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Keep Your Brain Healthy for Longer with Good Hearing


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earing aid manufacturer, Oticon, has studied the brain’s role in hearing for over two decades and is the hearing industry’s leading


voice and technology innovator for supporting the brain to make sense of sound. Oticon would like to take the opportunity to stress how important effectively addressing hearing loss can be for brain health and functionality, and how well-fitted hearing aids have consistently been shown to improve quality of life significantly. Within the last five years there have been significant advances in the understanding of the physiological consequences of hearing loss. Most people automatically associate hearing loss with their ears, unaware that their brain is actually the main tool for hearing, responsible for processing sound and converting it into useful information. With a hearing loss your brain is denied the complete sound picture and has to use considerable effort to compensate, drawing on resources that should be used for other functions, such as creating memories. Research into the how the brain is affected by hearing loss is ever increasing. For example,


Life-changing hearing technology. www.oticon.global


researchers around the world are demonstrating that hearing loss is associated with a higher risk of depression and serious cognitive conditions, including dementia. There is also a growing body of evidence showing that an untreated hearing loss will actually lead to changes in your brain. The good news is that new research also demonstrates that if you use hearing aids to address your hearing loss you may see a delay in getting diagnosed for serious illnesses and experiencing conditions such as dementia, depression, anxiety and injurious falls. The recent study of health insurance data even revealed that by wearing hearing aids, in less than 3 years older adults with hearing loss reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s by 17% and depression by 14%.


“Most people living with hearing loss are completely


unaware that the brain undergoes an extra cognitive work-out when managing sound with a hearing loss. The results can be threatening to your health, especially as the consequences of the extra effort required from the brain, such as fatigue, bad sleep and social isolation, can accelerate the brain’s natural aging process, said Thomas Behrens, Chief Audiologist, Oticon.


LEEDS CLEAN AIR ZONE WILL LEAD TO ‘SILENT KILLER’ ELECTRIC CAR DANGER


Leeds’ looming clean air zone will lead to a rise in silent electric and hybrid cars – which pose ‘serious danger’ to pedestrians, especially children and those with disabilities


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EEDS CITY COUNCIL has confirmed that the city’s clean air charging zone (CAZ) will come into effect on 28 September. Buses, coaches,


heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), taxis and private hire vehicles will have to meet minimum emissions standards or be charged for driving within the zone. A leading road safety expert believes


this will lead to an explosion of dangerous electric and hybrid cars on the city’s streets. Chris Hanson-Abbott OBE, of road safety device supplier Brigade Electronics, said: “More and more cities are imposing clean air zones in a bid to tackle pollution. This is admirable, but electric and hybrid vehicles carry their own risks. The average person struggles to hear hybrid and electric vehicles approach at speeds of up to 20kmh (12.5mph) – especially in noisy urban environments like Leeds. It’s a serious danger. “Drivers and fleet managers must start to ask themselves if


they are taking enough steps to keep pedestrians safe – and research shows children and those with disabilities are


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particularly at risk.” Brigade has developed an aftermarket solution to mitigate the deathly quiet of electric and hybrid cars – the Quiet Vehicle Sounder. The ingenious tech is designed to save lives by producing a distinctive replacement sound that can be heard clearly in danger zones but less so elsewhere. The sound is highly directional, enabling a pedestrian to tell where the vehicle is, and it varies in pitch and tone as the vehicle speeds up or slows down. Mr Hanson-Abbott, who helped


introduce the reversing alarm to the UK back in 1976, added: “The Quiet Vehicle Sounder


is a revolution in automotive safety and spares people from being injured or worse in avoidable accidents. It will be invaluable to drivers in Leeds come September.” The Leeds CAZ will combine a central government vehicle


checker with a network of more than a hundred cameras to identify non-compliant vehicles driving within the zone.


For more information visit www.brigade-electronics.com Ability Needs Magazine


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