Exciting advancement in hearing aid technology

The Oticon Opn™ represents a huge leap forward in hearing aid technology – San Diego hearing aids

Hearing aid technology is always improving, with researchers working hard to discover new ways to help those with hearing loss hear. Many of these improvements are small and incremental. However, sometimes a big advancement in hearing aid technology becomes available.

The new Oticon Opn hearing aids represent a major advancement in hearing aid technology, which we’re very pleased to offer to the community.

Computer processing of sounds

charismoThese new hearing aids use computer processing of sounds to create the best hearing experience. The hearing aid evaluates the sound environment 100 times every second. Based on its calculations, it is able to balance the various sounds, presenting them to the wearer in a way that makes sounds far easier to hear and interpret. This is called an “open-sound” hearing aid.

For example, if the wearer is having a conversation, the hearing aid preferentially presents the sound of the other person’s voice, and reduces the ambient noise so that it won’t be too distracting. However, if a significant noise occurs elsewhere in the room, then the hearing aid will present that sound to the wearer. Because it’s constantly scanning the environment and analyzing the sounds present, the Oticon Opn is able to respond very quickly when something unexpected happens in the acoustic environment.

Replacement of the directional microphone

Previously, some hearing aids used a directional microphone to accomplish the goal of allowing hearing aid wearers to manage ambient noise. This type of microphone preferentially picks up sounds from a certain direction. It’s aimed directly in front of the wearer, which is generally where a conversational partner would be located.

Although this helps to reduce ambient noise, it also forces the hearing aid wearer to choose between listening to a conversation and being aware of other noises around him or her. (People of normal hearing do this all the time, but those with hearing aids struggle with this issue.) It also makes it difficult to participate in a conversation with multiple people at once (such as at a party), or in a conversation with people who aren’t directly in front of you (such as when you’re in the front seat of a car and talking to someone in the back seat). Some hearing aids allow for both the directional microphone and the all-around microphone to be used at the same time, but they will be presented 50/50, which is not always ideal and doesn’t really fix the issue.

With the Oticon Opn, this issue can be resolved. The hearing aid technology is able to present the sounds that would be most likely to be of interest to the wearer.

Using your mobile phone

The Oticon Opn has another feature that makes it even better for wearers. It’s able to connect wirelessly to an iPhone. This allows the wearer to use the phone in much the same way as a person of normal hearing who is using a headset. Some hearing aids have the option of direct audio input into the hearing aid from the phone using wires that plug into the hearing aid, but this is cumbersome because it requires dealing with wires, which can easily tangle or break. The Oticon Opn connects without this hassle, and allows the wearer to talk on the phone effortlessly.

A giant leap forward

We’re proud to offer the new Oticon Opn hearing aids to our patients. If you’re getting hearing aids for the first time, you can put your mind at ease knowing that you will have the option of choosing hearing aids that simulate natural hearing better than any other hearing aid currently on the market.

If you’ve been using another type of hearing aids, you may want to consider switching over to the Oticon Opn. Schedule a visit with your audiologist if you’d like to talk about this possibility.

Author Info

Dr. Podlenski

Dr. Podlenski is passionate about the field of hearing health care. He specializes in clinical audiology and working with patients to develop appropriate hearing solutions. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and is Board Certified in Audiology.

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