March 9, 2017

“OPN” Your Ears

How new hearing technology is making all the difference

At first we could just laugh about all the mistakes, but it’s not really funny anymore. ..

“I’m just tired of repeating myself and I feel bad that I get so impatient with him. He has trouble following conversations. It embarrasses me because he just ignores people. He says everyone mumbles and he gets tired. We argue a lot.”  -Anne

Everyday we see patients who have hearing problems that are causing themselves and their loved ones stress, sorrow, and frustration in their day-to-day lives. We love what we do, because we get to help them improve their quality of life and enjoy better hearing again.

All of the hearing treatments are fit on a trial basis so there is no risk on our patients’ part in enjoying the ability to hear and understand spouse, family and friends again.

I have been an audiologist for 34 years, and treated thousands of patients. I have a hearing loss myself, and wear hearing instruments. In the last few years, the hearing instrument technology has exceeded my expectations. In June of last year, Dr. Lance Greer and I traveled to Florida for an international hearing conference which focused on the release of a completely new type of hearing instrument.

This new hearing instrument, called the OPN (pronounced “open”) from Oticon out of Denmark, was developed by a team of 250 auditory scientists, auditory engineers, and technicians who worked for over six years to develop this new technology.

Technological limitations of previous hearing instruments have led to use of directionality to make speech coming from the front clear, while suppressing the rest of the sound environment.  In complex listening environments where sound sources are many, previous hearing technology is too slow to keep up with rapid and multiple sound changes.

When you cut out too much background sound around you, it is like wearing hearing blinders, and too many critical speech sounds cannot be captured for our brains. Closing down too many sounds under-stimulates the brain and deprives it of the context needed for understanding words.

The new Velox chip in the OPN hearing instruments processes 50 times faster than before. It is precise and fast enough to support our brain in making sense of sound and words. This chip has 64 sound channels. It analyzes the sounds around you more than 100 times per second. It can handle more than 12 million operations per second.

These new hearing instruments provide 30 percent improvement in speech understanding—even in the most noisy environments—compared to the previous state-of-the-art technology. It provides 20 percent less listening effort in noise, and 20 percent more capacity to remember.

We have fit these instruments on numerous patients and they have been overwhelmed with their ability to understand, even in the most noisy of environments. These instruments are truly in a league of their own!

“Albert went to church and other places he really hasn’t enjoyed for years.  We’re having so much fun.  I have my husband back… the man I fell in love with!”  -Anne

This technology is fit on a 60-day trial period. Call (435) 688-8866 to wear these instruments home and experience the difference of OPN.

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