When it’s time to select a new hearing aid, you will discover that you have many styles and types to choose from. Among the most common models is the behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, which like any other product has a variety of pros and cons. Stay with me to learn whether a behind-the-ear hearing aid is likely to address your needs.
The design of BTE hearing aids means they are easier to spot than most other models. The very first thing you will notice is a small, curved plastic case that rests in back of the ear and is attached to a different section placed inside the ear. The main components of the hearing aid are found inside this case. The battery, the electronics, and many of the controls for operating the hearing aid are protected by this housing. The part that sits inside the ear is known as the ear mold. This component is tailor-made for each individual, allowing it to comfortably conduct the sounds picked up by the case into the ear.
When compared with other hearing aids, the BTE type offers several distinct advantages. The larger casing fits larger batteries, which can provide more amplification and longer battery life. The larger size of the BTE also enables more features, including Bluetooth, telecoil and directional microphones. Last but not least, it is considerably easier to handle these devices, making battery replacement and cleaning easier than it is in smaller models.
Aesthetics are among the most reported disadvantages to behind-the-ear hearing aids. The exact same larger casing that gives the BTE so many strengths over other models which are worn solely inside the ear also makes it very difficult to disguise. For people who want to conceal the fact that they are wearing hearing aids, it’s possible to disguise them by buying a case tinted to match their skin tone. The BTE hearing aid is also more susceptible to noise from wind, however many models have features that help counteract this problem.
Depending on your lifestyle and how you weigh their advantages and disadvantages, BTE hearing aids might be the right choice for you. If you’ve got more questions about BTE hearing aids and how they might fit into your lifestyle, speak to your local hearing care professional to get more information.