There are many types of hearing aids made for individuals who have hearing losses. One of the most popular models is the behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, which as with any other product has a variety of strengths and weaknesses. If you’re planning on buying hearing aids for yourself or for a loved one, the information in this brief article may help you determine whether a BTE hearing aid might be a sensible choice.
BTE hearing aids are some of the most easily identifiable listening devices. These units feature a banana-shaped plastic case that rests behind the ear which connects to a smaller component that is positioned within the outer ear. The “case” section of the instrument is the hearing aid itself. The electronics, the battery, and many of the control buttons for operating the device are protected by this casing. The ear mold is the part of the hearing aid that actually fits inside the ear. Ear molds are tailor-made based on the unique shape of each wearer’s ears, which helps to ensure that they are comfortable and that sound is delivered effectively.
BTE hearing aids have numerous distinct strengths. The larger casing holds larger batteries, which can provide superior amplification and longer battery life. More room in the casing also means that the manufacturer can add additional features like a telecoil, Bluetooth technology and directional microphones. Additionally, the larger casing makes BTE hearing aids simpler to handle than smaller ones, which makes changing batteries and cleaning the device less difficult for people with more limited eyesight and dexterity.
Aesthetics are among the most reported disadvantages to BTE hearing aids. The same larger casing that gives the BTE so many strengths over other types which are worn entirely inside the ear also makes it very difficult to disguise. Some casings can be tinted to match the user’s complexion, which can help to make them less noticeable. This type of hearing aid is also more vulnerable to wind noise, but many units have features to counteract this.
Depending on your lifestyle and how you weigh their pluses and minuses, behind-the-ear hearing aids might be the ideal choice for you. Consider talking to your hearing care specialist to find out more.