Behind The Ear Hearing Aids
When you start to look into what kind of hearing aid to get, you have a lot of choices. You can have a digital unit or an analog unit. Within each of those choices, you can also decide if you need a unit that is programmable to not only amplify sound as it comes to your ear but to manage that sound and the surface noise that would keep you from hearing good sounds well. Even within the programmable hearing aid category, there are levels of sophistication from those you program yourself to digital units that adjust to your environment on the fly.
Another big decision to be made has to do with the style of the hearing aid you finally decide to use in terms of how it is worn. The standard "image" of a hearing aid is the behind the ear model, which seems old fashioned compared to the kind that go inside the ear. In fact, some modern models of hearing aids can be implanted entirely within the ear through minor surgery so they are completely invisible to the outside world. Each of these styles comes with advantages and disadvantages.
The behind the ear style of hearing aid seems like it is the most conspicuous and clumsy approach and until you actually get to know the different advantages and disadvantages of each kind of hearing aid, you might think that wearing the unit behind your ear is not a great design. But there are some significant advantages to this approach to helping your hearing out that make the behind the ear approach a serious option for a lot of people.
One compelling advantage is cost. Since most behind the ear units are analog, the cost of getting set up with this kind of hearing aid is significantly less than going with a more sophisticated unit that goes inside the ear. When you wear a hearing aid behind your ear, all of the working unit lives in that small unit outside of the ear itself. That means that what goes into the ear is just a unit to channel the amplified sound. The magnifier, programming controls and the battery do not go in the ear. It is a simple and yet elegant approach.
Actually, the larger control box is an advantage to the behind the ear design. The batteries are easier to replace and the controls easier to manage which is a big advantage for senior citizens using this kind of unit. And because most of the hearing aid stays out of the ear, it is far easier to keep clean of earwax, which can really gum up a hearing aid that stays inside your ear.
The idea that having a hearing aid behind your ear will be uncomfortable is silly because they are customized to your head and the wearer gets used to having the unit there. They are no more uncomfortable than a pair of glasses and no more conspicuous to others. But because this kind of hearing aid is a lot cheaper to buy and to maintain and they do a good reliable job day after day, going with this older technology may be the right choice for many hearing aid users.