Hearing Aid vs. Hearing Amplifier

Hearing Amplifier vs. Hearing Aid: What’s the Difference, Anyways?

Hearing Aid vs. Hearing Amplifier

They’re Not the Same Thing

Combing through any magazine or newspaper nowadays, you’re bound to come across an ad that looks like the most inexpensive hearing aid ever made that claims it’s going to restore your hearing back to a normal hearing level. This is false. These are known as hearing amplifiers and we want you to understand the difference between a hearing amplifier and a hearing aid.

What’s the Difference?

So, what exactly is the difference between a Personal Sound Amplification Product (PSAP), also known as a hearing amplifier and a hearing aid?
  1. PSAPs (or hearing amplifiers) help people hear things that are at low volume or at a distance. They are intended for use by people who do not suffer from hearing loss and should not be used as a substitute for hearing aids by those who actually need hearing aids for hearing loss.
  2. Hearing aids are meant for those who suffer from hearing loss and are customized specifically for the patients hearing needs. Hearing aids differentiate between sounds and amplify them based on the characteristics of that sound. For example, at Beltone, our latest technology has Personal Sound ID, which mimics the natural sound level differences between your ears, helping you identify where sounds are coming from. And, CrossLink Directionality enhances sound quality by monitoring the sound environment and automatically switching to the most natural speech focus settings.
This specific topic is so important, even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has become involved.
They say, “Choosing a PSAP as a substitute for a hearing aid can lead to more damage to your hearing. It can cause a delay in diagnosis of a potentially treatable condition. And, that delay can allow the condition to get worse and lead to other complications.”
Take our online hearing test today to see where your hearing health stands. Or, call 757-337-4591 to schedule an appointment with your nearest Beltone location.
Hearing Aid Technology: Streaming with Hearing Aids

Hearing Aid Technology: Streaming with Hearing Aids

Hearing Aid Technology: Streaming with Hearing Aids

Beltone Legend™ hearing aid users have the advantage of many different ways to connect audio sources to their hearing aids.

Beltone Legend connects directly to your iPhone®. Your hearing aids will automatically pick up a streaming signal from your iPhone and play the sound through your hearing aids. This is used most often for phone calls; however, it can also be used while listening to audiobooks, music, or videos. Whenever I demonstrate this feature to new users, they are always very pleased with the simplicity of this groundbreaking feature.

Phone Link 2

If you don’t have an iPhone, that’s okay!  Any Bluetooth cell phone can be connected to your Beltone Legend hearing aids by using a Phone Link 2. This little device clips on to your shirt or pocket and will stream the audio signal from your phone to the hearing aids. Samsung® Galaxy products can take advantage of Beltone’s Hear Plus™ App too!

The HearPlus App on your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy devices can be used to manage these wireless systems. Simply open up the App on your phone and toggle through the different accessories that you have added to your network.

TV Link 2

Another one of these accessories is the Beltone TV Link 2. It connects your television to your hearing aids using a wireless system. This system is designed to be sleek and easy to manage, without any cords or connectors hanging from your neck. For users that have been accustomed to the neck loop systems, the Beltone TV Link 2 is a welcomed change.

The wireless connection built into the Beltone Legend hearing aids will seamlessly cross through your living room to receive a high quality signal from your television. If you have a large family and get distracted by others in the room while watching TV, this is a way to “cut-out” some of that background noise while enjoying your favorite programs.

MyPAL Pro

My current favorite accessory is the MyPAL Pro. “PAL” stands for “Personal Audio Link.” This little device is your own personal microphone that you can position however you want to pick up voices in crowded places. This device is the best way to control “Signal to Noise Ratio”: bringing the voices up above the background noise.

The ugly side of hearing loss is that the brain’s ability to process sounds is often diminished at the same time as cochlear hearing loss. The MyPAL Pro gives an advantage to Beltone Legend users that are still struggling in environments with a high-level of noise because of these poor auditory processing abilities.

I’ve found that users enjoy the MyPAL Pro in restaurants and bars, in the car or RV, or even talking from the living room to the kitchen at home. What I like about the latest version of MyPAL Pro is that it also has the ability to be used flat on a table top: ideal for noisy restaurants and meetings.

We love all of our really cool toys!  With these three accessories, the TV Link 2, the Phone Link 2, and the MyPAL Pro, you always have the help of your friendly Beltone professionals to help you integrate these systems into your wireless network.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a FREE hearing screening, give us a call at 757-337-4591.

What Type of Hearing Aid is Right For You?

What Type of Hearing Aid is Right For You?

Years ago, people shopping for hearing aids had limited options. But technology has come a long way. Many of today’s hearing aids are so small, they’re virtually undetectable when worn.

How can they be so tiny? Today’s digital hearing aids have microphones that transmit sound to a small computer chip, which adjusts the volume and amplifies the sound frequencies needed to help improve your hearing.

The shell of a custom hearing aid is made from a mold of the user’s ear. Shells come in a variety of shapes, styles and colors to better fit the user’s level of hearing loss, daily routines, and cosmetic preferences.

Six Hearing Aid Shell Styles

Choosing what hearing aid will work for you is a personal decision. What works for one person may not for another, even if both have almost identical audiograms (charts that show the degree of hearing loss for low-, middle-, and high-pitched sounds).

As you work with your hearing care professional trying different styles, it’s important to remember most hearing aids will never completely remove background noise. They are able to vastly improve your hearing. However, due to the way we process sound, they cannot make you hear perfectly again.

There are six main hearing aid shell styles. Each has a different appearance and unique features. You should consider your lifestyle, overall health, and daily routines as you determine which type of right for you.

Completely-in-Canal (CIC)

As you may have guessed a CIC hearing aid is practically invisible, because the shell is entirely hidden within the ear canal. Tiny CIC models leverage the ear’s natural ability to collect sound. By taking impressions, CIC hearing aids are tailored to the dimensions of a patient’s ear canal.

Best for
  • Mild to moderate hearing loss
  • Users with good manual dexterity
  • Users looking for a discreet option
  • Users who spends a lot of time outdoors. (These models are less likely to pick up wind noise.)
  • Telephone use

Think the CIC might be for you? Learn more.

In-the-Canal (ITC)

ITC styles are worn in the lower portion of the outer ear by the ear canal. Their medium size makes them relatively discreet while offering a secure fit, easy insertion and removal, and a longer battery life.

Best for
  • Mild to moderate hearing loss
  • Reducing background noise (Larger units include directional microphones.)
  • Users with good manual dexterity
  • Users looking for a discreet option
  • A user who spends a lot of time outdoors. (These models are less likely to pick up wind noise.
  • Telephone use

Think the ITC is right for you? Learn more.

Microphone-in-Helix (MIH)

Like the CIC, the main part of an MIH hearing aid is hidden out of sight in your ear canal. This piece is made from an impression taken during your visit. The microphone is separate and is worn within the concha—the curved groove of your external ear— out of sight. A tiny transparent tube transmits sound from the microphone to the component in your ear canal.

Best for
  • Moderate hearing loss
  • Preserving the natural acoustics provided by the outer part of your ear
  • Reducing feedback
  • Users with limited dexterity and/or reduced vision

Think the MIH is right for you? Learn more.

In-the-Ear (ITE)

All electronic components are included within the case, which completely fills the bowl of the outer ear. The larger battery can power a bigger receiver, making this style ideal for more profound hearing losses.

Best for
  • Profound hearing loss
  • Users who want additional features (telecoil, directional microphone, and wireless streaming)
  • Users with limited dexterity and/or reduced vision

Think the ITE is right for you? Learn more.

Receiver-in-Ear (RIE)

This type of hearing aid is also called a receiver-in-the-canal (RIC), receiver-in-the-ear (RITE), receiver-in-the-aid (RITA), and canal receiver technology (CRT).

The RIE has a small casing that sits behind the ear, which contains all the electronic components of the hearing aid except for the receiver (also called the speaker). The receiver (or speaker) is inside the ear canal connected to the casing by a narrow, transparent tube.

Best for
  • Nearly all types of hearing loss
  • Users who hear low frequencies well
  • Users looking for a fairly discreet option as well as comfort
  • Users with limited dexterity and/or reduced vision

Think the RIE is right for you? Learn more.

Behind-the-Ear (BTE)

About 60 percent of hearing aids sold in the United States are BTE models. A BTE is curved to rest directly behind the ear and connect to the ear canal via a thin transparent tube or a custom-designed ear mold.

Best for
  • All types of hearing loss—mild to severe
  • Amplifying both low and high frequencies
  • Reducing feedback
  • Users on a budget
  • Users with limited dexterity and/or reduced vision

Think the BTE is right for you? Call us for more information! 757-337-4591

Best Hearing Aids

How to find the Best Hearing Aids on the Market

How to find the Best Hearing Aids on the Market

Best Hearing AidsBest Hearing Aids

There are a few key elements to keep in mind while doing your due diligence in researching which hearing aid is the best one on the market today. It’s not just “what’s best.” It’s “what hearing aid is best suited to me and my hearing needs?”

However, if you are relying on Google searches to determine your favorite hearing aid, keep these factors in mind when searching for the best hearing aid on the market:

Fit

Beltone offers 7 different style of hearing aids to match any level of loss and fit to the ear. Be sure to discuss these options with your Hearing Care Practitioner at your appointment to find out which model would best fit your needs.

Speech Enhancement

The Beltone Legend hearing aid features Personal Sound ID™ which delivers sound to your ears naturally, for improved awareness of your environment and a better sound experience. Not all brands of hearing aids offer this feature, so be sure to keep this on your list of must-haves.

Noise Reduction

Wearing a hearing aid for the first time can sometimes leave you wondering why everything in the world is so loud! While training your brain and ears to hear sounds again, your Beltone hearing aid will be able to help you reduce the amount of extra background noise you may be experiencing.

Feedback Reduction

Beltone’s latest technology offers Feedback Eraser with WhistleStop virtually eliminating all whistling that you may remember from your grandparent’s hearing aids of years past.

Still have questions about finding the best hearing aid on the market today? Schedule an appointment with your us today at 757-337-4591. We would be happy to help answer any questions you may have about hearing aids!

Beulah’s Story

Beulah Combs – A New Lease on Life

Beulah Odessa Combs was born on April 8, 1939, and grew up in Norfolk. After marrying her navy husband, she relocated to Florida with him. His early death left her with a void, so she made the decision to start fostering children since she was unable to have any of her own. She did this for over 10 years. Some of the children would just stay a very short while; others stayed for weeks or months. The last child she fostered was a two year old named Cheyenne whom she loved like her own daughter. She assumed it would be a temporary situation, but circumstances led her to ask for custody of this child. The day of the court hearing, the biological mother saw the love they had for each other and consented to a permanent adoption, giving Beulah full custody. Today, Cheyenne is 16 years old, and college bound and the light of Beulah’s life.

Beulah served in the ministry for some time, but left that calling as she felt her hearing issues compromised her ability to do the job well. In September, 2017, Josh Grohler at the Wards Corner Beltone office fitted her with two Beltone hearing aids correcting her hearing issues. Now, she has a new lease on life! She’s ready to re-invent herself and move forward.

“I just love Josh Grohler at Beltone. He has taken such good care of me. I love my new Beltone hearing aids. They’ve made such a difference in my life.”

Beulah Combs, pictured with Josh Groher, Licensed Hearing Instrument specialist, Ward’s Corner Office

Hearing Aid Prices Vs. Quality: How To Choose

Hearing Aid Prices Vs. Quality: How To Choose

Hearing Aid PricesFor consumers navigating hearing aid prices for the first time, the shopping options can be many. One of your first priorities, understandably, is finding the best price, but a host of other factors help you find the optimal solution to address your hearing needs, in conjunction with your lifestyle. You must weigh hearing aid prices against considerations such as:

  • Initial screening and expertise of your hearing aid specialist
  • The size, quality and durability of the device
  • Sound-processing features
  • Wireless streaming and controls
  • Ongoing support after your purchase
Hearing Aid Prices

Bargains May Not Equal Value

Hearing aids are available through a variety of outlets and range in price from less than $1000 a pair on a web site to $2000 and up for a pair of state-of-the-art models. The bottom line is that hearing aid prices vary because of the sophistication of the technology, its ability to address your hearing loss properly, the quality of sound you hear, and the ongoing support provided by the company behind the product.

Many hearing aid shoppers, eager for a bargain, have opted for a cheaper model only to find that their decision cost them more over time, either because the hearing aid was ineffective for a variety of important reasons or because they had to shell out money over the years for parts and support.

The level of research that goes into producing high quality hearing aids is often reflected by higher prices. At Beltone, we know that your budget is a concern and we strive to keep our prices as low as possible while providing the kind of hearing restoration that can truly transform the quality of your life. You may be able to take advantage of a financing program we offer, or use a hearing aid benefit that your insurance plan may provide.

You Decide Which Hearing Aid Features You Need

The first step for anyone who is noticing hearing loss is to take our simple online hearing check to determine whether you might need further intervention. From there, it is easy to set up an appointment with a Beltone specialist who can help you determine if you are a candidate for hearing aids. Surprisingly, many people who think they need hearing aids, are often suffering from something as simple as excess ear wax or an ear infection, neither of which require hearing aids.

At Beltone, we offer a broad range of hearing instruments at a variety of price points. Our hearing aids are powered by our innovative microprocessor technology with anarray of features to address just about every hearing loss, lifestyle and budget.

Our award-winning 2.4 GHZ technology even allows you to stream sound directly from your favorite electronic devices to your hearing aids, and lets you discreetly control your hearing aids using your smartphone.

Consider the Beltone Difference

Your Beltone specialist will work with you to bring your life back into ideal clarity. When you trust Beltone for your hearing care needs, you are in the best of hands. Beltone has been helping people hear better since 1940, and the Beltone name is the most trusted name in hearing care.

When considering hearing aid prices, remember to consider aftercare. Every hearing aid will need adjustments and cleanings over time. After all, a hearing aid is something that you wear every day. Most Beltone hearing aids are protected inside and out with a special coating called HPF80 Nanoblock that repels moisture and debris. This safeguards delicate circuitry and enhances the ongoing performance of your hearing aids. And with our BelCare™ program, we will look after your hearing aids for as long as you own them. BelCare also gives you complimentary follow-up evaluations, product support, fittings and easy access to batteries and other accessories for the life of your hearing aids. You don’t have to compromise quality for cost when you partner with Beltone to maintain your hearing health.

Schedule Your Free Hearing Evaluation

If you still have questions about which hearing aid is the right one for you, or to find out if you even need hearing aids at all, please give us a call at 757-337-4591!

What is Tinnitus

What is Tinnitus?

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the name for the perception of sounds such as ringing, buzzing, or hissing when these sounds are not present in the environment. In the United States, an estimated 50 million people experience tinnitus and nearly 12 million people a year seek medical advice.  What is Tinnitus  

What causes tinnitus?

The onset of tinnitus is often related to exposure to loud sounds, which can cause damage to the sensory cells of the inner ear. It has also been associated with excessive ear wax, ear infections, high blood pressure, the aging process, and sensory nerve disorders. Activities which can cause tinnitus include drinking alcohol or caffeine, taking aspirin or antibiotics, and cigarette smoking.

What can you do?

If you have, or suspect you have tinnitus, you should be evaluated to determine what options are available for managing it. When it is determined that there are no specific medical issues involved, there are several options to consider. In the majority of cases, the individual experiencing tinnitus also has a hearing loss. The use of a hearing aid to amplify sounds can help cover up the tinnitus and make it less distracting. Other devices are also available that generate sounds to help mask the tinnitus. Combined with counseling from a hearing professional, these devices can be used to teach the individual how to reduce or remove the distraction of the tinnitus.

How can we help?

Beltone offers hearing  instruments that can be used as both a hearing aid and a sound generator for managing tinnitus. The Beltone Trust with Tinnitus Breaker feature is available in a variety of models and sizes to meet your needs. Along with the Tinnitus Breaker, Trust offers sophisticated digital technology for helping you hear better, even in noisy environments. If you have, or suspect you have, tinnitus, contact your Beltone Hearing Care Professional to discuss how these devices may help you.

Announcing Beltone Trust: A Whole New Level of Hearing Care

Announcing Beltone Trust: A Whole New Level of Hearing Care

Beltone TrustBeltone Trust

May 1, Chicago, IL – Today, Beltone launched the innovative Beltone Trust™, bringing those with hearing loss unprecedented sound quality and the ability to connect with their hearing health professional outside regularly scheduled appointments. As Beltone’s fifth generation 2.4 GHz wireless solution, Beltone Trust™ propels the company’s position as the leader in hearing aids for the past 77 years into the future.

Beltone’s all-inclusive hearing care program connects hearing aids, all wireless accessories and smartphone apps to enable people with hearing loss to live life, and hear life, to the fullest. The new Beltone Trust™ features unmatched sound technologies, more convenient fitting software and new remote fine-tuning, making it the most advanced and flexible hearing aid experience available today.

Unparalleled Sound Quality

Hearing aid users will experience exceptional sound quality and hear more than ever before. Beltone Trust™ delivers clear, natural sound, excellent speech understanding and the best sense of where sounds are coming from. Users will benefit from 360-degree audibility and awareness in quiet and speech-only situations, improved hearing in noisy environments and optimized audibility of surrounding sounds.

Remote Care™: Ground-Breaking Customer Service

In addition to unrivaled sound quality, Beltone is bringing remote fine-tuning capabilities to the hearing industry for the first time, allowing hearing care professionals to address a wearer’s needs from anywhere around the world. The new Beltone Trust™, which incorporates real world input from wearers via the cloud without having to schedule and travel to an appointment.

BelCare™: A Lifetime of Care and Protection

Central to Beltone’s customer journey is BelCare™, a program of ongoing care and protection that covers users for the life of their hearing aids. As one of the most comprehensive hearing care programs available, BelCare™ ensures hearing aid users are taken care of from the first screening, through all the years they own their Beltone hearing aids.

While most competitors charge for services like cleaning devices, making adjustments and scheduling follow-up appointments, Beltone is able to offer this type of coverage for free for the life of the hearing aids.

“We are thrilled to introduce our newest technology – Beltone Trust – to our ever-evolving customers,” said Corrine Perritano, President of Beltone North America. “With its unrivaled sound quality, convenient fitting software and groundbreaking Remote Care functionality, we’re proud to offer today’s users hearing care wherever they are. And as an added benefit, we are empowering our Beltone hearing care professionals to deliver a whole new level of personalized hearing care and service in a way that is simple and convenient for our customers.”

For more information on the new Beltone Trust™ hearing aids, please visit www.beltone.com.

Happy New Year from the Beltone Family!

 This year, give yourself the gift of hearing.

As we make our resolutions for the new year, consider treating yourself to improved hearing, with a pair of new hearing aids. At Beltone, we believe in providing Hampton Roads with the latest hearing aids that allows our customers to hear like nature intended. We also believe in providing exceptional hearing aid services. See what our customers from 2016 have to say about us below:


  • Thomas S
    I just received my Beltone hearing aids, and my hearing is so much better. I really can’t believe it!

    ~ Thomas Smathers, Retired from US Marines as Gunnery Sergeant (Virginia Beach)
  • Russell S
    I can hear the cars going by at a normal pace, and people talking. The hearing aids from Beltone have opened up a new world for me – An old world I hadn’t heard in many many years. Thank you Beltone!

    ~ Russell Scherec, Retired US Marines Lieutenant Colonel (Virginia Beach)
  • Ruth B
    I was a previous hearing aid wearer before coming to Beltone, but was not satisfied with the level of service I was receiving. I love the personal service and welcoming atmosphere at the Beltone office. I Love my Legend 17 hearing aids, and how much they help me hear in church, Sunday School and lunch with the ladies.

    Ruth Brickhouse
  • Phillip W
    I use to wear another brand of hearing aids and was completely frustrated. Since coming to Beltone my quality of life has taken a 360 degree turn for the better. I LOVE my Legend 17 hearing aids and the award winning staff at Beltone has bent over backwards to make sure that I am happy and satisfied, which I am! An outstanding experience.

    Phillip Waterman
  • Thomas S
  • Russell S
  • Ruth B
  • Phillip W

View More Testimonials

Beltone – Giving Back to the Community

Our Hearing Specialists not only care for each and every one of our patients, but the Hampton Roads community as a whole.

The Beltone family is proud to give back to the community, and we make sure to give back in a variety of ways. Beltone Southside sponsors a variety of local events, participates in the Food Drive every year, and donates to many other charities, but one of our favorite ways to give back is when we award a deserving local a new set of free hearing aids. Stay tuned for a feature blog post about our awardee! In Jacksonville, NC, Beltone awarded a USMC Veteran with a set of new hearing aids.

Beltone Legend Hearing Aid Wins Award in 14th Annual American Business Awards

stevie-award

Beltone Legend™ Hearing Aid Wins Award in 14th Annual American Business Awards

The Beltone Legend™ Hearing Aid was recently named a winner of a 2016 Stevie Award in the health and pharmaceutical products category of the 14th Annual American Business Awards. The Beltone Legend™ was recognized for its revolutionary ability to connect to personal mobile devices and allow the streaming of sounds to the hearing aids.

The Beltone Legend™ is also a candidate for the 2016 People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products. To vote, visit the 2016 People’s Choice Stevie Awards Website and follow the link to the Health and Pharmaceutical Product Category, or enter shortcode: G966W when prompted. From here, select the Beltone Legend™.

Belting Southside is proud to offer the world’s first and most advanced full family of Made for iPhone® hearing aids to the residents of Hampton Roads, with hearing centers conveniently located in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, & Portsmouth.

Beltone Legend™ Hearing Aid Selected as Honoree in the 20th Annual Webby Awards

Beltone Legend™: the Future of Hearing Aids

beltonelegend With its superb sound quality, ability to adjust sounds according to the environment, and smart-phone compatibility, it is no surprise that our Beltone Legend™ sits at the forefront of hearing aid technology. This year, we are proud to announce that the Beltone Legend™ has been announced as a Webby Awards honoree in the Connected Products & Wearables category. The Webby Awards is presented by the Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and has been hailed as the “Internet’s Highest Honor” by The New York Times. Very few products are chosen to receive this award for each category out of more than 13,000 entries. The Beltone Legend™ is the most advanced hearing aid of its kind. It has the ability to connect to mobile devices and can stream sound right from the mobile device, including audio from voice calls, FaceTime, videos, music, and more. The Beltone Legend™ can also be controlled through the HearPlus app for iPhone, Apple Watch, and Android devices. With the app, you can adjust audio volume and connect to other devices such as TVs and Computers. “Beltone Legend represents the latest in what is possible in hearing aids, taking personalized hearing to the next level,” said Corrine Perritano, President of Beltone North America. “This award is a testament to our commitment to delivering care by connecting wearers with everything that matters in life around them.” Be sure to view more of our hearing aids or wireless hearing aid accessories. Give us a call at 757 550 2580 to inquire about the Beltone Legend™, or to schedule your free hearing evaluation.

Beltone Southside Offers Hearing Aid Discounts!

Beltone Southside is excited to offer discounts for a limited time. View our hearing aids and wireless hearing aid accessories to see if any of our products could be right for you! Make an appointment & let our audiologists give you a free consultation.

Spring Blowout Sale!Take Advantage of These Hearing Aid Discounts

Spring Blowout Sale!

Take Advantage of These Hearing Aid Discounts

Hear like nature intended. Celebrate warm weather with better hearing that you’ll enjoy with our Legend series of hearing aids. Beltone Southside is proud to offer our customers this Spring Blowout, with deals up to 75% off of retail price. This sale is offered for a limited time only, so claim your discounted hearing aids while you can!

View & Print Coupons

Beltone Hampton Roads Announces New Beltone Legend™ Hearing Aid

Taking Personalized Hearing to the Next Level

beltonelegendBeltone is excited to announce the new Beltone Legend™, offering personalized hearing features that you can’t find anywhere else! Personal Sound ID™ mimics how the ear collects and processes sound. It also adjusts to your unique way of listening and living. Superb sound quality and speech understanding are the main focus, thanks to Personal Sound IDTM and Crosslink Directionality, but other features like Smart Gain Pro and Feedback Eraser add adaptability, and intelligence. There is no need to compromise when you choose Beltone Legend. Beltone Legend stands out as one of the most flexible hearing aids on the market. They are small, virtually invisible and built for everyday life, from indoors to extreme sports and tough weather. Beltone Legend is at home anywhere. HPF80 NanoBlock coating blocks moisture and dirt. The Wind Noise Reduction feature makes being outdoors in windy weather easy, by helping to filter out uncomfortable wind noise. Made for iPhone® integration streams sounds wirelessly to the hearing aids from an iPhone, iPad® or iPod touch®, while the HearPlus app controls the hearing aids directly from an iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

The Doctor Is “OUT”

By Peter Cousin
Director of Marketing
Beltone Southside Hampton Roads

John Brein with Beltone Owner Bari Grohler


Dr. John Brein of Chesapeake had it all. A beautiful wife, two wonderful children, nice home, a sailboat and a successful medical practice united by some of the finest physicians in Virginia. And – just like that – his medical profession ended. Achieving his medical degree as a general surgeon in 1982, from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Dr. Brein specialized in Anesthesiology, based on the medical communities’ forecast of a shortage in this field by the year 2000. They were correct.

Completing his Anesthesiology Residency at Yale’s School of Medicine, he moved to Virginia Beach for its appealing appearance and professional opportunities. As a contributing member of a medical practice, their group became the anesthesia group for DePaul Medical Center where Dr. Brein became Chairman of the Anesthesiology Department. Life was good.

“By the age of 38,” Dr. Brein explains, “I began to notice a loss in my hearing. It became more difficult to hear the surgeons in the operating room, mouths covered by masks and voices sometimes soft or hushed.” He told one of his friends, an Otolaryngologist, about his hearing problem and they suggested getting an audiogram done. At the conclusion of the test, he was told he needed hearing aids in both ears. In disbelief, he told his friend he had to be wrong. They both reviewed the test and the conclusion was he had a loss in both ears.

Dr. Brein purchased one hearing aid and sought the medical advice from a well-known ENT surgeon in our area. With the hearing loss moderate to moderately severe, he underwent a surgical procedure to improve his left ear. While it improved the hearing capabilities to a degree, it was clear his hearing would not return to a level needed for his profession.

At the age of 40, Dr. Brein went to a convention called Self-help for Hearing Loss. “It was part of my discovery,” says the Doctor. “I found people of all ages there. I thought I would be surrounded by those much older than me. That’s how I envisioned people would be with hearing loss. To my surprise, there were many younger people in attendance. What I realized was younger people have a self-image problem. I, on the other hand, wanted more information – as much as I could gain. I wanted to know anything and everything about this hearing loss I had. There were not a lot of answers. What I did find out is you don’t really know how much communication you’re missing and the people you’re hurting (especially those closest to you) when you don’t address the problem.”

By the age of 43, his hearing had worsened. Even with the use of very powerful hearing aids in both ears, he found himself at a disadvantage and at issue was the very safety of his patients. After advice from his attorney and discussions with his partners and family, he ended his career.

Says Dr. Brein, “The perception is that hearing aids are too expensive and not “cool” for younger people. How untrue. I got hearing aids because I couldn’t hear what people around me were saying. Not only was it frustrating for me but it was frustrating for those around me I care about. I continued to have the TV too loud, spoke at a much louder tone of voice so people could hear me (actually so I could hear me) and never realized that the sore throat I continued to experience was from my own yelling.”

As the saying goes, “When One Door Closes, Another Opens.” This was true of Dr. Brein. He was Bari & Jon discuss his change of career closing out one successful profession and entering into a new exciting one as a Property Manager and owner of Home Choice Properties (Real Estate investment had been something he had been interested in for some time). “I buy homes, fix them up and rent them to wonderful people to enjoy. After wearing full-shell inside the ear hearing aids for more than 5 years, he was swayed by a Beltone newspaper ad he had seen and came into the office to see about the new technologically advanced hearing aid called True™. Being a “techy” of sorts, he wanted the very best hearing aid on the market with all the bells and whistles. When I asked him why he chose the True™ over less technological

Beltone” he says, “just sounds better. It’s clearer. With this new equipment, I can listen to MP3 formats and when the phone rings, the MP3 cuts off for my use of the phone. When I’m done with the call, the MP3 cuts back on automatically. That’s pretty nice. I can also listen to music or other media while still receiving the ambient sounds around me. That’s very close to normal hearing. Beltone’s new technology is on the cutting-edge and that excites me.”

I asked how it affected his hearing. He told me “before the True™ hearing aid, my right ear was so bad my old hearing aid provided next to nothing for me. With the new True™ hearing aid, it seems as though I’ve actually gained more than 50% hearing (and comprehension) in that ear. That is amazing.” I now wear the new True™ in both ears and it’s had a profound effect on my family life. My wife keeps saying I’m different. I’m no longer yelling when I talk and, at times, she has to listen to hear me. It’s great.

Jon holding the True™ in his palm sophisticated equipment he said “because I deserve it! If this is the best then this is what I want!

In closing, I asked Dr. (goes by Jon now) what he would say to someone in their 40’s and 50’s about hearing loss that might change the way they perceive the use of hearing aids. He said quite proudly, “The way it impacted me, was the people I love were suffering. I was blaming them for my problems of not hearing. You have no idea what you’re not hearing(and of course, understanding) and how much impact it has on people around you.

People with hearing problems, no matter their age, become bluffers. If you don’t hear what someone says or only catch part of it, rather than causing frustration or embarrassment, you make up in your mind what they are saying and hope you’re right. You’re not reading lips as much as you’re reading faces and expressions. After awhile you get to be pretty good at it but that’s not the answer for future happiness. The new hearing aids at Beltone fit over your ear and are not noticeable unless someone looks for them. And with the small clear tube that fits into your ear, you hear clearly not loudly, and are hardly noticeable. In short, hearing trumps everything else. It’s worth hearing what you’re missing. Call the folks at Beltone. They will take very good care of you… just like they’ve taken care of me.”

My Name is Dorothy, but you can call me ‘Sue’.

The story of a caring, loving, dedicated human being.

When 75-year-old Dorothy Airth was born into a family of 4 brothers and 2 sisters in Norwood, Massachusetts, her middle sister suggested they name her Sue or Susie. The other children agreed; and from that day forward, she was known as ‘Sue’.

“The first day of school, however, was a different story,” says Sue. “During roll-call, the teacher went through the student roster, acknowledging each person; then, she came to the name Dorothy Airth. “Dorothy,” she called. “Is Dorothy here? Dorothy Airth — are you in the room?” the teacher bellowed. Hearing her last name, she knew it must be her, so Dorothy replied, “I’m here!”

That afternoon, when she arrived home, she asked her mother why her name was Dorothy and not Sue. Her mother replied with a smile; and raising both her shoulders said, “I don’t remember. No matter. When parents name their children, the kids never like their names, anyway!”

While Dorothy was growing up (We’ll just call her ‘Sue’, since everyone else does!), she began losing family members in tragic ways: First, her sister, only 26 years old, died during childbirth. Her brother Bill, just 39 years old, died during an experimental cancer treatment. Sue stayed by his side until the very end. Sue’s devotion to her older brothers and sisters kept her strong; and as the “baby” of the family, she soon took on the position of family matriarch.

Now married with children, Sue’s oldest brother, Bob, talked them into moving to Virginia Beach to escape the harsh winters of Massachusetts; so, in 1977, they packed up and moved here with their two children (daughter Cheryl and son Alan). No matter the distance in the new home, the bond kept her in close touch with each remaining member of the family.

In the 60s — now divorced and a single mother of two — she rushed to North Carolina, where her 3rd brother’s wife was diagnosed with brain cancer. She took care of her brother and his family of 4 children, along with her own two. After extensive surgery, the doctors removed 95% of the cancer, and she pulled through. Sue remained in North Carolina to take care of her sister-in-law and the family for more than 3 months, before returning to Virginia Beach.

Sue remarried and gave birth to another girl, whom she named ‘Robin’. Now, with three children of her own, each time family members became ill, Sue rushed to their side — comforting them, loving them, giving of herself to make sure they had everything they needed, sometimes staying for several months until their passing.

Sue says, “They’re all gone now — my mother, my father, all my brothers and sisters. I’m the only one left. Family is the most important thing a person can have in this life. I believe I was born to take care of my family growing up and to become a healthcare giver, no matter who needs my help!”

Again divorced, Sue moved in with her youngest daughter, Robin, at her request. Robin said, “Mom, you have given so much to so many over the years…please let me take care of you.” Sue agreed.

“During the last ten years,” Sue tells us, “my hearing had become more and more strained. I was turning the TV volume up really loud and found myself saying, “huh?” every time someone talked to me. So, about seven years ago, after reading an ad about Beltone in Virginia Beach; and with the help of my retirement from 20 years at the Virginia Beach School System, where I worked in food service (Cafeteria), I scraped together the money to buy a set of hearing aids. This gave me back an important part of my life — the ability to hear. When my daughter Robin talks to me, she starts the conversation by asking, ‘Mom… you got your ears on’?”

“Over the last two years, my hearing has become worse; and my hearing aids no longer help me as much as I need. However, with my limited income, I know that I cannot afford to purchase new ones!”

Then, I received a call from Bari Grohler, the Owner of Beltone on the Southside. She said, “Sue, we’ve been thinking about you and would like to talk with you, if you can find some time to meet.”

“In a meeting with Bari, Beth Hall (Beltone’s VP), and Peter Cousin (Beltone’s Director of Marketing), Bari shared with me, ‘we began a tradition last year of gifting a set of hearing aids to a deserving patient whom we selected for having given to others unselfishly and without expectation of anything in return. While examining our files, yours continued to rise to the top for consideration; and we are so excited to inform you that YOU have been chosen to be our Second Year Recipient’!”

Tears rolled down Sue’s face, as she was handed a tissue, trying to choke back her emotions. “This is amazing! I’m overwhelmed at your generosity,” she said. “Thank you so much for this recognition, and I’m so moved to have been chosen! I don’t have the words to tell you how much this means to me! There is no way I could afford to purchase a new set of hearing aids at this time of my life.”

Bari continued, “Sue, we are thrilled to present you with a complete set of state-of-the-art, Beltone hearing instruments, which are digital and self-adjusting!” (Bari showed Sue an example, which she held in her hand.) “These will fit over your ear with a very small, almost invisible clear tube, which will fit comfortably into your ear canal. We want you to know that this gift also includes a lifetime of batteries, repairs and cleaning; and it is truly our pleasure to reward you for your lifetime of giving!” [The value of this gift is placed at more than $8,000.00.]

“This amazing person — a lover of life, friends and family — is well-deserving of this gift,” stated Bari Grohler, “and we are so thrilled to make Sue Airth this year’s recipient!”

We Were Nominated for the Edison Award!

Staying on Top of Hearing Aid Technology

Earlier this month, we advised you that the Beltone LegendTM was named as a nominee for the Edison Award. I am pleased to inform you that we were notified today, that Beltone Legend has advanced to the finalist level for the Edison Award! Named after Thomas Edison, the Edison Awards recognize excellence in new product and service development, marketing, human-centered design, and innovation. Here at Beltone, we are proud to offer our customers the best in hearing aid technology. View our products and make an appointment today to find the perfect hearing aid for you! We are located in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, & Suffolk. Call (757)497-3900 to speak with one of our hearing aid specialists.

Our Patient is Now a Legend!

Beltone Hearing Aids Helps Hampton Roads Local’s Life

By Peter Cousin Beltone Southside Hampton Roads

Four years ago we met Jon Brein, a prominent Property Manager and Real Estate investor in Hampton Roads, Virginia. By the age of 43, Jon was enjoying a lucrative position as Chairman of the Anesthesiology Department at DePaul Medical Center in Norfolk, Virginia, until his hearing became an obstacle in surgery he could not overcome. Moving his career to property management and investments, Jon wore full-shell custom hearing aids for more than 5 years. This allowed him to perform his work but the quality of hearing was not what he wanted. It was loud enough but he couldn’t hear clearly and found himself asking people to repeat themselves multiple times.

Finding a Local Hearing Aid Center

Jon first contacted Beltone in November of 2010 to try out the new True hearing aid. “Being a ‘techie’ of sorts, I wanted the very best hearing aid on the market. It just sounded better. It’s clearer. This new equipment allowed me to listen to MP3 formats and when the phone rang, the MP3 cut off allowing me to use the phone. When I was done with the call, the MP3 cut back on automatically. That’s pretty nice. I also was able to listen to music or other media while still receiving the ambient sounds around me. That’s very close to normal hearing.  Beltone’s technology is always on the cutting-edge and that excites me.” I asked how it affected his hearing. He told me “Before the True™ hearing aid, my right ear was so bad my old hearing aid provided next to nothing for me. With the new True™ hearing aid, it seemed as though I actually gained more than 50% hearing (and comprehension) in that ear. That is amazing.” I now wear the new True™ in both ears and it’s had a profound effect on my family life. My wife keeps saying I’m different. I’m no longer yelling when I talk and, at times, she has to listen to hear me. It’s great. In June this year (2015) Jon came in to have his True™ hearing aids serviced. While in the office, he inquired about new technology available from Beltone called Legend™. Beth Hall, VP of Operations and Licensed Specialist, told Jon about the new units. She explained the improvement in the system including a larger battery with more life. Jon told Beth he bought the best hearing aids on the market four years ago from Beltone. “I’m always interested in what’s new and better.” Beth shared the advantages of the newPersonal Sound ID™ and explained that it was built for everyday life, including extreme sports and bad weather. Beltone Legend is treated with the HPF80 NanoBlock coating which blocks moisture and dirt. Jon was very impressed with the new interfacing. The made for iPhone® integration streams sounds wirelessly to the hearing aids from an iPhone, iPad® or iPod touch®, while the HearPlus app can control the hearing aids directly from an iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. He told Beth to hold on servicing his older units and to hook him up with a new set of Beltone Legends. “I’ve been a one man office with my business as an investor and property manager. I manage all the tenants, do repairs myself, take care of the books and answer the phones. These new hearing aids will help me take it to the next level without hiring others because of my hearing disability. These new aids are everything I could want in a quality hearing aid.” “To be honest, I had been looking around for all types of hearing aids and companies and what new technology would best suit my personal needs. Beltone has always been good to me with pricing and service and the people at Beltone are just the best. I have a good relationship with several of their people and their owner, Bari Grohler. I’m very happy with this product and recommend it to anyone and everyone who needs hearing aids either for the first time or as an upgrade to what they’re wearing currently.” In closing, I asked Jon what he would say to someone in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s about hearing loss that might change the way they perceive the use of hearing aids. He said quite proudly, “The way it impacted me was, the people I love were suffering. I was blaming them for my problems of not hearing. You have no idea what you’re not hearing (and of course, understanding) and how much impact it has on people around you. People with hearing problems, no matter their age, become bluffers. If you don’t hear what someone says or only catch part of it, rather than causing frustration or embarrassment, you make up in your mind what they are saying and hope you’re right. You’re not reading lips as much as you’re reading faces and expressions. After awhile you get to be pretty good at it but that’s not the answer for future happiness.” “The new hearing aids at Beltone fit over your ear and are not noticeable unless someone looks for them. And with the small clear tube that fits into your ear, you hear clearly not loudly, and they’re hardly noticeable. In short, hearing trumps everything else. It’s worth hearing what you’re missing. This is the most cutting edge aid in my experience out there. With Beltone you get quality, reliability and service to back it up. This is the best hearing aids on the market.” “Call my friends and professionals at Beltone. They will take very good care of you… just like they’ve taken great care of me.” Contact Beltone today at 757-497-3900. They are conveniently located with six offices throughout Hampton Roads, Virginia. You NEED to hear what you’re missing!