There are many types of hearing aids designed for people that have difficulty hearing. While every type of hearing aid has unique advantages and disadvantages, behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are one of the more common options.
Keep reading for help deciding whether or not a BTE hearing aid is likely to address your needs.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids are among the most readily recognizable listening devices. Their most obvious characteristic is a curved plastic case that sits behind the ear and attaches to a component positioned inside the ear via a thin plastic tube. The main parts of the hearing aid are found inside this case. This section holds all the batteries and electronics required for the device to operate, along with the control buttons that enable the user to choose between program and features. The part that is found inside the ear is known as the ear mold. Ear molds are custom-made based on the unique shape of each wearer’s ears, which helps to ensure that they are comfortable to wear and that sound is transmitted efficiently.
There are numerous benefits associated with using a BTE hearing aid. For starters, because of the case’s greater dimensions, the BTE is able to hold larger batteries, conferring upon it a longer battery life and delivering stronger amplification abilities. The larger size also enables more additional features, including directional microphones, Bluetooth and telecoil. These devices are usually easier to handle than their smaller relatives, making cleaning and battery replacement much easier.
The biggest downside of a BTE hearing aid is its visibility. The same larger outer shell that gives this type of hearing aid so many added benefits over other models which are worn entirely inside the ear also makes it tough to conceal. For people who want to hide the fact that they are wearing hearing aids, it is possible to camouflage them by buying a case tinted to match their skin color. Wind noise can also be a challenge with behind-the-ear hearing aids, though many of them now have hardware and software features available to minimize or eliminate this concern.
If you feel that the advantages of BTE hearing aids outnumber the disadvantages, this type of device may be for you. Speak to your hearing professional to find out more about behind-the-ear hearing aids.