Brain Hearing Restores Optimal, Natural Hearing

In stark contrast to their bulky and expensive ancestors, modern hearing aids work much better thanks to technology and they are super sleek. They’re also pretty much invisible! The last 10 to 15 years have seen many advancements in this realm. Where hearing aids used to be bulky, expensive, and ineffective, today’s versions are much more discreet, affordable. They can also easily mimic subtleties of natural sound.

A fundamental change in the overall approach to research and design of hearing aids is now on the horizon. It’s called “brain hearing.” Unfortunately, hearing aid technology is being held by its reputation because many believe hearing aids are still ugly, massive contraptions of the past.

So what is brain hearing, exactly?

Because sound actually occurs in the brain, not in the ears, brain hearing is based on this premise. Traditional hearing aids are designed with the ears in mind. Thus, they amplify any and all sounds, pushing through lots of noise directly to the brain. The resulting sound quality is negative and just serves to tire out the brain.

The good news is that researchers have revealed they know that the processing of sound within the brain, and quality of the signal the brain receives, are just as important as the amplification of sound in the ear. By considering the entire hearing process, brain hearing research is leading to the emergence of some incredible hearing aids.

How do brain-focused hearing aids work?

Quite simply, brain hearing makes for better hearing aid performance. By modifying only the sounds that the inner ear cannot already hear well, the natural quality of sound is preserved, and the brain is not fatigued by amplification that is not necessary. By preserving a natural, clear signal, brain-focused hearing aids work with the brain’s four key functions that interpret the sound it gets:

1. Speech recognition – brain hearing preserves the natural characteristics of speech, making it easier to focus on conversations and switch between speakers.

2. Spatial recognition – brain hearing preserves the difference in sound between the two ears, allowing for the ability to accurately locate sounds.

3. Sound filtering – brain hearing preserves the ability to identify and separate relevant information from background noise.

4. Sound focusing – brain hearing preserves the ability to focus on relevant sounds and speech, even in noisy environments with abrupt changes in background noise.

How you can benefit from brain hearing

An appointment with a board-certified audiologist is your best bet. Next, your audiologist will precisely measure your hearing loss, using that information in the custom programming of your new state-of-the-art hearing aid.

Ask about how you can incorporate brain hearing technology into your hearing aid. While hearing aids need to be professionally fitted and programmed, the process is probably easier than you think. The best part is, you can start enjoying the sounds of life again, lacking the burdens of hearing loss courtesy of brain hearing.

Consumers love brain-focused hearing aids

Many companies are now producing brain-focused hearing aids, with very positive results. Oticon, for example, reports that while average hearing instrument user satisfaction is 79%, user satisfaction associated with one of its brain-focused hearing aids is 96%.

“Brain Hearing is a natural evolution of Oticon’s long-standing commitment to putting the needs of People First,” says Søren Nielsen, President of Oticon. “This comes back to our research from our Eriksholm research facility, where we have understood that treating hearing loss is much more than presenting sound through amplification. We have known for some years that the brain has a unique ability to process sound if it receives a robust signal that is full of detail.”

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