[gardeners] OT info on hearing aid industry, newsgroups etc?

Bob Kirk (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Mon, 25 Oct 1999 22:25:32 -0500 (CDT)

   Off-list replies are fine, just need to begin to orient myself.

Sitting here with my mom's week-old Beltone "1999 Optima" which I doubt
she'll never miss until the 30-day appointment when she's determined to get
her money back. Tired of playing Pavorotti to make myself understood (i.e.,
overall amplification and high-frequency boost are all that's needed:
there's no problem there a hearing aid can't solve).

   The mini-manual that came with it is for an "Optima 2000". Which should
have a top-knurled volume knob (this has a minuscule recessed arrow which
I can't even adjust with my quite functional fingertips; needs a jeweler's
screwdriver). Which should have two even smaller vendor-adjustable controls.
They appear to be there, albeit not where the picture says they should be,
but with the paint half worn off, which suggests to me that custom-molded
earpiece or not this is underneath a used appliance.
   More to the point, I simply can't adjust the volume to where I detect
any amplification (or for that matter any non-ambient sounds) before it
starts to squeal with feedback. To be sure I'm not actually sticking the
thing right down my ear: is that the problem and except for the twitchy
control might it actually be working as intended? 

   The basic question, I suppose, is what calibre of industry/profession 
am I looking to deal with? This guy is, I assume, a board-certified
audiologist (who once a month visits the Senior Center in a town 35 miles
west of his office). As far as I know the company is well-regarded.
   So is it common practice here to foist used goods off on people whose
good opinion (their being, say, 94 years old) the company isn't overmuch
concerned with?  Would last year's device (to judge from model names) 
in any case be so inferior a design compared to "Model 2000"? Is it worth
asking a respectable local audiologist (same company) for a second opinion?
   At minimum, is it expecting too much that a $1200 device should not come
with the owner's manual for some other machine? Anecdotal experience is
welcome, as are directions to newsgroups and mailing lists on the subject.


somewhat less old than might be imagined, idly wonders if
his hearing is still good for 20+ khz like it used to be....