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Oticon Medical Ponto 4 Innovator Award - October 2020

What is Meant by BrainHearing?

Alan Raffauf, MA

September 20, 2017

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Question

What is meant by BrainHearing?  We hear with our ears, not with our brains.

Answer

In the auditory system, the ears receive sounds and send signals to the brain, while the brain does all the hard work of interpreting these signals and making sense of the sounds. When there is hearing loss, sound signals from the ears are compromised, so the brain does not get the information it needs to turn sounds into meaning. Instead, the brain needs to concentrate more and work harder to fill in the gaps.

When you need to put more effort into everyday tasks such as orienting yourself in traffic, separating voices from noise, participating in conversations, and trying to recognize words and meanings, you become fatigued.  Many people with hearing loss tend to withdraw from social gatherings with family and friends and places where they may have difficulty hearing.  Studies show that hearing loss is associated with social isolation, sleep problems, reduced ability to remember, depression and dementia.

At Oticon Medical, we design hearing systems that enable the brain to make optimal use of four key functions it performs to make sense of sounds.  We refer to these functions as: orient, separate, focus, and recognize. The brain constantly uses both ears to orient itself and know what’s happening in the environment; it separates relevant sounds from competing noise; it needs to know where to focus in noisy sound environments; and the brain depends on its ability to recognize a sound in order to make sense of it. We call this BrainHearing™.

BrainHearing technology focuses on compensating for what is missed when hearing loss is present by maintaining the natural sound processes in the brain and lets both ears work together to locate where sounds are coming from. BrainHearing technology maintains as much of the surrounding sound environment as possible, which is important for knowing where to focus and place attention. At the same time, it prioritizes speech over other sounds to help the wearer easily separate voices from noise. Moreover, because the way each person perceives sound is unique and personal, BrainHearing hearing devices can be programmed with individual settings to account for those preferences.  The result is a more natural listening experience with less effort, even in the most challenging listening environments.

To learn more about the individual technologies that comprise BrainHearing, and about the Oticon Medical hearing systems that include these life-changing technologies, visit www.oticonmedical.com/us or the Oticon Medical Partner Page on AudiologyOnline.


alan raffauf

Alan Raffauf, MA

Vice President of Marketing, Oticon Medical

Alan Raffauf is Vice President of Marketing at Oticon Medical. 


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