There are numerous styles of hearing aids available for individuals who have difficulty hearing. Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are among the most common choices, and just as you’d be expecting from any other type of product, they have both benefits and drawbacks. If you are considering purchasing hearing aids for yourself or for a loved one, the details in this brief article may help you decide whether a behind-the-ear hearing aid is a sensible choice.
Of the different types of hearing aids available, BTE designs are usually the easiest to spot. These units feature a banana-shaped plastic case that sits behind the ear and is connected to a smaller component which is positioned in the outer ear. The hearing aid itself is located in the “case” portion of the device. The electronics, the battery, and many of the controls for adjusting the device are protected by this housing. The part that is found inside the ear is called the ear mold. Ear molds are tailor-made using the unique shape of each wearer’s ears, which helps to ensure that they are comfortable and that sound is delivered efficiently.
When compared with other hearing aids, the BTE type offers several distinct benefits. The more substantial casing makes it possible to use slightly larger batteries, which can provide more amplification and extended battery life. Additional space also enables extra features, including Bluetooth, directional microphones and telecoil. In addition, the larger outer shell makes this type of device easier to handle than more compact models, which makes replacing batteries and cleaning the instrument less difficult for people with more limited eyesight and dexterity.
Aesthetics are one of the most cited disadvantages to BTE hearing aids. Unlike hearing aids that rest inside the ear, it’s impossible to fully disguise a BTE device. For people who want to hide the fact that they are wearing a hearing aid, it’s possible to camouflage them by purchasing a case tinted to match their complexion. The BTE hearing aid is also more susceptible to wind noise, however many models have features that help counteract this tendency.
If it sounds as if the advantages of a BTE hearing aid outnumber its disadvantages, you may have found the right to suit your needs. If you have more questions about BTE hearing aids and how they might fit into your daily routine, contact your local hearing care professional to find out more.