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

George Shirley (
Tue, 26 Oct 1999 08:15:31 -0500

Bob Kirk wrote:
>    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.
>    bk---
> somewhat less old than might be imagined, idly wonders if
> his hearing is still good for 20+ khz like it used to be....

To start with there's a caveat, be wary of any and all hearing aid
peddlers. And, yes, they do sell used appliances, sounds like they sold
your Mom a used one as a new one. The reason I know is that I have a
good friend here who is a board certified audiologist and sells hearing
aids. I trust him and he tells me there are lots of folks out there who
aren't honest.

I'm 60 years old Bob and the VA tells me my hearing is perfect,
regardless of industrial and military noise exposure for lots of years.
Know two elderly gentlemen, 77 and 81, who wear aids in both ears. One
loves his aids and is never without them, the other hates them and
always grouses about them not doing him any good. May be the variety of
deafness I'm not sure.