Technology addresses one of the biggest complaints of hearing impaired
Geraldton hearing impaired residents can now benefit from a breakthrough new technology launched by Siemens which can not only improve their hearing, but understand speech in some situations better than people with normal hearing.
More than 1 in 6 Australians, including 50 percent of over 60’s1 suffer from hearing loss. With the nation’s population ageing, the ratio of Australians with hearing loss is set to grow significantly in the coming years.
Trying to hear in noisy situations is one of the biggest complaints2 of people with hearing difficulty. binax technology addresses this by helping wearers to follow conversations more easily in environments such as bars, restaurants, cars, meetings and in windy areas.
The technology has been tested in two clinical studies which measured participants’ hearing abilities in a loud simulated cocktail party environment.
At two independent research sites, sentence recognition in surrounding background noise was significantly superior for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, when aided with binax, compared to individuals with normal hearing. In the real world, speech understanding in noisy situations (with binax) is estimated to outperform normal hearing by approximately 25%*.
binax uses unique “binaural” technology to mimic the way two ears work together to isolate noises.
With two hearing instruments fitted, the device can automatically pinpoint the direction of speech in relation to the user, enhancing loudness and clarity to deliver true “High Definition Sound Resolution”.
Users can gain further control over their hearing by utilising a phone app to alter the direction of the device’s internal microphones, adjust volume and reduce specific noises.
Siemens Hearing Instruments Head of Audiology Peter McKinnon said binax represented a major technological milestone for the company.
“One hundred years after Siemens began production of its first hearing instrument, we are proud to have introduced a product which has the sophistication to function like a human ear and differentiate between speech and other types of sound.
“Many people with hearing loss can feel uncomfortable and anxious in social settings as they struggle to understand conversations taking place around them. In some instances they may choose to avoid events and miss out on important moments with their friends and family.
“Siemens’ binax devices have been developed to make life easier in these situations by greatly improving the clarity and volume of conversations for the listener,” he said.
The technology is available in Siemens Pure and Carat hearing devices. Each of these products are receiver-in-canal solutions, with virtually invisible housing that sits behind the ear.
When used in conjunction with the Siemens easyTek unit, users can stream telephone calls along with television, stereo and iPod audio sources straight into their hearing device.
Mr McKinnon said the products provided the ideal blend of size, functionality and convenience.
“Siemens has worked hard to be able to offer binax technology in a range of small, discreet units which are almost undetectable on the wearer.
Siemens is currently offering a free trial of the product, so people can experience the benefits first hand. Those interested in trialling a binaxdevice can call 1300 787 797 for a referral to their nearest hearing clinic. They will then be able to visit a clinic for a free hearing screen and acquire the product for an obligation free period.