New research is changing the way we think about hearing aids by unlocking the secret to how our brains process sound and paving the way for improved treatments and technologies.

“Many people think that we hear with our ears, but it’s the brain that actually does the hearing. The ears detect sound and deliver it to the brain. The brain then works out what is speech, and what is noise and makes sense of it.  Our clients like the Oticon Opn S hearing aid’s sound and performance.  They choose this hearing aid becauase it makes listening easier”, said Mary Kalantzis from Melbourne Audiology Centre about the brain-friendly approach to hearing care from Oticon. Thi is why we choose to supply hearing aids featuring the BrainHearing™ technology at Melbourne Audiology Centre.

Jonathan Constantine, the Brisbane-based national audiology manager of hearing device company Oticon, said research from the United States* challenges the established approach for hearing aids, which is to provide access to only one voice while minimising background noise.  “The new studies suggest people with hearing loss need access to all sounds for their brains to make sense of their environment”, Mr Constantine said.  “If a hearing aid provides limited access to sounds, the brain has to work harder to make sense of the sound. This can then diminish the overall quality of hearing”.

Melbourne Audiology Centre fits a range of Oticon hearing aids with BrainHearing technology such as the Oticon Opn S. Melbourne Audiology Centre has a variety of options to suit your needs whilst giving you access to this unique approach to hearing technology.

Mr Constantine said the new research confirmed Oticon’s fundamental BrainHearing philosophy, which is that while the ears collect sound, it is the brain that makes sense of it.  “We have always believed that the key to treating hearing loss lies in understanding how the brain processes and makes sense of sound”, he said.

Mr Constantine said Oticon’s Opn S hearing aid, released last year, was the first hearing aid proven to support the brain’s natural way of organising sounds**.  Mr Constantine said there were strong connections between hearing health and brain health.  “A vicious cycle can start when a person experiences hearing loss and doesn’t treat it effectively. Hearing loss can make social gatherings challenging, so people tend to withdraw which can leave them feeling socially isolated. Over time, the lack of interaction can lead to a drop in mood as well as cognitive decline, both of which can cause further health issues”, he explained.  “Good hearing helps your brain stay fit throughout your life. These sorts of breakthroughs enable us to develop new technologies to help improve quality of life for more than 3.6 million Australians who suffer from hearing loss”.

To book an appointment to try Oticon hearing aids featuring BrainHearing technology and let your brain be the judge, contact the team at Melbourne Audiology Centre on 9415 5858 or make an appointment booking enquiry online.

* https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2019.09.007 and https://www.jneurosci.org/content/37/38/9189

**Ng & Man 2019, Oticon Whitepaper

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