Oticon Opn Opens a New World of Hearing to Former Beauty Queen

Hearing the sounds of daily life and listening to music are things that most of us take for granted.

Shelley Buckle. Credit to Etienne Koenig

The reality is that two in every thousand babies are born with a hearing lossi and many people lose their hearing as they get older. Oticon has responded to this need and provides support to people with every type of hearing loss. With passion, dedication and professional expertise, Oticon designs and manufactures hearing instruments for both adults and children.

 The adventurous, blue-eyed, blonde, Shelley Buckle – Miss Deaf SA 2011, was born with a hearing loss due to the Cytomegalovirus her mother contracted while she was pregnant. Shelley was born with no hearing in her left ear and about 40% hearing in her right ear. Her parents realised there was a problem when Shelley was two years old and was not responding to sounds. Shelley was fitted with a hearing aid in her right ear and Shelley’s mother dedicated all her time to teaching her daughter how to speak before she went to pre-school.

The Oticon Opn device has changed Shelley’s life and continues to do the same for many others by introducing a new world of sound – helping hearing aid users open up to a world of sound like never before. Oticon Opn is the first hearing instrument proven to work in harmony with the brain to help people hear more with less effort and remember more of what is being saidii. Oticon Opn’s technology works 50 times faster than the previous generation of hearing aidsiii, scanning the entire soundscape and reducing noise even between wordsiV. This makes it easier to focus on speech and provides you with constant access to a 360° field of sound.

Oticon Opn has helped Shelley blossom in every aspect of her life. “I could hear the differences in sound. My Audiologist’s voice was so crisp and clear! My husband was with me and when he spoke, I could hear the tone in his voice! I told him he definitely sounds squeakier (which is a good thing). I also remember walking outside and being able to hear background music for the first time. I was overwhelmed,” says Shelley.

The Oticon Opn hearing aid ensures Shelley no longer has to ask people to repeat themselves as often as she used to with her previous hearing aid. She received her first client call the day after her new “ears” were fitted and was ecstatic that every single word was audible. “It can be very challenging to follow a conversation while suppressing other sounds when you have a hearing loss,” says Shelley. The weekend after Shelley had her Oticon Opn fitted, she put it to the test. “That weekend I attended a concert. I was amazed at how I could hear everyone perfectly, despite the loud music, whereas other hearing people battled to hear each other. I definitely felt like I had some sort of superpower. 

Shelley also feels less excluded from social interactions with her new hearing aid and is now able to follow conversations more easily. Switching her focus from one sound source to another has become a much easier task and her ability to remember what people have said has improved tremendously. “I’m always forgetting what was said. Recently I haven’t been writing down notes as often, which I think is a good sign.”

In the technology-driven world we live in, hearing aids can now be used with Smart devices and can even connect to the Internet. The Oticon Opn hearing aid takes this connectivity to the next level. Shelley shared a story when she was at the airport, ready to fly overseas for a Deaf World Fashion Show. She realised she had forgotten to bring the headphones for her husband’s iPad. She was so upset because normal earplugs usually don’t fit and so she asked her hubby to buy new headphones. He walked off and then came running back saying, “Did you know you can sync your hearing aid directly to your iPad?” Shelley says it was awesome! They connected the devices and she was able to watch her series without anyone hearing, just as if she were wearing headphones! 

Being a former beauty queen, it is necessary that her hearing aid keeps up with the current trends. Oticon Opn comes in various styles and colours, making it available to a wide audience. Give yourself the gift of hearing – open up and connect to a world of endless possibilities with Oticon Opn.

About Oticon

It is Oticon’s ambition to partner with its customers – hearing clinics throughout the world – to provide quality Oticon hearing solutions to people with impaired hearing. Based on passion, dedication and professional expertise, Oticon designs 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 on the market. Headquartered in Denmark, we are a global company and part of the William Demant Holding Group with more than 11,000 employees. Visit www.oticon.co.za for more information.

i https://www.genesisclinic.co.za/audiologist/

ii [1] Le Goff et al. 2016, Opn Clinical Evidence White Paper, Oticon, A/S

iii [1] Welle J. N., Bach R. 2016. The Velox™ Platform Tech Paper. Oticon A/S

iV [1] Le Goff et al. 2016. An introduction to OpenSound Navigator™ White Paper. Oticon A/S

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