The Beltone Company has been around for a good while, since 1940, to be exact, and has always been on the cutting edge of hearing instrument science. In Alabama and Mississippi, the Hames and Hendon families have been blessed to open and maintain more than 20 Beltone hearing centers, one of the most recent additions being located at 22923 Hwy 72 E in Athens.
Hal Hames is an audioprosthologist, (someone who is a trained expert in matching the right device to the ear and life of a customer,) his daughter Michelle is a Dr. of Audiology, and his wife, Linda, daughter Lesley Hendon, and son-in-law Jake Hendon all work together to make the Beltone Audiology facilities the premier hearing instrument science centers in the Southeast. Together they have decades of experience in the hearing industry.
I asked Lesley and Dr. Michelle why, if I am in need of hearing help, should I come to them? They both answered quickly, “Customer care.” Any Beltone customer gets free lifetime customer care, known as Bel Care, which includes evaluation, cleaning, any adjustments, anything except batteries. Customers also have access to trained techs at each facility. I became aware of the care and respect given to clients, especially when it comes to making someone comfortable with everything involved in using a hearing science instrument, from the testing process to being fitted, not only physically, but with finding the right “fit,” technologically speaking. More on that follows below. During the testing process, the patient’s response to all manner of sounds which occur in nature is noted, and not just a flat, artificial tone as was the case in days gone by. Sounds include everything from birds to crowds, and the patient’s family gets the opportunity to hear the loss being experienced by their loved one, fostering better understanding and hopefully more “patience with the patient.”
Another reason to choose Beltone is both their longevity in the market and the quality of their products. Beltone started in Chicago over 70 years ago with a friend successfully helping a friend, and remained family owned at the corporate level until 15 years ago. “They are not the oldest, but are one of the longest standing,” said Lesley. Beltone has continued to lead the way, both with technological advances and with educating their clients.
It used to be that “hearing aids” were noticeable, bulky, had feed back, (how well I remember my dad turning his up and down constantly,) couldn’t handle any moisture, and the range of hearing was often both distorted and limited. Several types of hearing situations used to be most challenging, such as restaurants, being outdoors, talking on the phone, or watching TV without annoying those watching with you because you had the volume turned up too high. Now there is what is known as the TRUE technology, a genuine breakthrough.
The Beltone TRUE series features multiple directional microphones, the ability for the microphones to change modes, a feedback eraser, wind noise reduction system, and a number of wireless accessories. The personal wireless network system makes it possible to link to the TV, your cell phone, and other audio sources, and also has a remote control that will adjust the hearing aids and the accesories. Now the rest of your family can listen to a program with the volume at a comfortable level for them, and the wireless device will adjust yours accordingly. In addition, Beltone TRUE has the best anti-whistling system in the business. It features a number of models, some of which are barely visible.
For clients who have need of a hearing aid that fits behind the ear, there is the TURN system. It has the ability to suppress certain unpleasant or overly loud sounds. Additionally, it helps with hearing conversations rather than background noises like refrigerators or fans. It also features a “telecoil,” for use with telephone conversations.
Regarding education as it applies to defining hearing loss, I learned some things to look out for. You may be experiencing hearing loss if:
People seem to mumble more frequently
You experience ringing in your ears
You often ask people to repeat themselves
Your family complains that you play the radio or TV too loudly
You no longer hear normal household sounds like a dripping faucet or a doorbell
You have difficulty understanding conversations in crowds, groups, or one on on
Phone conversations become increasingly difficult, as is hearing when someone’s back is turned toward you
You speak too loudly
If these are your concerns, then Josh Moody, H.I.S. (Hearing Instrument Specialist) and Madison Weatherbee, PSS (Patient Care Coordinator) will be more than able to assist you. Call the Athens office at 256-867-4200 to schedule an appointment.
22923 Highway 72 E , Suite A
Athens, AL 35613