Published 2009-01-17 (Rev. 2010-09-21) -- Behind the ear are one of the most popular types of hearing aid products available for the hearing impaired today.
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When it comes time to rely on technology for improved hearing, there are many choices nowadays from which to choose.
There are various styles such as, "in the ear hearing aids," "open ear hearing aids" and "behind the ear hearing aids" that are available. This last option is often referred to as BTE, standing for "behind the ear," and this is one of the most popular types of hearing aid products.
One of the reasons why BTEs have seen a recent spike in popularity is because the more recent models have a bit of a resemblance to some models of Bluetooth earphone headsets. Since these Bluetooth devices are very much in vogue and even are somewhat of a fashion statement these days, having assistive listening devices that are similar in appearance makes them less noticeable.
It is safe to say that generally people prefer not to call attention to their hearing loss by wearing obvious assistive listening devices. Wearing "behind the ear hearing aids" can sometimes be mistaken for wearing a modern Bluetooth headset and this can significantly downplay the issue. This allows people to be less self-conscious about wearing their hearing aid which means they will be more likely to use them as they should.
BTE hearing aids have been around for many decades and with the advancements in technology not only do they look better, but they are also smaller, and often considered quite unobtrusive. They generally are fitted to the individual who has moderate to severe hearing loss and they can be worn by both adults and children with proper sizing and adjustments.
Another aspect that makes the BTE listening devices a popular choice is that they tend to have better battery life than the "in the ear hearing aids." This is because the battery does not have to be tucked into a tiny device that fits into the ear canal but can be designed as part of the piece that sits behind the ear. With more space for the hearing aid batteries, larger batteries can be used, which will need to be changed less frequently.
BTE listening devices also are available with more options than the smaller hearing aids. Again, with more space in the device, there are more options that can be built into the hearing instrument. Some of these options are even programmable and can be adjusted as the need arises or the situation changes.
Most programmable BTE listening devices are available with self-adjusting, or automatic, sound filtering and volume controls that adopt on-the-fly sound changes in the environment of the user. This helps to deliver the best sound quality to the user while eliminating background noises that should not be amplified, making the important sounds of conversation easier to follow.
It cannot really be stressed strongly enough how important it is to consult with a hearing healthcare professional during the course of selecting the type of hearing devices that you will purchase. Even though "behind the ear hearing aids" are quite popular for many circumstances, it is best to thoroughly discuss your specific condition and get advice from the hearing doctor before making a final decision.