Hearing aid pairs with phones

First Posted: 1/22/2015

LIMA — Roger Patterson’s been on the job since he was about 16. Right around the same time, he noticed his hearing was starting to deteriorate.

Unable to determine what exactly was causing the deterioration, Patterson has had plenty of experience with different hearing aids. But one, which his new hearing aid specialist Matthew Burden showed him in March, was new to him, as well as the industry.

The hearing aid, Beltone First, is wireless with the ability to be controlled by an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. It comes with Bluetooth, geo-tagging and a GPS. Users can use it to talk on the phone, listen to music, assign settings to different locations and even locate their hearing aids if misplaced. Without the need for a remote control or extra accessory, people can also use the Beltone HearPlus application which allows them to adjust the hearing aid’s settings on the phone, as well.

“We are committed to improving people’s lives through technology that makes it easier than ever for Beltone wearers to control their hearing aids,” said Beltone President Todd Murray in the press release.

Burden, who’s been practicing for three years, said the new technology is pretty affordable as most insurances will cover the cost. He also said a new version of the hearing aid should come out soon, which would be able to work with a limited number of other smart phones.

With help from Beltone Hearing Center’s newest tool, Patterson said his quality of hearing has strongly improved even though he’ll never be able to hear completely.

“It’s pretty convenient,” he said. “I really do like it a lot.”

Now working as a nurse and a member of Mad River Mountain’s emergency response team, Patterson’s life hasn’t slowed down too much. So, the convenience of the Beltone First makes it easier for him to stay on the go. But there are other perks, like his wife no longer having to deal with a blaring TV at the end of the day.

“She was pretty happy about that,” he said.