‘Hear the future’ says WHO and Oticon on World Hearing Day

Copenhagen, Denmark
2 March 2018

Oticon is investing in the future of hearing care and embraces the theme from the World Health Organization for this year’s World Hearing Day

In February 2017, the World Hearing Organization (WHO) reported that 360 million people worldwide, over 5% of the population, have hearing loss[i]. For World Hearing Day 2018, WHO will draw attention to statistical projections which anticipate a rise in the number of people with hearing loss across the globe, and will highlight the importance of treatment and care. Consequently, this year’s World Hearing Day will be themed ‘Hear the future - and prepare for it’.

The future of hearing theme is synonymous with the ambitions of the industry leader in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, Oticon, which is proud to develop some of the most innovative hearing solutions in the hearing aid market. Oticon is dedicated to developing the hearing aids of the future with inspirational foundations for audiological concepts from its team of experts at the Eriksholm Research Centre, part of Oticon, while the Oticon Foundation supports vital initiatives and research projects that aims to improve hearing care and rehabilitation.

By presenting new hearing technologies that solve hearing loss dilemmas, Oticon is also able to bring attention to the challenges that people with hearing loss face and raise awareness of the many facets of hearing loss, including how untreated hearing loss can affect long-term health. On this foremost day in the hearing industry’s calendar, Oticon looks to promote life improvements and enhancements that its trailblazing hearing technologies deliver to those with hearing loss, as well as provide details about hearing research:

  • For over 20 years Oticon has pioneered BrainHearing™ research to both understand and prove how the brain makes sense of sound, and to ultimately improve hearing ability through advanced hearing aid technology. With a ‘brain first’ audiological approach, Oticon recognises that better hearing comes by reducing listening effort, which is what Opn™ delivers, in addition to amplifying sounds, to provide a better listening experience. Untreated hearing loss can put such a massive load on the brain in challenging environments that it can have adverse effects on long-term health, such as stress and mental fatigue. Hearing loss can lead to disengagement in conversation and interaction, which can result in social withdrawal, isolation and depression, and has even been linked with the acceleration of cognitive decline. Hearing loss was recently reported as the #1 modifiable risk factor contributing to dementia in a study authored by the Lancet commissions on Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care[ii].

  • With the importance of social interaction in mind, Oticon has developed Oticon Opn™, which introduces a paradigm shift and sets a precedence for future hearing aid technology. With Opn™, hearing aid users can once again enjoy restaurants and family dinners without enduring a constant battle with background noise and people talking over each other and can keep their brain active through social interaction[iii]. Opn™ connects to all modern smartphones and comes with a number of hearing aid world firsts. Opn™ is the first internet-connected hearing aid allowing communication between the hearing aid and Internet of Things smart devices via the IFTTT network, such as doorbells, while a new HearingFitness™ app allowing Opn™ users access to revolutionary data-driven hearing care was recently announced.

  • The LISTEN project: Eriksholm researchers have collaborated with academic partners to prove that pupillometry is a tool for understanding the listening effort of those experiencing hearing loss. The results could be used to improve the tailoring service of hearing aid fittings and ultimately ensure that hearing aids deliver the very best treatment.

“We are in the business of investing in people, so any event that encourages the public to talk about hearing loss and the difference it makes to people’s lives is most welcome,” says Thomas Behrens, Chief Audiologist at Oticon. “Hearing loss is a health condition that causes disability, and the amount of people it affects is ever increasing, especially with an aging population, which is why it’s so important to raise awareness of the problem and the significance of investment into the future of hearing care.”

About Oticon

500 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss. The majority are over the age of 50 while eight percent are under the age of 18. It is Oticon's ambition that our customers - hearing clinics throughout the world - prefer to use our products for people with impaired hearing. Through passion, dedication and professional expertise, Oticon develops and manufactures hearing aids for both adults and children. Oticon supports every kind of hearing loss from mild to severe and we pride ourselves on developing some of the most innovative hearing aids in the market. Headquartered out of Denmark, we are a global company and part of William Demant Holding Group with more than 12,000 employees and revenues of over DKK 12 billion. www.oticon.global

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[ii]Livingstone et al, 2017 – Dementia prevention, intervention and care

[iii]Ohlenforst et al. 2017."Impact of stimulus-related factors and hearing impairment on listening effort as indicated by pupil dilation

world hearing day