sound advice cover qxp Oticon by alicejenny



 Sound Advice


“Crash Tests”

A world of colors

   "The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live."
                                                                                   – Elbert Hubbard

Have you ever stopped to consider how your senses      And believe us when we say that these instruments
help to make every second of your life a unique        are amazing! Never before has a hearing device
experience? Remove any of them - particularly your     looked so good and performed so well. It is built
hearing - and you'd feel terribly incomplete. Many     using Artificial Intelligence, which enables them
people believe that hearing is the most important      to think and respond to sound in much the same
sense of all. It is our lifeline to an ever-changing   way as healthy ears. Just like the brain, these
world; it allows us to be everything we can be and -   instruments monitor your environment and help
most importantly - it connects us to the people we     you focus on the sounds you want to hear, while
love.                                                  reducing the ones you don’t.

If your hearing is beginning to let you down, don't    In-depth interviews with people of all ages and
despair because it's never too late to do something    exciting occupations provide a unique glimpse of
about it! You can start by reading this magazine.      how intelligent hearing technology – fitted by
This particular issue of Sound Advice offers a         caring and deeply committed professionals – has
wealth of information from how to get your hearing     helped them keep their edge and feel more engaged
evaluated, to seeing the coolest, most advanced        in life.
hearing technology on the market today.
                                                       We hope you enjoy the read!
LIMELIGHT                                SPEECH INVOLVE
Duke Fakir, original member of           Understanding speech is a job for
the Four Tops tells how Delta            one of the most powerful natural
keeps his show-stopping in tact.         processors of all – the human brain.
PAGES 6-8                                PAGES 22-23

DEVICE YOU’LL ACTUALLY                   What you gain by wearing two hear-
WANT TO WEAR                             ing devices and what you lose by
With its sleek lines and intelligent     only wearing one.
performance, Delta is revolutionizing    PAGES 24-26
the concept of hearing care.
PAGES 9-11
                                         OTICON – A WORLD LEADER
                                         IN HEARING CARE SINCE
A WORLD OF COLORS                        1904
Make your hearing device uniquely        Read how it all got started.
yours with 17 attractive colors.         PAGES 28-29
PAGES 12-13

                                         OTICON’S NEW STATE-OF-
LOSS                                     Timely innovation meets high-tech
Read about the human ear and             functionality.
the different types of hearing loss.     PAGES 30-31
PAGES 14-15

                                         THE WORLD IS A NOISY
PRAISES OF DELTA                         Get a boost in your hearing and give
Check out the story of Huey Lewis –      yourself an edge up.
musician, singer, actor and proud        PAGES 32-33
Delta wearer.
PAGES 16-18
                                         DELTA IS ALWAYS ON CALL
                                         FOR THE DOCTOR
SYMPTOMS OF HEARING                      Read the story of Dr. Stanley Lobitz,
LOSS                                     private practice and emergency
Check out this list of telltale signs.   room physician whose hearing is
PAGES 19                                 critical to the care of his patients.
                                         PAGES 34-36
CRASH TESTS FOR                      QUIZ
HEARING DEVICE                       Read the articles and see how
How much abuse can a hearing         much you–ve learned!
device really take?                  PAGES 50-51
PAGES 38-39

From the drawing board to the real
PAGES 40-41

Katie Barriault, Public Relations
Manager in the UK, recounts her
experiences before and after
wearing Delta.
PAGES 42-43

See what you can do to make
communication easier and more
PAGES 44-45

Noise-induced hearing loss.
Find out why it happens – and
how to avoid it.
PAGES 46-47

Read how Delta can transform you
from a world of isolation in to a
whole new world.
PAGES 48-49
    Delta keeps legendary
         Four Tops singer
           in the limelight
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                                   As an entertainer who has built his 52-year career
Duke Fakir - one of the original   on what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame calls
     members of the Four Tops      “style, class and genius,” Abdul “Duke” Fakir, one
                                   of the original members of the legendary Four Tops,
                                   knows a thing or two about showmanship. “Being
                                   in show business, you need to look the part,” he
                                   states. Like many groups that rose to fame during
                                   Motown’s golden years, live appearances helped
                                   create the excitement and demand for the group’s
                                   top ten hits including ”I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar
                                   Pie, Honey Bunch)”, “It’s the Same Old Song” and
                                   “River Deep, Mountain High” (with the Supremes).

                                   Today, Fakir is the only remaining original member
                                   of the group. He tours about 100 days a year,
                                   continuing to present the classic stylings and great
                                   music that have made the Four Tops continual
                                   crowd-pleasers at theaters and concert sites around
                                   the country.   It was on one such trip that he
                                   countered a health care professional who showed
                                   him a brand new contemporary design hearing
                                   device that would sharpen his ability to enjoy his
                                   music and keep his show-stopping style in tact.

                                   “I had noticed there were things I couldn’t hear as
                                   well lately,” Fakir notes. “Things like television
                                   and movies, hearing clearly at parties or restaurants,
                                   even my wife’s voice were sometimes difficult for
                                   me.” On an flight back to his home in Detroit,
                                   Fakir happened to sit beside a hearing care
                                   professional who was very excited about a new

                                                                                                             Fakir and the rest of his
                                                                                                      glitzy Four Top band members.

               hearing device, called DELTA, that offered a boost      little tinklings that I missed before” he says. “I
               in hearing clarity in a sleek and sexy new design.      can’t wait to wear them in the studio when I’m sure
               “I looked and I was amazed that something so small      the depth of sound will be much better with my
               and good looking might make a difference for me,”       DELTAs.”
               Fakir adds.
                                                                       Social gatherings are also easier. “I noticed a big
               “I had always stayed away from hearing aids – like      difference right away,” he notes. “I was dining with
               most guys,” Fakir admits. “I guess it was a macho       my wife and three other people in a restaurant with
               thing. I just didn’t want anything hanging off my       a lot of noise. Usually that would be a problem for
               ear. But the DELTAs were a completely different         me but this time, the noise didn’t bother me at all.”
               look than what I expected and I decided to give         Fakir points out that he is hearing voices more
               them a try.”                                            clearly when he watches television and movies.

                                                                       “Before I would be constantly adjusting the
    V OL.

               Since he has been wearing his new DELTA, Fakir          television back and forth to hear the soft voices
               notices improvements in both his professional and       and then the noise would be too loud!”
               business life. “I recently had a business meeting
    ISS UE

               with a lady attorney,” he explains. “Usually, I         “Most importantly, I can now pick up my wife’s
               would have to ask her to repeat things two or three     voice when she’s talking to me from the kitchen. I

               times to be able to understand what she was saying.     tell her I can hear her so distinctly, she better be
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               This time, I heard her clear as a bell. I was able to   careful that I don’t catch her off guard talking about
               rest back in my seat very comfortably and still par-    me,” he jokes.
               ticipate in the entire meeting.”
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                                                                       Fakir looks forward to wearing his DELTA hearing
               “When I listen to music in the car, I can hear the      devices on stage, “I can’t wait to hear the clarity of
               sounds deeper into the music like cymbal beats and      the music again!”
Delta - finally a hearing
device you’ll actually
want to wear
With its sleek lines and
intelligent performance, the new
Oticon Delta is revolutionizing
the concept of hearing care.                                      Delta’s featherweight shell houses some of
                                                                  the most heavyweight sound processing
                                                                  technologies in the world.

Most people imagine traditional hearing aids to be       design’. Breaking dramatically with tradition,
large and clumsy; something only to be worn as a         Delta’s triangular shape gives hearing care a much-
last resort. But a new device is dispelling that myth,   awaited facelift. The ugly “beige bananas” of yester-
Oticon Delta. With stunningly good looks and             year are finally being superseded by 21st century
intelligent performance this revolutionary               shells in all sorts of colors - from midnight blue to
newcomer has taken the consumer by complete              cabernet red. ‘Delta is so unique that people may

Impressed – and relieved
Delta is the most cosmetically attractive hearing
solution ever produced, an achievement that makes
Oticon Business Team Manager Soren Nielsen and
the rest of the Delta design team extremely proud.
‘When people visit a hearing clinic for the first
time, they don’t expect the instruments to be attrac-
tive, and they have no idea whether they will be
particularly easy to use,’ explains Soren. ‘But dis-
pensers tell us that when their clients see Delta and
take it home – which they can do on the very first
day – they are really impressed and extremely
relieved, when they see the sleek and modern

      Soren Nielsen - Delta Business Team Manager
                have trouble keeping it tucked away behind their          says Soren Nielsen’.
                ears,’ says Soren. “I think they’ll want to show it off
                to all their friends’.                                    Oticon is doing its utmost to increase people’s
                                                                          awareness of the benefits of acquiring
                No reason to wait                                         clarity-enhancing devices at an early stage. ‘We are
                In Soren Nielsen’s opinion, people should not wait        determined to make this process easier,’ says Soren.

                until they are sixty or seventy to enhance their          ‘That’s why we go all-out to make attractive
     V OL.

                hearing. ‘We know for a fact that one out of every        solutions that meet people’s practical needs.
                two people in their fifties could benefit from some
                kind of amplification - not because they have a           Only helping when necessary
     ISS UE

                full-blown hearing loss, but because they sometimes       Delta’s comfortable fitting and superior sound
                cannot hear clearly. In noisy situations – at the         quality can be attributed to two things: intelligent

                office, restaurants or busy airports - they feel that     sound processing technology and a soft, transparent
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                others are mumbling. This is because they have            “speaker dome” which sits snugly inside the ear.
                difficulty catching the high-pitched sounds that          ‘This combination makes Delta easy to accept
                help us differentiate one word from the next. This        because it is virtually invisible and feels so natural,’
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                is exactly what Oticon Delta help, you overcome,          says Soren. ‘In quiet situations where people don’t

                                                                       A Revolutionized Concept Delta

need any amplification, Delta remains passive. It’s     intended it to do: adapt to any listening situation
only when it gets noisy that speech is given an         with the greatest of ease. Whether people are
extra boost and “cleans up” the signal for the user.    relaxing with friends in the middle of a forest or
This intuitive approach is something that first-time    negotiating in the heart of a busy city, Delta gives
users in particular appreciate.’                        them the edge they’ve been
                                                        looking for.
Delta might be light as a feather but its heavyweight
technology ensures that it does what its designers      Delta puts people back in control and that’s what
                                                        makes it so desirable.

                A World of Colors
                Hi-Tech silver, cabernet red, diamond black-          With Delta, customization is the key. When
                no you are not choosing the color of a new sports     selecting a Delta, pick from a selection of 17 colors
                car, this is the color palate available to you for    and make it uniquely yours. Getting a Delta is all
                Delta, the most stylish piece of hearing technology   about your preferences. Match your hair color,
                available today.                                      match your skin color, or simply pick your favorite
                                                                      color from the many choices offered.

                                                                      However, take a good look at those stylish colors
                                                                      while Delta is in your hand, because that is the only
                                                                      time you will see them. Delta has been designed so
                                                                      cleverly, that it is virtually invisible when worn.
                                                                      The tiny triangular case hide discreetly behind the

                                                                      ear and Delta’s ultra light weight (   2 grams) makes
     V OL.

                                                                      you feel as if you have nothing on at all.

                                                                      You can see all of the colors available, and learn
     ISS UE

                                                                      more about Delta today. Visit the on the web at
                                                             and see how the fusion of style

                                                                      and technology can give you a edge in today’s noisy
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                                                                      Left: At you can view all colors
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                                                                      and much more.

World of Colors

                Hearing and
                The human ear is a precisely tuned system with a sensitivity and
                range that easily outperforms the most elaborate sound system ever
                manufactured. The ear contains many physiological mechanisms,
                and a breakdown or disruption in any of these can cause hearing
                difficulties. In general, there are two main types of hearing loss.
                Learn more about them here.

                Conductive hearing loss                                  Sensorineural hearing loss
                                             This type of hearing loss                               Sensorineural hearing
                                             is a condition of the                                   loss is the most common
                                             outer and/or middle ear.                                form of hearing loss. It
                                             It occurs when sounds                                   happens when some of
                                             from the outside world                                  the delicate hair cells
                                             cannot be transmitted                                   inside the cochlea get
                                             normally through the ear                                damaged and are unable
                canal and/or middle ear to the nerve cells of the        to transform the sound vibrations into electrical
                inner ear. Conductive hearing loss can be temporary      signals. Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by
                or long term. The most common causes of this             long-term exposure to loud sounds. But the primary
                hearing loss can be a build-up of wax in the ear         reason is the natural process of aging.

                canal, fluid in the middle ear space (common in
     V OL.

                children), perforated eardrums, or damaged or            Once sensorineural hearing loss sets in, the
                defective ossicles (middle ear bones).                   condition may continue to worsen and will in most
                                                                         cases be permanent. Typical symptoms are a loss of
     ISS UE

                Most conductive hearing losses can be medically or       loudness, and difficulties in understanding speech.
                surgically treated. If the conductive hearing loss for   Fortunately, advanced hearing technology is avail-

                some reason cannot be alleviated, hearing aids can       able that can effectively treat sensorineural hearing
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                do a lot to compensate for the loss of loudness.         loss. This technology is used in Delta.
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hearing loss



How sounds travel through the ear
The anatomy of the ear is precisely shaped to capture sound waves and amplify them. When sound waves
enter the subways of the ear they follow what might seem like a long and arduous path. But every ‘station’ has
a precise function. This is how it works:

1. Sound waves are picked up by the outer ear, which is made up of the pinna and the ear canal.
2. Sound is channeled to the eardrum, which vibrates when the sound waves touch it.
3. The vibrations are picked up by three tiny bones known as the hammer, anvil and stirrup, which create a
  bridge from the eardrum to the inner ear.
4. The vibrations move on to the cochlea – a spiral-shaped capsule housing a system of liquid-filled tubes.
5. When the sound waves reach the liquid it begins to move, setting thousands of tiny hair cells in motion.
6. The movements of the hair cells are transformed into electric impulses that travel along the auditory nerve
  to the brain itself.
7. The brain decodes and interprets the electronic impulses, turning a stream of speech sounds into separate,
  recognizable words.
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     SO UND

               Huey Lewis playing his signature harmonica
                                                    Huey Lewis- musician, singer, actor
                                                              and proud Delta wearer

                            Look who–s singing the
                                  praises of Delta
                                                 The heart of rock and roll is still beating in rock
                                                        legend Huey Lewis, but like many baby
                                                   boomers, his hearing could use a little boost.

                        "I just couldn't hear stuff that I used to be able to   a new generation of hearing aid users.
                        hear," says Lewis. "So I went and got it checked,
                        and sure enough, I had a fairly significant hearing     "Delta is decidedly more fashionable than old
                        loss."                                                  hearing aids," reports Lewis, who was one of the first
                                                                                to wear the new Delta hearing devices. "Hearing is
                        Lewis is not alone. One in every six baby boomers       everything. As a singer and musician you can only
                        has some type of hearing problem. But a ground-         play and sing as good as you can hear."
                        breaking new hearing device is changing the way
                        baby boomers think about hearing solutions.             And play he does. Lewis is a founding member and
                        It's called Delta, developed by Oticon, and it is       lead vocalist of Huey Lewis and The News. For
                        definitely not "your grandfather's hearing aid."        over 25 years the band has delivered their
                        Delta is ideal for active people with light to          contagious brand of straight-ahead rock n' roll
                        moderate hearing loss who want a hearing solution       which has outlasted countless trends, selling over
                        that combines great-looking, contemporary design        20 million albums worldwide in the process. The
                        with state-of-the-art digital technology.               Grammy Award winning group has released eleven
Photos: Kelley/Mooney

                                                                                albums and has written and performed such classic
                        Fashion has never been associated with hearing          top ten hits as "The Power of Love", "The Heart of
                        aids before. Many people still imagine "big beige       Rock and Roll", "Stuck With You", "Workin' For a
                        bananas" behind the ear when thinking of hearing        Livin'" and "If This Is It".
                        aids. This is certainly not the case with Delta. This
                        sleek and sexy hearing device has a new attitude for    In the summer of 2006, the band wowed fans young
                   Huey Lewis Proud Delta Wearer

                and old in a series of concerts in 22 cities from San    When DELTA was introduced, Lewis' audiologist
                Francisco to Chicago and Boston.                         suggested the musician try DELTA not only for the
                                                                         boost it would give him in noisy situations but also
                Huey's movie performances include the film "Back         for its contemporary design.
                To The Future","Shortcuts", for which he received a
                Golden Globe, "Sphere", "Shadow of Doubt" and            "DELTA was not only convenient and light but it
                "Duets". In addition to his musical and his motion       works great," reports Lewis. "They're very, very
                picture acting careers, in the fall of 2005, Lewis       natural for me - it's even pretty hard for me to
                successfully portrayed Billy Flynn in the Broadway       remember I have them on. I've got to make sure I
                production of "Chicago." He’ll go back to                take my DELTAs off before I get in the shower!"
                Broadway again, in the fall of 2006, for a repeat
                performance.                                             "I hear everything much more clearly," Lewis
                                                                         explains. "I used to hear the loudest things but I can
                Lewis' hearing loss was also a challenge to his full     hear peripheral things now, too. In a noisy
                and active life. He describes his hearing loss as "a     situation like a restaurant or social event, I can hear
                gradual thing" that he had been aware of for about       conversation that I didn't hear before and it's just so
                three years. "I first realized it when I was outdoors.   much easier. I say 'what' a lot less."
                I suddenly couldn't hear birds and other sounds
                were really diminished." As a man who spends his         Lewis was so impressed by DELTA that he became a
                free time golfing, fly fishing and just enjoying the     spokesperson for Oticon, "singing the praises" of
                great outdoors, Lewis realized that a check-up with      DELTA and sharing his own great DELTA
                his audiologist was in order. "I knew I had lost a       experiences in a series of ads and informational
                little bit, because I'm a musician and we've played      materials developed for hearing care professionals
                some loud music in our day. But I was surprised by       and their patients.
                the extent of the hearing loss," he notes.
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                Symptoms of a hearing loss

                If you, or someone you know, are
                experiencing one or more of the following
                problems, then it–s time to consider getting
                your hearing evaluated:

                • People seem to be mumbling.

                • You have to strain to hear when someone
                  talks or whispers.

                • You have difficulties hearing someone
                  call from behind or from another room.

                • You need to watch a speaker’s lips more
                  closely to follow the conversation.

                • Following a conversation is difficult in
                  meetings, at church, or in lectures.

                • You have to turn up the volume on the
                  TV or radio.

                • You find it hard to hear clearly on the

                • You have difficulties hearing at the
                  theater, cinema, or other entertainment

                • It’s hard to hear in noisy environments
     VO L.

                  like a restaurant or a car.
     20 04

                • You tend to limit your social activities
                  because it’s difficult to hear and
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     S OU ND

                • Family, friends, or colleagues mention
                  that they often have to repeat them-
19                                                             19
                                            W HAT
                            DOES U N D E R S T A N D I N G
     V OL.

                                 SPEECH INVOLVE ?
     ISS UE
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                To understand speech we must be able to detect, decode and
     S OU ND

                interpret what we hear. And that’s a job for one of the most
                powerful natural processors of all ’ the human brain.
It involves good hearing and the ability to process    it. But write the same word, this time without the
what we hear. Our ears have several complex,           consonants, and you would have serious difficulty
highly delicate mechanisms that work in perfect        trying to decipher the word.
harmony to pick up sounds, channel them correctly
and transform them into electrical signals for the     Basically, the role of the consonants is to separate
brain to interpret.                                    syllables and words from one another - a task
                                                       which takes place in the brain. If you can't hear the
To understand spoken language the brain must first     various sounds, they can't be passed on for
decode the various speech signals - the vowels and     deciphering and interpretation; it just sounds as
consonants - and make words and sentences out of       though other people are mumbling.
them. This complicated task is made even more
complex in the presence of background noise and        The third and final communication barrier is noise.
more difficult still when someone has hearing loss.    Restaurants are a good example of this - where
                                                       the clatter of silverware, background music and
Even a mild hearing loss will raise three              people's voices all compete for your attention.
communication barriers                                 Without good hearing, your brain can run into
Hearing loss raises three communication barriers.      dire straits trying to focus on what's important
First, soft sounds become difficult to hear.           and filter out the babble!
Secondly, consonants such as t, sh, f, p, s and th
begin to fade. You might think that because they are   Not all hearing devices can cope with these types of
higher pitched and spoken more softly than vowels,     challenges, but Delta can. Delta's unique sound
this wouldn't matter. But it does; the consonants      processing capabilities are designed to give your
actually convey most of the word information.          hearing just the boost it needs to understand
                                                       speech, even in challenging situations.
If you were to write a word and then remove the
vowels you would probably still be able to decipher

   Try reading these words without vowels and
   without consonants. Do you recognize them?

            Without vowels:
             _r_ng_ j_ _c_

       Without consonants:
          O_a_ _e _ui_e

   Turn the page upside down to see the full

                                    Orange juice

                A personal
                     hearing profile
                A hearing assessment is fast and completely painless. When it’s over
                your hearing abilities will be captured on paper, on what is
                professionally referred to as an audiogram.

                When you think about hearing,         some headphones and listen.          played at quieter and quieter
                what do you actually perceive?        You listen to all sorts of pure      intensity levels. This helps to
                Perhaps the easiest way to            tones, from the deep bass tones to   determine your threshold for
                imagine it is in terms of             the high, treble tones. You listen   recognizing speech. The same is
                loudness. A person with normal        to them because most everyday        done with monosyllabic words,
                hearing should be able to hear        environmental sounds and             like ‘dog’. From these tests the
                very quiet sounds, find it easy       speech are situated in this range    hearing care professional can
                to hear medium-strength sounds,       of frequencies. And you confirm      calculate a percentage of ‘word
                and be able to tolerate very          that you have heard each sound       discrimination’ for each ear. If
                loud sounds.                          either by raising a hand or          necessary, other tests can be
                                                      pressing a response button.          performed to evaluate how well
                Generally, sounds can be                                                   you can understand speech in
                described as high-pitched or          The hearing care professional        difficult or noisy situations.
                low-pitched, with various             will then begin to decrease the
                intensity levels. In speech, the      volume of the sounds, to             At the end of the procedure it
                soft consonant sounds like ‘t’, ‘s’   determine where it becomes           will be time to determine
                and ‘f’ are higher pitched than       difficult for you to hear. This      whether Deltas are appropriate
                the strong vowel sounds like ‘a’,     boundary is called the hearing       for you.

                ‘e’ and ‘i’. And if you have          threshold. These levels are then
     V OL.

                difficulty differentiating between    recorded on a simple graph
                these sounds, you will have           showing X’s and O’s, where X is
                difficulty understanding what is      your left ear and O is your right.
     ISS UE

                being said. In which case it          For each ear it shows how loud a
                might be time to get your             given tone needs to be in order

                hearing tested.                       for you to hear it.
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                The hearing assessment                The next step is to evaluate how
                and audiogram                         well you understand speech. You
     S OU ND

                A standard hearing assessment is      might be asked to listen to and
                not at all traumatic. You sit in a    repeat a series of two-syllable
                comfortable sound booth, put on       words, like ‘ice cream’, which are
                                                                        An audiogram is the product of a hearing
                                                                        assessment. More precisely, it is a graphical
                                                                        representation on paper, showing the specific
                                                                        pitches (frequencies) and loudness (intensity)
                                                        f s th          levels that a person can hear with each ear.
                                        hg       k
                                      sh                              Sounds above the
                j m db ol a
                   n        r                                         lines are not audible
                   u                                                  Sounds below the
                                                                      lines are audible

                                                                            Right ear
                                                                            Left ear

Age-induced hearing loss                                         Noise-induced hearing loss
The most common type of hearing loss is called                   Another, less common type of hearing loss is noise
presbycusis, or age-induced hearing loss. This is                induced, arising from an acoustic trauma or from
caused by a gradual deterioration of hair cells,                 exposure to excessive noise for extended periods
which is part of the normal ageing process. The                  of time. This causes damage to both the inner and
degree to which hair cell loss occurs varies from                outer hair cells of the cochlea. People with
one individual to another. Some people experience                noise-induced hearing loss typically have difficulty
a significant loss of sensory cells at the age of 50,            hearing high frequency sounds, but hear quite well
while others only have a negligible loss even at the age         in the low frequencies. Delta is an ideal solution for
of 80. Hearing problems associated with presbycusis              noise induced hearing loss.
can be significantly reduced with Delta.

                Two is better than one
     V OL.

                Two hearing devices are always       speaker are working, the sounds      from both ears to find out where
                better than one – not because        become shallow and flat. This is     sounds are coming from.
     ISS UE

                they make sounds twice as loud,      how people who only wear one
                but because they provide a more      hearing device, but should be        Imagine being on a busy street.

                natural perception of sound.         wearing two, may also perceive       If a car is approaching from the
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                                                     sound. And that puts them at a       right and the driver honks his
                Imagine listening to your favorite   disadvantage.                        horn, the sound will reach your
                program on the stereo. It has two                                         right ear a fraction of a second
     S OU ND

                amplifiers and two speakers, to      Firstly, their ability to localize   before it reaches your left ear.
                give music and speech a natural      sounds is compromised. This is       And it will arrive with a certain
                depth. If only one amplifier and     because the brain needs input        power and intensity. Your brain
immediately processes this              uninteresting, background          continued lack of sound
information and tells you exactly       sounds from the more amusing       stimulation. A deprived ear will
what you need to know: where            speech sounds in the foreground.   become more and more lazy, so it
the car is coming from and at           With two hearing devices you       is important not to wait too long.
what distance.                          have a much better chance of
                                        hearing and understanding what     Two hearing devices can also
Enjoy the details                       is being said.                     make sounds more enjoyable and
Another area that demands good                                             more comfortable to listen to. It
hearing in both ears is when you        Perhaps one of the most            becomes less of a strain to hear,
are in a noisy environment,             important reasons to wear two      and sounds have the kind of
trying to focus on a conversation.      hearing instruments is that they   clarity and depth that provide a
It could be at a party, for instance,   reduce the risk of a condition     sense of space and volume. In
where everyone is talking and           known as ‘auditory deprivation’.   other words, you get more out of
people are constantly moving            This is when the brain gradually   the sounds in the world around
around. Once again, the brain           loses some of its ability to       you.
needs input from both ears in           process information from the
order to separate the                   unaided ear because of a
                           Two is Better Than One

               Hearing Ability Ratings
                                                                                                           As the graph indicates, the
                           One Speaker                                                                     noisier it gets, the harder it
                QUIET ROOM                                                                                 becomes to hear. With only one
                                                                                                           hearing device people can run
                                Group                                                                      into real difficulty, but notice the
                           Conversation                                                                    difference in performance that
                                    Car                                                                    two instruments can make!
                                                                                             Normal        Ability ratings leap in the
                                                          1 hearing aid
                                  Store                                                                    direction of normal hearing.
                   NOISY   Restaurant                                 2 hearing aids



                                           0%       20%            40%         60%     80%         100%
                                        Hearing Ability                                            Ideal

               Double the benefit from someone                    comes through more clearly than
               that knows…                                        before.”
               Annette Lindholm has a mild
               hearing loss in both ears, but                     Annette is delighted at this
               because she has had psoriasis                      change in sound quality. “Now
               she could only wear one hearing                    that I’ve experienced the
               device at a time. When Annette                     difference I wouldn’t dream
               discovered that her instrument                     of going back to only one
               didn’t aggravate her skin                          instrument. Generally I wear
               condition, she heeded the advice                   them every waking hour of the
               of Oticon’s specialists and began                  day. I went on a hiking holiday
               wearing two instruments.                           last summer and actually went                       Annette is wearing two
                                                                  into the shower with them on by                        devices: “I wouldn’t
               “And I’m glad I decided to try                     mistake! I completely forgot that                   dream of going back to

               with two because the effect was                    I was wearing them – that’s how                       only one instrument”
     V OL .

               more than twice as good!” says                     good they are.”
               Annette contentedly. “When you
               can hear with both ears it’s much
     IS SUE

               easier to discriminate where
               sounds come from – it’s more

               balanced, more varied, and it
     A DVICE

               feels more natural. I didn’t find it
               difficult to adapt to wearing two
               – it’s been remarkably easy
     SOU ND

               really. Whether I’m sitting alone
               with someone or attending
               meetings or conferences, speech
Test your hearing
Do you suspect that your hearing is not as good as
it used to be? The following questions will allow
you to make a quick assessment:

1.   Do people seem to mumble or speak
     in a softer voice than they used to?

2.   Do you feel tired or irritable after
     a long conversation?

3.   Do you sometimes miss key words
     in a sentence, or frequently need to
     ask people to repeat themselves?

4.   When you are in a group, or in a
     crowded restaurant, is it difficult
     for you to follow the conversation?

5.   When you are together with other
     people, does background noise
     bother you?

6.   Do you often need to turn up the
     volume on your TV or radio?
                                                     How did you do?
7.   Do you find it difficult to hear the            Your answers to these questions only provide an
     doorbell or the telephone ring?                 early indication of whether your hearing is
                                                     impaired or not. If you have answered yes to one or
8.   Do you find it difficult to hear
     water boiling when you are in the               more of the questions you should contact your
     kitchen?                                        hearing care professional and ask for a thorough
                                                     hearing evaluation.
9.   Is carrying on a telephone
     conversation difficult?                         Answering yes many times doesn’t necessarily
                                                     mean that you have a severe condition. You have to
10. Do you find it difficult to pinpoint
    where an object is (e.g. an alarm                visit a hearing care professional to find out the
    clock or a telephone) from the noise             exact nature of your hearing loss and get a proper
    it makes?                                        diagnosis. Within one hour he or she will be able
                                                     to evaluate your situation and recommend the
11. Has someone close to you                         appropriate course of action.
    mentioned that you might have a
    problem with your hearing?

               Hans Demant’s factory in 1895
                                                                         – a world leader
               Today Oticon is one of the           Neither surgery nor technology      lives around, not only personally
               world’s leading hearing device       promised any improvement.           but also professionally.
               manufacturers. Here is how the
               company really started.              In Denmark it was well known        A company is born
                                                    that King Christian IX’s daughter   In Odense, in the west of
               When Hans Demant founded             Alexandra, Princess of Wales,       Denmark, word continued to
               Oticon in the early 1900s he had     had a hearing loss. When she        spread about the ‘royal hearing
               no long-term plan. Nor any           became Queen of England in          aid’. Friends and relatives of
               master strategy for conquering       1902 she used an Acousticon         Hans and Camilla enquired
               the world. His goal was simple       electrical hearing aid at the       whether it was possible to bring
               and far closer to home: his wife     Coronation, and word about its      more of them to Denmark.
               Camilla had a hearing                benefits soon spread. Thanks to a   Hearing problems were not new,
               impairment and he dearly wanted      friend in England, Hans Demant      but solutions for them most
               to help. Hans and Camilla had        also heard about ‘the royal         definitely were.
               visited prominent doctors in both    hearing aid’ and during the
               Vienna and Berlin in the hope of     winter of 1903 he crossed the       In early 1904 Hans imported a
               finding a solution, but the          North Sea to bring one home         few more instruments, and
               consultations were fruitless.        for his wife. And it turned their   demand for them soon increased.
                                                                                        Business became so good in fact,
                                                                                        that Hans decided to contact the

                                                                                        American manufacturer – the
     V OL .

                                                                                        General Acoustic Company in
                                                                                        New York. On the 8th of June
                                                                                        1904 Hans Demant secured the
     IS SUE

                                                                                        sole agency for Acousticon
                                                                                        hearing aids in Denmark, and a

                                                                                        new company was born.
     A DVICE

                                                                                        Changes in name – and direction
                                                                                        Years later, when Hans passed
     SOU ND

                                                                                        away, his son William Demant
                                                                                        took over the company. And
                                       Hans and Camilla Demant
er in hearing care since 1904
   business progressed as usual. But      father’s determination to help        secondly by educating the
   during the Second World War it         people with hearing loss. This        general public about hearing
   became increasingly difficult to       manifested itself not only in the     loss and encouraging people to
   import hearing aids, so William        company’s unwavering focus on         actively seek the solutions they
   began manufacturing them               the needs of the hearing aid          need. Today, the people of
   himself. When the war ended,           user, but also in its support of      Oticon are just as determined as
   William entered into an agreement      scientists and other organizations    their predecessors to ensure that
   with an American, Charles              devoted to improving the quality      those solutions are among the
   Lehmann, to establish a company        of life for hearing aid users and     best in the world.
   that could purchase components         their families.
   for hearing aid production and
   ship them to Denmark.                  The Oticon Foundation – created
                                          in 1957 by William Demant and
   The US subsidiary was called the       his wife, Ida Emilie – contributes
   American Danish Oticon                 to this process in many ways;
   Corporation – a name also given        firstly by supporting initiatives
   to the Danish operation. There         involving hearing-impaired
   has been much speculation about        children and their families, and
   the origin of the word ‘Oticon’ –
   but it is thought that ‘Oti’ was
   taken from the Greek word for
   ‘Ear’ and ‘Con’ from the Latin
   word meaning ‘With’. William
   used Oticon as a product name
   for the first hearing aid ever to be
   designed and produced by his
   company in Denmark in 1946.
   And the word has been used as
   the company name ever since.

   Long-term dedication
   William Demant inherited his
                                                                   William and Ida Demant
                Oticon’s new state-of
                features timely innovation
                            Recently Oticon moved to a new state-of-the-art,
                            high-technology development house just outside of
                            Copenhagen. Here design and functionality take
                            center stage in order to strengthen Oticon's position
                            as one of the world's leading hearing device

                            The new house offers the technologically best and
                            most sophisticated tools for hearing aid innovation
                            and everything is intended to inspire idea
                            generation and facilitate flexible project
                            development processes.

                            Sound rooms and labs are located side by side with
                            creative environments. Meeting facilities range from
                            informal high-stooled coffee islands and idea
                            lounges to table-less brainstorm bays, designed to
                            support all phases in the development process.
                            Writeable, movable walls are just one way of
                            creating an ideal setting for flexible project work.
                            Every room in the building is unique and has
                            something to offer in the process of developing the
                            hearing aids of tomorrow. And all elements are
                            integrated into the open floor plan with walls of
     V OL.

                            glass to ensure transparency and openness.

                            The technical requirements of hearing instrument

                            development have been given top priority, and
     ISS UE

                            much effort has gone into designing a working
                            environment that fosters untraditional thinking.
     A DV ICE

                            New thinking has also been applied to tools and
                            behavior. Oticon's new high-tech building offers the
                            latest in fibernet infrastructure providing the most
     S OU ND

                            sophisticated set up for the modern electronic work
                            place enabling people to work anywhere in the
                            house on their wireless laptops.
-the-art headquarters
and high-tech functionality
 In April 2006, Oticon was chosen among 114
 entrants and honored as the most innovative Danish
 company. Oticon was rewarded for its strength in
 almost every dimension that is important for
 innovation allowing curiosity, exploration and
 taking chances as part of everyday values and
 attitudes. The innovative atmosphere driven by
 resourceful, dedicated staff will allow Oticon to
 keep developing hearing care solutions for the

 Oticon headquarters in Kongebakken, Denmark
                                     The World is a Noisy Place -
                                     Get a Boost in Your Hearing
                                     and Give Yourself an Edge Up
                                     "I can hear, but I don't understand"-
                                     The world is getting busier, more crowded and           will make a positive and immediate difference in
                                     noisier. Understanding conversations, especially in     your life. If a person has waited a long time before
                                     the presence of noise, is more difficult than ever.     getting help for their hearing, the immediate boost
                                     Combine that fact with a lifetime of exposure to loud   in your hearing may make some sounds seem
                                     music, and noisy working environments and you           uncomfortably loud. Luckily the plasticity of the
                                     have a recipe for difficult speech understanding.       human brain is remarkable and before long it will
                                                                                             learn to focus on the sounds which are most impor-
                                     A boost in your existing hearing ability can do         tant and filter out other noises.
                                     wonders to improve your speech understanding and
     2 0I 0 4 U- E V 5 L . V1O L .
     -    SS
     A DV ICE
     S OU ND          O

                                                                               Give Yourself an Edge

Train your brain
Hearing is a very complex system that starts in the
outer ear, where sound is captured, and ends in the
brain where all the information is stored, decoded,
and transformed into something we can understand.
With hearing devices, the brain registers so many
new sounds that the initial adjustment period can
be quite tiring. It’s a bit like training a muscle that
hasn’t been used for a long time. But what a differ-
ence it makes when you finally regain that lost
strength!                                                 Hearing in noise
                                                          Hearing in noise can be difficult, even for people
When you first get new Deltas , it doesn’t take long      who don’t have a hearing loss. Conversations in a
before they can be worn comfortably all day. Just as      restaurant, talking at a basketball game or even
a personal trainer would offer guidance                   trying to hear while the water is running are
during fitness sessions, a hearing care professional      difficult for anybody. It’s useful to have a few tricks
can be of similar assistance during consultations.        up one’s sleeve when encountering such situations!
They can offer good advice when it comes to
people’s expectations and experiences. They can           There are some easy ways to deal with the most
also put new hearing device users in touch with           common noisy situations. It is a good idea to avoid
others who have dealt with similar situations.            standing near a noise source (radio, TV). It’s also a
There’s a whole community of experienced users            good idea to avoid communicating from separate
out there!                                                rooms; face to face contact makes talking much
                                                          easier. Finally, keep in mind that listening in noise
Help from the professionals                               is even more difficult when you are tired.
Hearing care professionals are highly qualified at
guiding people through the adjustment process. With       Practice makes perfect
hearing devices, listening becomes much easier most       And last, but not least, practice makes perfect!
of the time. However, noisy environments can still        Hearing devices pick up many sounds – some
present a challenge. During follow-up appointments,       wanted, some unwanted. Separating the noise from
hearing care professionals can provide practical          the conversation can be tricky at first, but as each
recommendations about how to cope in difficult            day passes, focusing becomes easier. Two good
listening situations. They can also make adjustments      exercises are to practice talking with a friend
to the hearing device settings if necessary.              outdoors and practice following a conversation in
                                                          a moderately busy restaurant.
Fine Tuning
During the fitting process, the more information          With practice, tangible improvements can be
that a person can give their hearing care provider        achieved within weeks. There are lots of benefits -
regarding their experiences, the better the results.      easier communication with friends and family,
Delta makes this effortless with the use of the Delta     increased self confidence, and more energy to enjoy
Activity Analyzer. The Activity Analyzer records          the good things in life. Even family and friends will
information regarding the user’s environments and         notice the difference!
reports Delta’s performance to the hearing care
professional. This information makes an excellent
starting point for follow-up visits, in which the
hearing care professional will review the current
progress and fine tune Delta to that meet that
individual’s needs, if necessary.
               is always on call
               for the Doctor
               For people who tune into the hit television series “ER“, it will come
               as no surprise that Emergency Room physicians need to hear and
               react quickly and accurately to nurses, medical technicians and
               other doctors when caring for sometimes critically ill patients.

               Dr. Stanley Lobitz, a 47-year-old   Dr. Lobitz admits that he was        stethoscope. Eventually, he
               physician in private practice       "sloppy" with hearing protection     began wearing one hearing
               who also works part-time in a       around loud noises. "I had           device and using a high-end
               busy hospital Emergency Room,       started wood working and I like      amplified stethoscope. "Needless
               worried that a gradual hearing      loud concerts," he notes. "But I     to say, I had less than optimal
               loss would cause him to miss        procrastinated forever in treating   acoustics with the stethoscope.

               important communication with        my hearing loss until I was          I just couldn't get good sound
     VOL .

               staff and patients.                 obviously hampered at work."         quality - because I usually wore
                                                   He was pleased with his first        just my left hearing instrument
               "In the emergency room, clear,      pair of hearing instruments but      while I was working, it was like
     IS S UE

               concise communication is            had difficulty adjusting to the      I was using just one ear."
               critical." Dr. Lobitz explains.     in-the-canal models he selected.

               "When activity would heat up        Eventually he switched to            His "Ah-Ha!" moment occurred
     ADV ICE

               and I had to call out with time     behind-the-ear hearing devices.      when his audiologist, recently
               for medication or a physician       He found that he couldn't            returned from a professional
               update with a patient, I was        function as a doctor with two        conference in Denmark,
     SO UND

               always nervous that I was           hearing instruments in place         introduced him to the new
               missing important information."     because they interfered with this    Oticon DELTA. "My audiologist,

who had my recent audiogram and knew my specific
hearing needs, sent his assistant over to my office
with an already programmed DELTA for my right ear
for me to try," he said. "The hearing device was so
new, my audiologist was able to bring only one back
from his conference. I tried not to look disappointed
because I only used my left hearing aid at work.
But from the second his assistant put it on my ear,
there was no way I was going to let her take it back!
Now I wear two DELTAs all the time."

Dr. Lobitz reports that the sound quality he experi-
ences with DELTA is dramatically better than what he
could achieve with his previous hearing devices.
"They're extremely comfortable and the sound quality
is fabulous. I don't even have to use my amplified
stethoscope any more. My stethoscope can easily fit
my ears right along with my DELTAs."

                          Delta is Always on Call

               "I used to joke with my audiologist   friends notice that I'm less          even some of the wild rides by
               that he could hang a toaster off      detached during group conversa-       daughter managed to get me on!"
               the side of my head if it would       tions.
               give me good sound quality,"                                                "I have a friend who is a family
               he adds. "My new hearing              Before if they wanted to include      doctor and after I got my new
               instruments have improved my          me in the conversation, they'd        hearing instruments, he asked it
               lifestyle markedly and they're so     have to 'aim' at me and even          he could borrow my amplified
               unobtrusive that people don't         then, I was missing parts of what     stethoscope because he was
               even know I'm wearing them."          was being said. I like the natural    having trouble hearing with his
                                                     sound quality I have now. My          hearing devices on. I told him
               Dr. Lobitz encounters a number        DELTAs help me in the                 that before he spent money on a
               of people in his family practice      frequencies when I need help          new high-end stethoscope he
               who are reluctant to consider         but let other natural sounds          should try DELTAs. The next
               hearing solutions. "I'm fairly        come in."                             day, he went to his audiologist,
               open with them about my                                                     left the office with them on and
               hearing loss," Dr. Lobitz explains.   Another advantage Dr. Lobitz          has been delighted with how
               "They get up really close, stare at   noticed with his new DELTAs           well they are working for him."
               me and still can't believe I'm        occurred on a recent amusement
               wearing hearing devices."             park trip with his daughter.          Dr. Lobitz notes that it took him
                                                     "Before, when I was active and        some time to get used to his first
               His new Delta’s have gotten him       being jostled around, I was           pair of hearing instruments. "The
               back into conversations he was        never quite sure my hearing           DELTAs have been much better
               missing. "I hear much better in       instruments wouldn't fall out.        right out of the gate. There has
               crowds and in restaurants. My         My DELTAs were very secure -          been next to nothing that
                                                                                           bothered me about them. The
                                                                                           sound quality is more open and
                                                                                           natural and that was very easy to
                                                                                           get used to. They changed my
                                                                                           life. I encourage everyone whose
                                                                                           hearing loss is affecting their
                                                                                           quality of life to see their

                                                                                           audiologist and give them a try."
     VOL .
     IS S UE
     ADV ICE
     SO UND

                                                                                          Dr. Lobitz and his audiologist,
                                                                                          Lou Siemenski
                                  Admit It!
                              You’re In Denial…
                    You Tell Yourself You Don’t Need It…
                        You Feel Too Young For It…
                         You’re Not Ready For It…
                  (You’re Right.We Used To Feel The Same Way Too)

                                             The problem is not hearing.
Introducing…“Delta”                          The problem is understanding certain words.
A Designer Hearing Device                    Especially with background noise present…You know,
                                             those awkward moments when you nod your head…
For A New Generation                         Now, you’ll never have to pretend you heard the entire
                                             conversation and nod your head in response. Delta
  •   Tiny                                   analyzes and adapts to the sounds that surround you,
  •   Sophisticated                          making adjustments automatically and instantly.
  •   With Hi-Tech Artificial Intelligence
                                             Delta is worn behind the ear; it’s tiny, stylish and
  •   In 17 Attractive Colors                modern, with a unique triangle shape available in 17
                                             attractive colors. Ask your hearing care professional if
  •   Totally Unique
                                             Delta is right for you.
  •   Totally You
                ‘Crash tests’
                for hearing devices
                Oticon instruments are subjected to a whole battery of tests to
                ensure top quality, performance and reliability

                Oticon hearing instruments are built to withstand     moisture, the instrument is left turned on in the
                most daily wear and tear. Each time a new             climate chamber for 21 days. Moisture is capable
                instrument is introduced, hundreds of hours will      of penetrating almost everything. Although this
                have been invested in the design, construction and    doesn't normally happen with Oticon instruments,
                choice of materials - all to ensure consistent        if it does, the internal construction will be altered
                performance. During testing, the Delta triangular                      to avoid the problem, or materials
                shells have been pressed, battery drawers opened                               will be used that are less
                and closed, and tubes swung back and forth, tens of                              susceptible to moisture.
                thousands of times. And that's just on the outside.
                The internal components will also have been                                         The Sweat Test
                tested in weird and wonderful machines                                               Instruments are
                that simulate the effects that                                                       exposed to five cycles
                people and the environment have                                                       of fine salt mist that
                on hearing instruments. These                                                         help to simulate the
                are just a few of them:                                                                long-term effects of
                The Damp Heat Test                                                                     Immediately after,
                Instruments are subjected                                                              they are placed in
                to a damp heat test at                                                                  a high climate

                40°C and 93% humidity.                                                                  chamber. During
     VO L.

                To accelerate the effects of                                                            this process, salt
                the circuits' reaction to
     ISS UE
     ADV IC E
     S OUN D

crystals begin to build up on the instrument, just
like they would if worn by someone sweating. The
purpose is to see how this 'sweat' affects the inter-
nal components. Sweat can cause wires, battery
springs and batteries to corrode. Although this
problem cannot be eliminated, much can be done to
prevent it by sealing the vulnerable areas.

The Drop Test
The drop test simulates the effect of dropping a
hearing instrument on the floor. The old-fashioned
way to perform this test involved a hammer that
was dropped on each instrument from a certain           In the ‘sweat chamber’, the Delta hearing devices
height. These days a far more sophisticated             are exposed to five cycles of fine salt mist that help
machine is used. The hearing instrument is              to simulate the long-term effects of perspiration.
attached to a tiny suction pad, the 'hammer' is
raised and the instrument is hit from different
angles and different heights. In principle the
machine brings the floor to the hearing instrument -
it is the speed of the blow that corresponds to it
striking the floor from different heights. All drops
were captured by a high-speed camera to follow the
exact movements and impact on the instrument
when Delta hit the floor.

Environmental Tests
Several machines are used to simulate environmen-
tal wear and tear. Instruments are normally tested at
40°C and 93% humidity to simulate conditions            The Damp Heat Test simulates the effect of
in hot climates. They are also tested between -25°C     humidity. The Delta hearing device is tested in the
to +55°C to monitor the stress level on various         Climate Chamber for 21 days.
components. The everyday effects of products such
as hair spray and sun lotion are also tested, and
there is even a special UV chamber that tests the
effects of sunlight on new plastic materials.

                                                        The Delta hearing device is quality tested, the
                                                        receiver unit being twisted, wrenched, stretched and
                                                        bended to ensure long lasting.
               Delta –
               shaping the future
               of hearing devices
               It took more than two years to lift Delta off the drawing board
               and into the real world. No other device looks like it “ or
               performs like it.

               Delta is the latest in a long line of innovative             for vital components such as microphones,
               hearing devices from Oticon – and it’s certainly the         microchip and amplifier, which are not built to fit
               most attractive. But creating its amazing shape was          into a triangular shape. The engineers therefore
               a process fraught with challenges. As Engineer,              moved the loudspeaker out of the shell and into a
               Claus Würfel explains: ‘With Delta we wanted to              unique speaker unit in the ear.
               leave the organic, curved lines of the more
               traditional instruments behind. The curved shape             User-friendly solutions
               follows the whole contour of the ear, which makes            The speaker unit in the ear was the solution to
               it very discreet from the front. But from the sides          avoid the traditional ear molds. But the speaker
               and behind you, you can see the whole thing,                 unit had to be prevented from being damaged by
               which is not what most people want.’                         ear wax, and easy to clean and use. ‘The problem

               ‘Our main goal was therefore to make Delta
               attractive and discreet from ALL angles,’ Claus con-
               tinues. ‘We wanted it to look like any other piece of
               electronic equipment that people might wear – even

               as a piece of jewelry. And so we worked with an
     VOL .

               industrial designer to create a more triangular
               design which could perch on the top curve of the

               ear. This makes the device seem very small when
     IS S UE

               viewed from behind.” The result is a hearing device
               that is virtually invisible but still offers a great look.
     ADV ICE

               The small size and triangular design posed a num-
               ber of electrical and mechanical challenges for
               Oticon’s engineers. Although triangles have a large
     SO UND

               center area, the corner areas offer very limited space

                                           Claus Wurful - Oticon Engineer
with separating electronic components is that you       hearing aids for fear of causing whistling sounds.
still need some way of connecting them,” says
Claus. ‘We were determined not to compromise the        Delta’s great sound quality is one of the major
overall design, so we hid the plug connection           benefits using the new speaker in the ear concept.
inside the shell itself.”                               “One of the greatest advantages of the speaker unit
                                                        is that it puts a good deal of distance between
The team spent months making it comfortable,            microphone and loudspeaker, thereby reducing the
secure and effective. “We couldn’t allow earwax to      risk of feedback,” says Claus. “And the sound
settle on the membrane of the loudspeaker, so we        processing technology makes Delta adapt very
created two layers of filters,” Claus continues. “And   smoothly to people’s needs. In fact, they hardly
to save people the trouble of cleaning these filters,   notice they are wearing it until they take it off.
we made the whole filter disposable. The fact that      Then they find out just how valuable it is.”
Delta is easy to maintain makes people more
motivated to do what they need to do to keep their      A job worth doing
instruments in good shape.” The soft dome posi-         It is the knowledge of how much people appreciate
tions the speaker unit in the ear canal and keeps the   Delta that makes the whole job worthwhile for
ear completely open. The result is a very               Claus Würfel. “As engineers, if we had been
comfortable solution and a great sound quality.         interested only in designing products we could
                                                        have worked with things like mobile phones, but
Design-wise, Delta is so comfortable and easy to use    we want to design products that really help people.
that people often completely forget they are wearing    We know things like cosmetics, performance and
it. Hearing care professionals have reported cases of   ease of use are really important, so we wanted to
people wearing mobile phone earplugs or CD              make something that people would be proud to
earplugs ON TOP of the speaker unit – something         show off and be really motivated to wear. And I
they would never be able to do with old fashioned       know that with Delta, we have succeeded.”
               It–s the –small– things
               that matter with Delta
               Katie is in her mid-twenties and lives in Fleet, Hampshire. She
               works in London for a Public Relations company.

               She was born hard of hearing, as was her sister,        Katie tried a range of different hearing aids, which
               although her parents have perfect hearing —             were all big and bulky and incredibly unsubtle.
               her condition is due to a ‘bad combination of           Her sister persevered and wore her hearing aids all
               genes.’                                                 the time, but Katie got to the stage, once she had
                                                                       left school and started college, when she stopped
               Katie was diagnosed with a hearing problem at four      wearing them regularly.
               years old, and started wearing hearing aids at the
               age of five.                                            ‘I was in a situation where I was surrounded by
                                                                       new people, and I didn’t want to be known as ‘that
               ‘I remember crying constantly at school. I thought it   girl that wears the hearing aids.’
               unfair that I should have to stand out amongst other
               children – I was angry a lot of the time,’ she          Katie felt that her peers were more accepting of her
               remembers.                                              without a hearing aid, because they didn’t realize
                                                                       that she had a hearing problem. This was all very
               As a result, Katie was constantly described by          well, but because she couldn’t hear properly in her
               teachers as ‘quiet and shy’ at school.                  lectures, her academic work suffered.

               She remembers other children being very ignorant        ‘I suffered personally, too, because although I

               about hearing aids, not really understanding what       appeared to fit in, I couldn’t hear things or people
     VOL .

               they were about, or if they did they would mostly       around me properly.’
               associate them with the deafness or their own

               grandparents.                                           Even when she was forced to use a hearing device,
     IS S UE

                                                                       the results were not satisfactory.
               ‘Other children used to stare at me because I had to
     ADV ICE

               wear these incredibly big, bulky things in my ears. I   ‘They amplified every sound in the environment I
               particularly remember P.E. lessons – being forced       was in and simply shoved them in my ears – for
               to wear my hair up for safety reasons and always        example, in a conversation with a group of people,
     SO UND

               feeling incredibly self-conscious about it.’            I would be struggling to hear their voices because

all I can hear is the person behind me
speaking, or dishes and glasses clat-
tering in the kitchen. I could never
use my mobile because of the interfer-
ence; I would have to take the hearing
aid out, usually in public, to my great

An audiologist suggested Katie try a
new device, the Oticon Delta, when it
was launched a few months ago. This
has had a profound effect on her life!

‘Sounds are much clearer to me –
voices are more subtle, not so harshly
loud, and not so wispy-sounding.
Sounds that should be in the back-
ground, ARE in the background. For
example, if I am in a restaurant, I will
be able to focus more on the people I
am talking to rather than the sound of
the air conditioning humming. To me
it is now only background noise –
that’s all.’

‘I feel safer wearing the Delta because
louder sounds are constantly being
dampened rather than simply ampli-
fied into my ear – possibly damaging
my hearing further. For example, if a
fire alarm was going off in the office, I
would normally turn my hearing aid
off for fear of damaging my ears, but
now I don’t need too, as the sound is
dampened slightly.’

‘But it’s really the small changes that I
have noticed rather than big ones –
when I’m walking down the street
and the wind blows, I used to hold
my hair down in an attempt to cover
up the hearing aid. Now I don’t need
to do this, because the Delta is so dis-
creet and stylish. And most impor-
tantly, I don’t have to worry about
washing my hair EVERY day to cover
the aid up…..I simply tie my hair
back now.’

                            Katie Barriault
               Good communication

               Whether you are thinking about getting hearing devices or know someone who wears them, there are a
               number of ways to make communicating easier.

               As we all know, communication is a two-way thing. It’s not only up to the hearing device user. Family and
               friends can do a lot to help – especially in the following areas:

               1. Talk face to face                     2. Speak naturally but
               • Move closer! The closer you
                 are to the person you’re speak-        • Speak at a normal
                 ing with, the easier it is for you       conversational level. Most
                 to understand what’s being               instruments amplify a normal
                 said.                                    level of speech, so if you
                                                          shout, it may become too loud
               • Face the person you are talking          or even painful for the listener.
                 to. Visual clues like facial
                 expressions and lip movements          • Try not to talk too fast. Speak
                 do a lot to help listeners               naturally, but try to enunciate
                 understand your words.                   your words more clearly. This
                                                          will naturally slow your

               • Stand where your face is well            speech, but be careful not to
     VOL .

                 lit. This makes it easier to see         overdo it.
                 your facial expressions and
                 read your lips.                        • Try re-phrasing sentences
     IS S UE

                                                          rather than just repeating your-
               • Try not to talk while chewing            self, if your companion has

                 or while leaning your cheek on           trouble understanding. Some
     ADV ICE

                 your hand – it makes it harder           words are easier to hear or lip-
                 to understand what you are               read than others.
                 saying, and almost impossible
     SO UND

                 for others to read your lips.          • Take turns at talking whenever
                                                          you are in a group, and try not
                                                          to interrupt each other.
Create a better sound environment                     • Keep the volume of the TV, radio or CD player at
                                                        a manageable level.
All over the world people are exposed to increasing
amounts of sound during a normal day. More people,    • Don’t expose your ears to high-volume music
more traffic, more machines – the list is endless.      through headphones.
This provides food for thought.
                                                      • Wear earplugs at loud concerts or clubs.
We know that long-term exposure to loud sound
can damage our hearing, so we have a common           • Wear ear protectors when working with heavy
obligation to promote a good sound environment          machinery or mowing the lawn.
i.e. clear our surroundings of unnecessary noise.
                                                      • Protect your ears from louder explosions
Think about situations where you could make a dif-      (fireworks, gunfire etc.).
ference. These are just some of them:
                                                      Don’t wait till your hearing gets worse – start
                                                      right now!

               your hearing!
               Noise-induced hearing loss is the only kind of hearing loss we have the
               power to prevent. Find out why it happens “ and how to avoid it.

               Noise-induced hearing loss hap-    Remember Quasimodo? Bells the         nerve endings become damaged
               pens because excessive noise       size of Notre Dame would have         beyond repair, depriving you of
               damages some of the hearing        most sensible people groping          your hearing, forever.
               mechanisms in the inner ear.       frantically for a pair of earplugs,
               Loud sounds begin their journey    but it’s not just the mega sounds     When does noise become
               from some source – like a gun,     that do the damage. Repeated          dangerous?
               an explosion, or music from        exposure to loud sounds will do       We all have different sensitivity
               super-powerful loudspeakers –      it too. When noise exceeds a cer-     levels. As a rule of thumb, the
               and they travel through the air,   tain level it begins to destroy the   following situations put you in
               funnel through the ear opening     nerve endings in the inner ear. If    the danger zone: if you have to
               and begin wreaking havoc.          this happens repeatedly, the          shout over background noise to
     VOL .
     IS S UE
     ADV ICE
     SO UND

make yourself heard; if the noise                        Loudness Scale
hurts your ears or makes them
ring, or if you find it difficult to                                     dB                     Different
hear for several hours after hear-                                       140                    environmental
ing the noise.                                                                                  situations produce
                                                                         130                    different sound
What damages our hearing is the                                                                 levels. When sounds
intensity and duration of the                                                                   are too loud or
sound. Sound is measured in                                              110                    uncomfortable
decibels (dB), where 0 is the                                                                   (above 100 dB),
faintest sound the human ear can                                                                we perceive them
detect and where 180 would be                                            90
                                                                                                as noise.
the noise a rocket would make as
it launches into space. In our                                           80

daily lives, normal conversation
would be at the 60 dB level, a
lawnmower would be at 90 dB, a                                           60
chainsaw at 100 dB, a loud rock
concert would be at 115 dB and
a jet engine would be at 140 dB.                                         40

Many experts believe that                                                30

continued exposure to more than
85 decibels is asking for trouble.
The longer you are exposed to a                                          10
loud noise and the closer you are
to it, the higher the risk is of

                                       earphones may be the primary            What can you do to avoid
                                       culprits here. In extreme cases         problems?
                                       noise damage can cause ringing          The answer is easy: don’t
                                       in the ears. Called tinnitus, this      overload your ears! And if you
                                       condition is caused by damage to        do, wear ear protectors – whether
                                       the hearing nerve and it often          it’s earplugs or heavy-duty, full
                                       becomes permanent.                      ear mufflers. Wear them if you are
                                                                               working in an excessively noisy
                                       Many people in their fifties, who       environment. Wear them when
          mp3 player and speakers      grew up with rock and roll, are         using power tools or other noisy
                                       feeling the effects of either noise     equipment. Wear them if you go
Noise damage at an early age           induced hearing loss or tinnitus        hunting; when you ride a
Noise induced hearing loss isn’t       today. Fortunately, hearing aids        motorcycle or other noisy
just reserved for adults. Recent       are becoming more effective at          vehicles. Ear protectors are
studies show an alarming               addressing their special needs,         available in a variety of shapes
increase in this condition in          and scientists may hopefully one        and sizes and can even be custom
teenagers. Evidence suggests that      day find some super-effective           made. Your local hearing care
loud rock music – plus music           means by which to combat                professional may be able to offer
blasted directly into the ears via     tinnitus.                               advice in this area.
               Stay Connected To Th
               Typically, you may not see yourself as a person         In a recent survey of Delta users, many of those
               with hearing loss – you just have difficulty with       wearing Delta have expressed being transformed by
               understanding what people say in noisy situations.      the experience. It was like a whole new start with
               But you have most likely been in situations where       being able to hear and communicate more
               missing out on important conversations whether at       effectively, being more productive – getting back
               work or in a social setting, made a big impact on       their edge. They felt much more “calm, “relaxed”
               your ability to stay connected with the world           and “comforted” using Delta, because they were not
               around you.                                             constantly straining to hear. Delta helped them feel
                                                                       ideal again.
               When it comes to work, your ability to stay
               connected can be crucial in maintaining your edge       The advantages in Delta are evident as soon as you
               and in staying on top of things                         try them on. Your local hearing care professional
                                                                       can set up a risk-free trial to experience the
               With even a mild hearing loss, your world can           difference for yourself.
               become quite isolated and lonely. Feeling like
               you’re losing touch with those around you can put       Try Delta and get hearing empowered!
               a serious strain your emotional well-being. It’s like
               a door is being closed on you.

               Delta will transform you from a world of isolation,
               embarrassment and frustration, to a whole new
               world of possibilities you may only have
               dreamed of.
     VOL .
     IS S UE
     ADV ICE
     SO UND

The World Around You

               QUIZ                                           One of the best ways to deal with new
                                                         situations in life is to arm yourself with as
                                                     much knowledge as possible. The more you
                                                         know, the less your imagination is likely to
                                                    get the better of you. Here“s a chance to put
                                                    your knowledge of hearing to the test. Some
                                                         of these questions are fairly simple, others
                                                     require a little homework. But don“t worry “
                                                    the answers are right here at your fingertips.
                                                                 Just read the Sound Advice magazine.
                                                                                                        And have fun!

               1.   Delta hearing devices come in   2.   Which part of the ear looks like   4.   What is the left side of the brain
                    lots of colors. How many?            a snail or spiral?                      known for?

                    A) 15                                A) The eardrum                          A) Logic and language
     VOL .

                    B ) 17                               B) The cochlea                          B ) Shopping instinct
                    C) 19                                C) The earlobe                          C) Sport scores

                                                    3.                                      5.
     IS S UE

                                                         Which of the following can be a         What symbols are used to show
                                                         symptom of a hearing loss?              what you can hear with the left

                                                         A) People seem to be                    and right ear respectively?
     ADV ICE

                                                              mumbling                           A) X–s and Y–s
                                                         B) You always lose at chess             B) X–s and O–s
                                                         C) Sensitivity to cold                  C) L–s and R–s
     SO UND

6.     Which part of the body decodes
       speech signals to help us under-
       stand spoken language?
       A) The ears
       B) The brain
       C) The eyes

7.     Who founded the company
       known as Oticon today?
       A) William Demant
       B) Charles Lehman
       C) Hans Demant

8.     What can you do to protect
       your ears from excessive noise?
       A) Only listen to extremely
           loud music outdoors
       B) Open the window when
           loud noise is present
       C) Wear ear protectors

9.     What is dB short for?                          10. How does the sweat test of                11. At what dB level does normal
       A) Decibels                                           Oticon hearing aids take place?               conversation take place?
       B) Direct Balance                                     A) Several test people in                     A) 95
       C) Danger Barrier                                         Florida wear the instruments              B) 15
                                                                 for a week                                C) 60
                                                             B) The instruments are
                                                                 exposed to fine salt and
                                                                 placed in a humidity cham-
                                                             C) The instruments are left in
                                                                 salt water for 4 days

                                                                                         For correct answers to the quiz turn the page upside down.

1 – B, 2 – B, 3 – A, 4 – A, 5 - B, 6 - B, 7 – C, 8 – C, 9 – A, 10 – B, 11 – C
                    As a magazine, Sound Advice provides a
                    wealth of information about hearing loss
                        and today’s advanced solutions.
                     If you would like to know more about
                     your hearing and how hearing devices
                     could help you, just contact your local
                           hearing care professional.


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