Meet Ken LaFerle

Hi all – My name is Ken LaFerle, AuD and I am the Director of Educational Services for Beltone. There is a saying around here that if you are with Beltone long enough, you will bleed “Beltone Blue”. Well, I have been with Beltone for 26 years so I’m sure that my blood has changed colors. In all, I have spent the last 31 years working with the hearing-impaired, including working with the Louisiana Health Department’s, Ears, Nose and...
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Meet Steve Brinkman

My name is Steve Brinkman, and I’ve had the distinct pleasure of helping the hearing-impaired for 12 years as Beltone’s Director of Customer Care. My team’s goal has always been to partner with our national network of 1500 Beltone offices to help ensure the best possible hearing care experience for our patients. Before Beltone, I worked for a bio-food gum company that produced a food additive to keep salad dressings “smooth” in consistency. I can tell you that at the end of the day, it feels MUCH better knowing I’ve helped someone hear better versus eat a well-dressed salad. In my role at Beltone, I speak with many patients every week. One of my biggest pet peeves is...
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Hearing Aid Myths

Throughout the years, movies, cartoons, comic strips, and comedians have all made light of the way hearing aids look and function. In fairness, it wasn't until the last 10 years or so that hearing instruments started to work really well in a variety of listening situations, and be extremely cosmetically appealing. What led to the stigma around hearing aids? Old-fashioned hearing aids had a tendency to generate a high-pitched whistle (also known as feedback) if the instrument became a bit loose in the ear. Everyone could hear the whistle except, of course, the person wearing the hearing aid. You've probably experienced feedback when someone holding a microphone walks too close to the...
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Double Your Listening Pleasure

Two eyes, two legs, two arms, two hands; see a pattern here? Could you get along with only one of each pair? Sure, but would you want to if you had the choice? People who are ready to receive the benefits of hearing help often ask whether two hearing aids are necessary. They wonder whether one hearing aid would suffice.There are definite advantages to wearing two hearing aids, compared to one. Being able to localize the source of a sound. A skill that can be helpful when you’re trying to find your cell phone in the house. Hearing sound directed to either ear. For example, if you were driving and couldn't hear well in your right ear, you would have difficulty hearing the person in the...
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Stop Mumbling, Already!

Hearing is the jokester of the human senses. While other senses clue you in when something’s amiss—not so with hearing. If you can’t see past your nose, if you’re losing your balance, if you can’t distinguish between red wine and red wine vinegar, you know it. But, when it comes to age-related hearing loss, the process is so gradual, it can continue for years before you notice a problem. And, the little jokester makes sure you embarrass yourself along the way before it dawns on you. My father, whom the jokester had under his control for ages, was once asked by my mother if he wanted his sweat pants. To which he replied, somewhat stunned, “No, I didn't ...
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Meet John Cariola

Welcome to the Beltone Blog. I’m John Cariola, Au. D. I’ve never written a blog before, and hadn't really planned on one, until my colleagues here at Beltone asked me to host the Beltone Blog. Because I am an audiologist, with years of experience helping people with hearing loss, and years working in the hearing care industry, they thought I could share words of wisdom on different topics pertaining to hearing. In other words, I was coaxed into it by flattery. Years, yes, I have had many of them. I was born in 1957 which puts me in the youngest group of Baby Boomers. Not that this means a whole lot, but I've always thought it was cool that I entered the universe...
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