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Beltone Reach' Features New Tinnitus Breaker'

New Feature Helps Individuals Cope with Irritating Ringing Sounds/Noises in Their Ears

Chicago, September, 2008 Approximately 4050 million Americans (a majority of whom are hearing impaired) suffer from tinnitus, a sensation of ringing or noise that seems to originate in the ear or head, but cannot be heard by anyone else. The sound may vary in pitch from a low roar to a high squeal, and in some cases can profoundly impact the lives of those who experience tinnitus on a daily basis.

To respond to the need of individuals with tinnitus, Beltone has developed a specific tool to help manage the perception of the unwanted sounds. The Tinnitus Breaker' featured in the Beltone Reach' hearing instrument - produces low-volume white noise comprised of mixed frequencies that, when combined with counseling, is designed to make the distressing tinnitus sound less noticeable. As the brain adjusts to this new way of perceiving sounds, the emotional importance associated with the tinnitus is reduced.

092408_beltonereach.jpgThe Beltone Reach is already one of the most advanced and user-friendly hearing instruments on the market today, says John Cariola, Beltone Director of Product Management. The Tinnitus Breaker offers a valuable added benefit for our customers who suffer from tinnitus. Cariola adds that tinnitus and hearing loss are not mutually exclusive conditions. In fact, approximately 70% of patients who experience tinnitus also have some degree of hearing loss.

Patients suffering from tinnitus can visit their local Beltone office for testing to more accurately determine the level of tinnitus they are experiencing and the impact it has on their daily lives. From there the Beltone hearing care practitioner can better determine the level of tinnitus and develop a strategy for managing the patients tinnitus or provide a referral to other professionals.

About Beltone Reach

The Beltone Reach is the worlds first digital hearing instrument with automatic Smart Beam Steering', helping patients hear the sounds they want to focus on while at the same time adapting to their changing environments hands-free. Reach also offers new monitored directionality, which helps patients focus on sounds coming from the front, such as a person talking, while being able to monitor sounds from other directions as well. Additionally, the Smart Gain feature adjusts gain by using an environmental classifier system which monitors 7 different sound environments, smoothly transitioning between noisy and quiet environments.

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