BTE stands for “Behind The Ear” and is a style of hearing aids that is becoming increasingly popular. BTE hearing devices house the electronic components of the device in a plastic case that rests behind the ear. A clear plastic tube then runs from the device into the ear.
In the 80’s and most of the 90’s BTE Hearing Aids were combursome and usually pretty noticeable. This led to a trend in design for in-the-ear, and in-the-canal hearing aids where the device was housed completly inisde the ear. While these “in-the-ear” models help with some patients desire for “less-noticeable” hearing aids, they do have some draw backs. Here are the 3 major benefits for BTE Hearing Aids and why they are experiencing a resurgance in popularity:
1. More powerful amplification and more features: BTE hearing aids typically provide for greater amplification and offer more features like directional microphones, and multiple settings for different listening environments.
2. Comfort. The new “open fit” style of BTE Hearing Aids consist of a small clear tube that fits into the ear canal with an open fitting. Patients describe this fit as very natural. Many comment on forgetting that the device is in after a short period of time. This also avoids the “clogged ear” feeling that some of the in-the-ear, and in-canal devices can cause.
3. Virtually Invisible in Many Cases. If the case matches your hair color or skin tone, or if you have longer hair, the BTE hearing aid case can be almost completely hidden. Cases are now smaller and lighter than ever making them easy to hide. Also, the tubing that runs to the ear is small and clear making it nearly undetectable unless closely examined.
BTE Hearing aids may not be best for you. For a great article on how to determine which style is right for you visit Hidden Hearing.