YOUR GUIDE TO BETTER HEARING
ISSUE 5 VOL 1
FOR HEARING DEVICES
A world of colors
“STYLE MEETS TECHNOLOGY”
HUEY LEWIS...MUSICIAN, SINGER, ACTOR
AND PROUD DELTA WEARER
"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!
DELTA KEEPS LEDGENDARY WHAT EXACTLY
FOUR TOPS SINGER IN THE DOES UNDERSTANDING
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
DELTA – FINALLY A HEARING TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE
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.
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
OTICON’S NEW STATE-OF-
HEARING AND HEARING THE-ART HEADQUARTERS
LOSS Timely innovation meets high-tech
Read about the human ear and functionality.
the different types of hearing loss. PAGES 30-31
THE WORLD IS A NOISY
LOOK WHOSE SINGING THE PLACE
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 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.
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
DELTA – SHAPING THE
FUTURE OF HEARING
From the drawing board to the real
IT’S THE SMALL THINGS
Katie Barriault, Public Relations
Manager in the UK, recounts her
experiences before and after
See what you can do to make
communication easier and more
PROTECT YOUR HEARING
Noise-induced hearing loss.
Find out why it happens – and
how to avoid it.
STAY CONNECTED TO THE
WORLD AROUND YOU
Read how Delta can transform you
from a world of isolation in to a
whole new world.
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.”
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
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
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
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
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
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
you feel as if you have nothing on at all.
You can see all of the colors available, and learn
more about Delta today. Visit the on the web at
www.my-delta.com and see how the fusion of style
and technology can give you a edge in today’s noisy
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Left: At www.my-delta.com you can view all colors
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and much more.
World of Colors
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
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
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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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,
IS S UE
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
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.
ADV IC E
S OUN D
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
like a restaurant or a car.
• You tend to limit your social activities
because it’s difficult to hear and
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• Family, friends, or colleagues mention
that they often have to repeat them-
DOES U N D E R S T A N D I N G
SPEECH INVOLVE ?
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To understand speech we must be able to detect, decode and
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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?
_r_ng_ j_ _c_
O_a_ _e _ui_e
Turn the page upside down to see the full
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
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.
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
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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.
sh Sounds above the
j m db ol a
n r lines are not audible
u Sounds below the
lines are audible
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
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.
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
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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
easier to discriminate where
sounds come from – it’s more
balanced, more varied, and it
feels more natural. I didn’t find it
difficult to adapt to wearing two
– it’s been remarkably easy
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
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
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
sole agency for Acousticon
hearing aids in Denmark, and a
new company was born.
Changes in name – and direction
Years later, when Hans passed
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.
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
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
glass to ensure transparency and openness.
The technical requirements of hearing instrument
development have been given top priority, and
much effort has gone into designing a working
environment that fosters untraditional thinking.
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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
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sophisticated set up for the modern electronic work
place enabling people to work anywhere in the
house on their wireless laptops.
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 .
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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.
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
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
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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
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,
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."
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Dr. Lobitz and his audiologist,
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
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
To accelerate the effects of this process, salt
the circuits' reaction to
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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.
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.
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
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
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viewed from behind.” The result is a hearing device
that is virtually invisible but still offers a great look.
The small size and triangular design posed a num-
ber of electrical and mechanical challenges for
Oticon’s engineers. Although triangles have a large
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
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,
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the results were not satisfactory.
‘Other children used to stare at me because I had to
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,
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 –
‘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
‘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
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
lit. This makes it easier to see overdo it.
your facial expressions and
read your lips. • Try re-phrasing sentences
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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
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
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
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
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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
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
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
IS S UE
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
B ) 17 B) The cochlea B ) Shopping instinct
C) 19 C) The earlobe C) Sport scores
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?
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
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.