to understand what’s being said.  As Don Schum, Vic President of Audiology of Oticon points out, “a growing body of evidence is indicating that the social isolation brought on by untreated hearing loss is a big risk factor for dementia and that hearing aids may well help minimize that impact.” One way the HearingFitness App can help is to “encourage routine use of hearing aids and empower users with the feedback they need to take charge of their long-term health and well-being through healthy hearing habits today,” says Schum.

Winning a CES Innovation Award

Receiving a CES Innovation Award is high praise for the HearingFitness App, proving that Oticon is a global contender when it comes to leading consumer technologies. They exhibited at the CES 2018 showcase in January in Las Vegas, among the consumer electronics housed in a gallery for the 2018 award honorees.

Get your Hearing Device Today

Are you ready to try out Oticon’s newest technology for yourself? Visit us at Hearing Consultants to learn more about how Oticon’s HearingFitness App could change your life. We’ll do a hearing assessment, then work with you to find the hearing device that’s right for you. Start using the HeraingFitness App today, get the most out of your hearing, and make the choice to improve your health.