When the time comes to select a hearing aid, you will discover that you have many types and styles from which to select. Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are among the most common selections. Just as you’d expect from any other kind of device, they have both pluses and minuses. Keep reading for help deciding whether a behind-the-ear hearing aid is likely to meet your requirements.
The design of BTE hearing aids means they are easier to recognize than most other types. These devices feature a banana-shaped plastic case that rests behind the ear and is connected to a smaller component that is positioned within the outer ear. The main parts of the hearing aid are found within this case. This section (typically called the case) holds all the electronics and batteries that allow the hearing aid to work, along with the controls that allow the wearer to choose between program and features. The ear mold is the part of the device that actually fits inside the ear. This piece is personalized for each wearer, allowing it to comfortably transmit the sounds picked up by the case into the ear canal.
There are a number of advantages associated with using a BTE hearing aid. The more substantial casing holds larger batteries, which can provide extra amplification and longer battery life. Additional space also allows for additional features, including directional microphones, telecoil and Bluetooth. Last but not least, it is much easier to handle these devices, making cleaning and battery replacement less difficult than it is in more compact models.
Appearance is one of the most cited downsides to BTE hearing aids. It’s extremely tough to disguise the fact that you’re wearing a hearing aid if you opt for a BTE. Some outer shells can be colored to match the wearer’s skin tone, which can help to make them less obvious. This type of hearing aid is also more sensitive to wind noise, however many models have features to counteract this.
Depending upon your lifestyle and how you evaluate their pros and cons, BTE hearing aids may be the best option for you. Consult your hearing professional to find out more about behind-the-ear hearing aids.