A few decades ago, all hearing aids were behind-the-ear hearing aids. They wrapped around the back of the ear with a projection that came into the ear to project sounds through a speaker. This type of hearing aid still exists today, but it is one of many varieties of hearing aids that are now available. Many patients opt for newer designs, such as CIC (completely in canal) hearing aids and IIC (invisible in canal) hearing aids. While one of these might be the right choice for you, it also might not. Here are three reasons not to cross behind-the-ear hearing aids off your list of possibilities yet.
They are cheaper.
Costs vary widely between brands, but behind-the-ear hearing aids tend to cost less because they don't have to utilize so much new technology to fit the microphone and other components into such a small case. If you are paying for some or all of the hearing aid costs out of pocket, opting for a behind-the-ear style might mean you can purchase hearing aids sooner. In some cases, your insurance plan may only cover behind-the-ear hearing aids, and you might have to pay extra to upgrade to another style. Hearing aids do occasionally malfunction, and sometimes they need to be replaced, so sticking with behind-the-ear styles will keep costs down long term too.
You can change the batteries yourself.
Hearing aids are battery powered. The very small styles, like CIC and IIC hearing aids, tend to wear out batteries so quickly because they are so tiny. And then you often have to have the batteries changed by a professional since the device is so tiny and intricate. Behind-the-ear hearing aids can accommodate batteries that last longer, and they're also large enough that you can typically change the battery yourself. This will save you time and money.
They can help even with profound hearing loss.
Smaller, more modern styles of hearing aids are typically only suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss. If you have more severe hearing loss, they might not improve your hearing as much as a behind-the-ear hearing aid would be able to. If you choose a smaller hearing-aid style, there's a chance that once your hearing loss worsens, you'll have to switch to a behind-the-ear style anyway. It can be hard to adapt to a new hearing-aid style, so you may be better off just going with the behind-the-ear style from the get-go.
Look at the selections of companies like Waters ENT Sinus & Allergy to get a look at your options.