When choosing a hearing aid with the help of your specialist, there are two categories you will find that devices fall into. One is (ITE) In The Ear hearing aid and the other is, (BTE) Behind The Ear hearing aid. As the name suggests, the majority of the device rests behind the ear, with the microphone and receiver positioned alone inside it. But what are the benefits?
BTE devices are highly popular. They have a range of advantages to consider:
- Comfortable to wear. BTE hearing aids are very comfortable to wear, and you don’t have to worry about direct contact with the ear canal (which some users find uncomfortable or odd to experience).
- Easy maintenance. As BTE devices do not come in direct contact with the ear canal, most users find they are far easier to maintain than in-the-ear (ITE) or in-the-canal (ITC) options. If you want a hearing aid that’s going to be easy to live with, then a BTE device might be the best choice for you.
- Minimal feedback. The internal components of BTE hearing aids are more distanced from one another, which makes feedback less of a problem for users.
- Bluetooth with smart phone compatibility are great features to have that BTE style hearing aids offer. You can use an app on your smart phone to control the hearing aids volume and settings.
- BTE can give more Head Room or “Room to Grow” by giving the option to add a more powerful speaker to them in the future if the need arises.
Of course, where there are advantages, there are disadvantages. No hearing aid choice is without some drawbacks so here are a few factors worth considering:
- Less discreet. If you’re concerned about onlookers being able to see your hearing aid, then BTE options are less discreet than other options. As they sit directly outside the ear, they are more liable to be noticed by other people. If discretion is important then you would want to consider an IIC Or ITC option.
- Wind noise. Users of BTE devices are more liable to experience issues with wind noise when using their hearing aid in open spaces
- Masks have become something to pay attention to as well. Having to remove a mask may cause the wearer to lose the hearing aid if they are not careful.
Choosing your hearing aid is not a decision that should be made lightly. You will be relying on it a lot, after all. No device is 100% perfect for every user, there are some that may fit your needs better than others. The pros and cons above might help you decide but choosing with the help of an audiologist who knows your circumstances is always wise.
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