There are many models of hearing aids designed for people that have difficulty hearing. While every type of device has unique pluses and minuses, behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are among the more common options.If you are planning on investing in hearing aids for yourself or for someone close to you, the details in this article may help you determine whether this type of hearing aid is a sensible choice.
Of the different models of hearing aids on the market, BTE designs are usually the easiest to recognize. Their most visible characteristic is a curved plastic case that sits behind the ear and attaches to a component positioned within the ear via a small plastic tube. The hearing aid itself is housed in the case section of the instrument. The case holds the battery, the electronics that allow the device to function, and the controls that let users to select different features and programs. The ear mold is the section of the device that is worn inside the ear. This section is customized for each individual, allowing it to comfortably transmit the sounds that the case picks up into the ear canal.
Relative to other hearing aids, the behind-the-ear type offers numerous clear advantages. Because this type of device is larger than other models, it fits larger batteries, enabling superior amplification and more time between charges. Additional room in the outer shell also means that the manufacturer can include additional features such as telecoil, directional microphones and Bluetooth technology. Last but not least, it is considerably easier to handle these devices, making battery replacement and cleaning less difficult than it is in smaller models.
Appearance is among the most cited downsides to behind-the-ear hearing aids. The same larger casing that gives this type of hearing aid so many strengths over other models that are worn entirely inside the ear also makes it tough to conceal. Some outer shells can be colored to match the wearer’s skin tone, which can help make the BTE less noticeable. This type of hearing aid is also more sensitive to noise from wind, however many units have features that help counteract this tendency.
If you feel that the benefits of behind-the-ear hearing aids outnumber the drawbacks, this type of unit may be for you. If you’ve got additional questions about behind-the-ear hearing aids and how they could fit into your day-to-day routine, speak to your local hearing care specialist to find out more.