HEARING TIPS

What Are Behind the Ear Hearing Aids and How Do BTEs Perform Versus Other Models?

There are numerous styles of hearing aids available for people that have hearing losses. Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are one of the most popular selections. Just as you would expect from any other kind of product, BTEs have specific pluses and minuses. Stay with me for help deciding if this type of hearing aid will address your needs.

The appearance of BTE hearing aids makes them easier to spot than many other types. Their most visible characteristic is a curved plastic case that sits behind the ear and connects to a component positioned within the ear via a thin plastic tube. The main components of the hearing aid are found within this case. The electronics, the battery, and many of the control buttons for operating the hearing aid are protected by this housing. The portion worn inside the ear is known as the ear mold. Ear molds are carefully customized for each person, making them a comfortable way to transmit sounds from the case to the ear.

Compared to other hearing aids, the behind-the-ear style offers several clear advantages. To begin with, because of the case’s large size, the BTE holds larger batteries, conferring upon it a longer battery life between charging and providing more powerful amplification capabilities. More space also enables more features, including directional microphones, telecoil and Bluetooth. Additionally, the larger outer shell makes BTE hearing aids simpler to handle than more compact models, which makes swapping batteries and cleaning the aid easier for people with more limited dexterity and eyesight.

When it comes to drawbacks, the largest criticism of BTE hearing aids is their visual appearance. As opposed to hearing aids that fit inside the ear, it’s impossible to fully conceal a behind-the-ear device. Consumers who are sensitive about this factor can pick cases that complement their skin tone to help them blend in. 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 think about their pros and cons, BTE hearing aids might be the ideal choice for you. Consult your hearing professional to learn more about behind-the-ear hearing aids.

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