When it comes to hearing aids, there are really two main styles – in-the-ear (ITE) or behind-the-ear (BTE). Many patients come in not knowing which style of hearing aid would be best for them, so we’re listing out a few factors that come in to play when your audiologist makes a recommendation!
- What type of hearing loss you have. ITE hearing aids are best for patients who have hearing loss in the lower pitches. Patients with hearing loss in the higher pitches are likely to feel “plugged”, hear their own voice loudly, and take a longer time to adjust to the sound quality. A BTE style hearing aid will give patients with hearing loss in the higher pitches a much more natural sound quality.
- The level of dexterity you have. BTE style hearing aids usually have a smaller tip that goes into the ear canal. This can make it difficult for patients with poor dexterity, such as those with neuropathy in their fingers, to properly insert the hearing aid. In this case, an ITE style would be a bit easier for them to insert on their own.
- Whether or not you are interested in Bluetooth connectivity. BTE style hearing aids are more likely to have Bluetooth capabilities. While there are more customs coming on the market now that are Bluetooth compatible, you will have access to many more features with a BTE style hearing aid.
- The number of “items” sitting on your ear. This sounds silly, but patients who wear glasses, (now during COVID) masks, and medical equipment (such as oxygen) can have a difficult time getting everything to sit properly on top of the ear. In this case, an ITE might be a better option practically. This has been a big motivator for patients nowadays with COVID since masks can make it easy to lose hearing aids.
Though this list is not comprehensive, it does include some of the most common considerations that help determine which style of hearing aid would be best for each patient. At all Gardner Audiology locations in Tampa Bay, FL, our providers are Doctors of Audiology are able to work with both styles of hearing aids. If you are interested in learning more, or would like to schedule an appointment with our doctors, please contact Gardner Audiology at 1-800-277-1182, or email email@example.com.