BTE / Behind-the-ear
Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids place the actual hearing aid behind your ear and are connected to your ear by a tube and ear piece. BTE hearing aids are generally best for patients that have very severe hearing losses and need a lot of power, but there are some exceptions. Children are also usually fit with behind the ear hearing aids because their ear will change as they grow. It is less expensive to replace the earmold every couple of years than to replace an in the ear hearing aid. People that are prone to getting ear infections, have had surgery, or produce excessive earwax are also good candidates for behind the ear hearing aids.
Another very popular style of BTE aid is the open ear hearing aid. These products that are smaller than traditional behind the ear hearing aids and are designed to help those with high frequency hearing loss. Often, patients with high frequency hearing loss complain that they feel "plugged up" when they wear hearing aids. This feeling is called occlusion, your voice sounds like it's inside your head, or like you're talking into a barrel. This is obviously very annoying, and most people will stop wearing their hearing aid. BTE hearing aids fit with a open ear style can eliminate occlusion by not sealing your ear. The sound is delivered to the ear through a very slim tube and a small earbud with holes in it, which is connected to the small hearing aid behind your ear. This leaves the ear canal open so you don't feel plugged up - and because they are so small, they look great too.
Open ear style behind the ear hearing aids are available from most manufacturers, at several price levels and using the latest technology. The digital circuits in open ear hearing aids are the same as those used in custom hearing aids and traditional BTE products, so you don't have to sacrifice technology. Several open ear products can be fit with traditional behind the ear tubing and earmolds, offering a more discreet solution for those that must wear a behind the ear product and need more power.
A even more recent innovation in behind the ear hearing aids are the "receiver in the ear" products such as MicroTech Curve,Unitron Next Moxi, Siemens Pure, Oticon Dual, Starkey Zon, Resound Dot, and Phonak Audeo. These behind the ear hearing aids use a wire to connect the receiver (speaker) to the hearing aid and deliver the sound into your ear. This type of BTE hearing aid can be fit as an open ear, or with a custom mold. They can be fit to more severe hearing losses that would usually require a larger behind the ear hearing aid. Now people that need power can wear a discreet, behind the ear hearing aid. Hearing aid manufacturers are producing these behind the ear hearing aids in a variety of colors so that they can be blended into your hair to conceal them further. We recently fit an 25 year old female with a BTE hearing aid using receiver in the ear technology. Because her hearing aid is so small, and a thin wire is used to send the sound to her ear, it is very difficult to notice her hearing aid.
Traditional BTE hearing aids generally use larger batteries, so they last longer. Open ear style hearing aids usually have smaller batteries. Wax is less of an issue for BTE hearing aids than in the ear, but moisture is a more of a concern. This is because they are located in the hairline behind the ear where you tend to perspire. Some of the newer hearing aids are very water resistant making this less of a problem. Wind is also more of an problem for behind the ear hearing aids. Many of the newest products offer wind noise reduction to help with this issue. Many hearing aids are now Bluetooth compatible for wireless cell phone usage, listening to iPods and mp3 players, television, and a variety of other devices. With so many choices and so much technology we can now help more patients hear much better, and keep them looking good
Clinic Echo sells hearing aids at southern Israel - from Ashdod to Arad. For the people that make it difficult to come to our clinic, we offer all services on-site - working or living.