Behind The Ear Hearing Aids: The Old Standbys Get New Life

The choice of hearing aids in 2007 far exceeds anything available even 15 years ago, and if you are in the market for a hearing aid you may find yourself bewildered by all the options. But your choice will be made somewhat easier because the hearing aids appropriate for you will be limited by the severity of your hearing loss, the style with fits you best, and your budget.

A behind the ear hearing aid, commonly called a BTE, is one of the most popular styles. Both versatile and user-friendly, it is produced in numerous designs, making it appealing to hundreds of thousands of hearing loss victims. Having been around for decades, and more popular than ever, the BTE has stood the test of time.

How Does A Behind The Ear Hearing Aid Work?

A BTE hearing aid is designed with a curved casing which holds the device’s mechanics and fits over the ear’s upper edge, with an earpiece conforming to the inside shape of the outer ear, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit. BTEs are clearly visible, and are what comes to mind for most people when hearing aids are mentioned. But contemporary behind the hearing aids are far more compact than earlier models, and not much more noticeable than hearing aids which can be inserted into the ear canal.

For people who either have physical problems which prevent them from using an inner ear hearing aid, or who simply do not like having any foreign objects in their ears, behind the ear hearing aids are ideal. They are also perfect for children; their earpieces are simply exchanged for newly-fitted ones to keep up with the children’s growth.

Advantages Of Behind The Ear Hearing Aids

BTEs are, depending on the sophistication of their technology, some of the least costly available and therefore will within the means of those on limited budgets. And, because behind the ear hearing aids can be designed to hold powerful amplifiers and batteries, they work well even for those with serious hearing difficulties. The more compact models of behind the ear hearing aids are big sellers among people with mild or moderate hearing loss.

Because BTE hearing aid batteries are bigger than those used in some other models, people with arthritis or other dexterity problems find them much easier to replace. The advances in behind the ear hearing aid technology over the past ten years have made the BTEs simple to use, comfortable, and reasonably priced. Now available with digital engineering for superior sound quality and programmable adjustable volume, they are truly designed for the 21st century.

Behind the ear hearing aids have become so user-friendly, in fact, that they can now be purchased as non-prescription discardable items. But before you decide to try one, you owe it to yourself to consult with a professional audiologist to determine the nature of your hearing difficulty, and whether or not a behind the ear hearing aid is the best means of treating it.

How Your Ears Hear Sounds in 5 Easy Steps

Most worthwhile projects or goals need a number of steps and perseverance as time passes to accomplish and accomplish. High-value projects and goals almost invariably require careful planning, several steps over a period of time and perseverance to stick with it to see the project right through to the end. That is also true about anything like deciding to find out how your ears hear sounds. This is how you ear accomplishes that amazing achievement in only 5 simple steps.

Step 1. Vibrating objects, such as the reverberating strings of a piano or the vocal cords of a person speaking, create percussive air waves in the surrounding air. These minute air pressure waves cause the tympanic membrane of your ear drum to vibrate with the at a frequency corresponding to the sound. This is really crucial since the first step is for the energy pattern of the sound to enter your inner ear. If you don’t really do that step, efficiently because for example you have wax in your ear, you hearing ability becomes very much reduced.

Step 2. The three bones of the middle-ear transmit the mechanical movements to the oval window, a membrane on the surface of the cochlea. This is a crucial step that will need a healthy ear. The main reason why is that vibrations of the oval window must produce pressure waves in the fluid within the cochlea

Step 3. The cochlea transduces the energy of the vibrating fluid into action potentials. The main reason is because you want your ear to allow the stapes vibrating against the oval window to in turn create a traveling pressure wave in the fluid of the cochlea that passes into the vestibular canal.

Step 4. This minute pressure wave travels around the tip of the cochlea and via the tympanic canal, before dissipating as it strikes the round window. To elaborate on that a bit, the waves in the vestibular canal push downward on the cochlear duct and the so-called basilar membrane.

Step 5. The “basilar” membrane vibrates up and down in response to these pressure waves, and its hair cells alternately brush against and then pull away from the so-called “tectorial membrane”. Deflection of the hairs opens tiny “ion” channels at the molecular scale in the plasma membrane of the hair cells. From this point onward, the sound has entered our brains neurotransmitter system from the hair cell and the frequency of the sound enters the sensory neuron with which the hair cell synapses. So, to the non-biologist, and non-medically trained we would say that the brain has heard the sound at this point.

Finally, if you have read the above step closely, you’ll succeed in understanding the action of the ear in sending hearing to the brain, and will then take pleasure in the fruits of this success! You should congratulate yourself and allow yourself to become satisfied and somewhat proud. You set out to attain your goal and you succeeded! Now enjoy!