Copenhagen Hearing and Balance Centre

Copenhagen Hearing and Balance Centre unites the treatment and research in hearing and balance diseases in the Capital Region and is based on a unique collaboration between DTU, the University of Copenhagen, patient associations and the Capital Region.
The centre is located both at Rigshospitalet and Bispebjerg Hospital. 

​Copenhagen Hearing and Balance Centre diagnoses and treats children with hearing loss and deafness and adults in specialized areas such as Cochlear Implant and Bone Anchored Hearing Systems (BAHS). And treatment is offered for dizziness disease, including treatment of complicated cases of ear stones. 

In addition, the centre is leading in hearing and balance research.

​The treatment of hearing loss in children from 0-18 years includes rescreening of infants, electrophysiological measurements (ABR/ASSR), medical examination, pediatric audiometric measurements and possibly genetic analysis.

The treatment of hearing loss consists of impressions for earplugs, fitting of hearing aids (HA), Cochlear Implant (CI) or bone-anchored hearing system (BAHS) with an audiologist.

For a large proportion of children, AVT (Auditory Verbal Therapy) is included as part of the treatment and is performed by AVT-qualified therapists.​

Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT)

AVT is an effective tool in the work with language development in children with hearing loss. The AVT program, which particularly benefits children with bilateral treatment-requiring hearing loss (either with a Cochlear implant or hearing aid), is an internationally recognized method that focuses on stimulating the child's auditory sense.

Children and adolescents 6-18 years with CI are offered one year with AVT. Children 0-5 years with bilateral CI, HA or BAHS and a hearing loss over 40dB are offered three years with AVT. 

​​You can read more about the three-year AVT course at decibel.dk/AVT.
The children are monitored and tested regularly in the department. Needs and frequency are assessed individually.

The investigation of hearing loss in adults who cannot be treated with hearing aids consists of a medical examination, audiometric measurements, electrophysiological measurements, scanning and possibly conversation with an audiologist as well as examination of the balance function.

Adults treated with CI or BAHS are regularly monitored in the department. Needs and frequency are assessed individually.​

The Center for Hearing and Balance offers treatment of complicated cases of ear stones (= crystal disease) with the special Epley Omniax chair. With the Epley Omniax chair, you can, among other things, treat ear stones, which is one of the most common causes of dizziness.

Facts about ear stones

Ear stones also go by the name 'Benign Paroxysmal Positions Vertigo' (BPPV). Uncertain why detached lime crystals will occasionally in some patients move into one of the three archways of the inner ear, thus preventing the natural fluid movements of the archway when the head is rotated. This means that a wrong signal is detected from the inner ear and that you become dizzy.

Referral to treatment

If you live outside the Capital Region, you must be referred by a specialist in ear-nose-throat diseases or from an ear-nose-throat department. We point out that many cases of the disease can be treated effectively at a specialist or specialist department.
If you live in the Capital Region, you can be referred directly from a general practitioner.​

The center's research include a wide range of topics within ear diseases, audiology and vestibulogy, and include a close collaboration with DTU, industry, the University of Copenhagen and patient associations.

Read more about the center's research projects:

> Ongoing projects (in Danish)
> Completed PhD projects​ (in Danish​)

At the Copenhagen Hearing and Balance Centre at Rigshospitalet, we are building bridges between daily clinical treatment and world-class MedTech research. A cornerstone of this center is a long-running collaboration between the clinicians at Rigshospitalet and the engineers at DTU Hearing Systems. This collaboration is facilitated by a small DTU research unit within CHBC that consists of jointly employed faculty and researchers together with brand new, dedicated state-of-the-art research facilities.

The dedicated research facilities at CHBC consist of both a fully equipped sound booth and a clinically oriented spatial hearing lab. The sound booth has, first and foremost, been designed to mimic the functionalities of both the clinical booths at CHBC and the research booths at DTU in Lyngby, effectively facilitating synergies between the two domains. We go above and beyond this by outfitting the booth with equipment that will help to catalyze brand new, clinically oriented research streams. The base setup includes an otoscope, a middle ear analyzer, and the Affinity Compact audiometer and hearing aid analyzer, as well as a loudspeaker and head and torso simulator (HATS) for free-field testing. On top of this, we have a Biosemi system supplemented with tiptrodes and tympanic membrane electrodes—making both electro-encephalography (EEG) and electrocochleography (ECochG) possible—as well as a NIRScout for functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Taken altogether, this modular setup allows for recording cortical, subcortical, and peripheral processes along the entire auditory pathway. We anticipate that by recording neural responses from different stages of the auditory system simultaneously, we can study the functional relationships between these stages in novel ways.

Adjacent to the sound booth, we have outfitted the spatial hearing lab with a novel, state-of-the-art loudspeaker array consisting of 41 individual loudspeakers that have been embedded within the walls and ceiling of an otherwise ordinary clinical room that has been acoustically treated. These loudspeakers are driven by a control computer and amplifiers that have been placed in the adjacent room, leaving the test space itself clean, clutter free, and approachable for patients. In a similar manner to the sound booth, the spatial hearing lab has been designed to facilitate synergies with DTU Hearing Systems, such that we can better link the work we do at DTU with virtual sound and virtual reality within the Audio Visual Immersion Lab (AVIL), as well as with listener behavior within the communication labs , to the patients at CHBC, giving us unparalleled possibilities to design, develop, and test novel ways to bring realism and ecological validity to the clinic. We anticipate that this lab space will help revolutionize spatial hearing and listener behavior diagnostics, accelerate the optimization of fitting procedures for hearing aid and cochlear implants, and catalyze rehabilitation that is more transferrable to daily life.​

Our work is typically divided into projects and most involve experiments with both hearing-impaired and normal-hearing people. In our research, we use several different measurement methods, including:​

  • Psychoacoustic measurements, where we present some sounds (eg tones, noise, speech or melodies) via headphones or speakers) and typically the patient has to answer questions via a computer.

  • Speech production recording, in which the patient is asked to pronounce words or sentences that are recorded through a microphone.

  • Cognitive and audiovisual measurement methods, where the patient is presented with auditory, visual or audiovisual stimuli while, for example, eye movements and pupil size are measured.

  • Otoacoustic emissions, which are weak signals generated in our inner ear, which are measured by placing a probe with a small speaker and a microphone in the ear canal.

  • Auditory-evoked potentials, where small speakers are placed in the ear canal and brain activity is recorded using flat electrodes placed on the scalp or in the ear canal.

  • Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), in which brain activity is recorded using optods located on the scalp.

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), where brain activity is recorded using a magnetic resonance imaging machine, which takes place at the MRI research section at Hvidovre Hospital.

  • Questionnaires and online surveys, where the patient typically has to answer various questions related to their hearing.

In addition, research is being carried out into ear stones, Menière's disease, Cochlear Implant and certain syndrome patients. The center is also part of a sensu-neuro-CAG (Clinical Academic Group) collaboration with researchers in Region Zealand.

Our goal is to achieve a better understanding of how hearing works, both in normal hearing and in people with hearing loss. Our research contributes i.a. for the development of measurement methods that can provide a more specific description of the individual hearing loss, thereby enabling better development and adaptation of hearing aids and cochlear implants for both adults and children.​

The Copenhagen Hearing and Balance Centre brings together the treatment and research in hearing and balance diseases in the Capital Region and is based on a unique collaboration between DTU, the University of Copenhagen, patient associations and the Capital Region.

In addition to the new facilities in the North Wing og Rigshospitalet, the centre also has 2,500 square meters of audiological assessment and hearing aid treatment at the Audiology Department, at Bispebjerg Hospital.

The center is supported with 40 million DKK. of the William Demant Foundation, of which 10 million DKK earmarked for research and goes to the employment of PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, while the remaining 30 million DKK has gone to the construction of the center as part of the phase 2 construction of the North Wing at Rigshospitalet.​


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