Free hearing screenings will mark Beltone hearing's 77th anniversary on Saturdays in March

(March 1, 2017) Chicago, ILBeltone Hearing Centers will offer free, in-depth hearing screenings on Saturdays throughout March to celebrate the company's 77th anniversary. Savings are in store for those who take advantage of the milestone. Check with your local Beltone Hearing Center for hours and special offers in conjunction with the company's anniversary.

Service is one major reason for Beltone's longevity. The popular BelCare program, an ongoing care and protection plan, covers users for the life of their hearing aids with free hearing aid inspections, cleanings and general care of their devices at any of Beltone's 1,500 Hearing Care Centers throughout North America, annual hearing screenings, and on-demand phone assistance. BelCare users report a 95 percent satisfaction rate. Beltone professionals adhere to strict codes of ethics and professionalism. They help users adapt to their new devices with an aftercare and counseling program. Beltone employees are committed to verifying and documenting an improvement of each customer's hearing within the first 30 days of their initial Beltone hearing aid use.

Beltone has consistently also been a leader in hearing aid technology. Founder Sam Posen of Chicago developed the first Beltone hearing aid, the Model H, in an effort to help a music-loving friend enjoy his passion. In 1945 Beltone introduced the world's smallest hearing aid, called Harmony. In 1958 it brought to market the Minuet, the first behind-the-ear device, and two years later, the first in-the-ear hearing aid. Beltone pioneered digital hearing aids in the 1990s and quickly became the industry leader in developing tiny, completely-in-the-canal hearing aid. In 2009, Beltone Touch set new standards for natural amplification, wind-noise reduction, and minimal device size with its Microphone-in-Concha technology. Next came wireless connectivity and better hearing for millions of users.

In 2014 Beltone received the prestigious Red Dot Award for product design for its Beltone First, a hearing aid that integrates with iPhone and other devices. The Red Dot Product Design awards are granted by an international jury from nearly 5,000 entries from 53 countries and based on innovation, functionality, and ergonomics.

Among Americans aged 65 to 74, nearly 25 percent have disabling hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), and that number doubles for people 75 and older. In many cases, hearing aids can remedy the problem.

"Only about 16 percent of people experiencing hearing loss between the ages of 20 and 60 use hearing aids," noted Corrine Perritano, president of Beltone North America. "Less than one-third of people 70 and older who have hearing loss currently benefit from the use of hearing aids. We want to reduce the stigma attached to hearing use. Life can be so much better when you hear well."

Beltone North America is one of the largest manufacturers of hearing instruments. It produces the world's first full family of made-for-smartphones hearing aids. A leader in the $4 billion dollar global market of hearing instruments, the company helps millions of Americans hear better through a network of 1,500 hearing healthcare offices in North America. www.beltone.com or 1-866-521-7164