My dad tried hearing aids for the first time about ten years ago. They
didn’t work properly (don’t know why) so they refunded his money.
Recently, my mother threatened to leave him (she wasn’t kidding)
if he didn’t try hearing aids again.
He went to Beltone and purchased one of their multi-thousand dollar
models. Again, he had lots of problems. Me (his son) has an extensive
background in electronics, so I have no trouble understanding the
technical aspects of hearing aids. I studied many schematic diagrams
and read several articles about these devices.
The model he purchased uses tiny red and blue plugs called Sentry II
Wax Guards. Supposedly, they prevent wax from entering the sound
outlet. (The part with the hole that’s inserted into your ear.) I used a
fiber optic scope to see if wax was getting past these guards. Wax is
going right through these plugs and imbedding itself deeply into the
Beltone says there is nothing wrong with the hearing aids, and my dad
doesn’t seem to care about the money or his severe hearing problems.
I’ve cleaned all sorts of tiny electronic components in our lab. (I’m a
partner in an electronics design company.) It’s obvious to me that the
wax cannot be removed from the hearing aids my dad purchased. If you
insert a probe into the sound outlet all you’ll accomplish is to push the
wax deeper into the hole.
My dad needs hearing aids that will work with disposible cleaners like these:
The cleaning probe is pulled completely through a vent hole in one end and
exits from the sound outlet. The Beltone instruction booklet shows an “optional”
vent hole. My dad’s hearing aids don’t have this optional hole.
Before anyone gets upset with me, I may know a lot about electronic devices,
but I have absolutely no practical experience with hearing aids. In fact, I
don’t know anyone who uses hearing aids.
It seems logical that if something is clogging a small hole or tube it must
be completely cleared out. Since ear wax is very moist and almost acts like a
weak adhesive, it should be cleaned by passing a probe completely through
the hearing device.
I printed out all the info about these Clear Sound cleaners, and practically
begged my dad to show it to the people at Beltone. I’m sure there are
other products similar to these disposible cleaners.
My dad needs a different model hearing aid that can be cleaned properly.
My mother tells me that Beltone hopes my dad will “throw them in a
drawer.” They keep his money, and he continues to have no relief for
his horrendous hearing loss.
What can I do? I’m thinking about having my lawyer send Beltone a letter
asking them to refund my dad’s money. Frankly, I don’t care about the
money. I’ll write a check for the full amount and give it to my dad. All
I want is some of my dad’s hearing to be restored. My poor mother has
to write everything down, or shout in his hear!