HEARING AIDS: BTE vs ITE APPLICATION & USE
The latest rage and emphasis on fitting hearing aids, is what is called "Open Fittings".
What your first have to understand is that there is a Hearing Aid Religion and a Hearing Aid God. And each morning, those that subscribe to that religion,get up each morning and pray to their Hearing Aid God: God, Please help me sell new hearing aids today.
The primary goal for most people in the hearing aid industry, at every level, is to sell new hearing aids. To anyone,anywhere,any time. Period.
If the existing hearing aid user is wearing a custom made hearing aid, then they are told they need a BTE model(behind-the-ear). If they are using a BTE they are told they need an ITE (in-the-ear).
Since People that need and use hearing aids,are always looking for something better, (who wouldn't?) they are easy prey for unethical Hearing Aid Dispensers, whatever they call themself.
A Behind-the-ear, hearing aid, being larger in size, allows for more gain(power) than a Custom made hearing aid. Physical size,room considerations, dictate what electronic components can be installed inside either the custom made shell, or the case of the BTE hearing aid. The Behind-the-ear hearing aid usually uses a size 675 battery (blue tab) because it provides longer battery life than any other size. Usually People that need the power of a BTE need a battery that provides the longer battery life, otherwise they would be changing batteries every other day. The more severe the hearing loss, the bigger the hearing aid, the bigger the battery drain, the bigger the battery used in the manufacture of the hearing aid.
The biggest potential for hearing aid users are those that suffer from what is called a "High Frequency" hearing loss. Those People have normal hearing in the low frequencies, but have a loss in what is considered the high frequencies in audiology.
The hearing in the high frequencies is the area where the consonants are spoken,and those consonants form the words in the English language.If you can't tell the difference in the consonants, then the words don't make any sense.'
Think of a piano keyboard. There are 88 black and white keys on a standard keyboard. Middle C is the 40th keys from the left hand side. There are 12 keys to an octave. From middle C to the right are the remaining 48 keys. Thats 4 octaves. The first 2 octaves, 24 keys, to the right of middle C, in audiology are called the low frequency area, where all the vowels are spoken and heard, the last 24 keys on the right hand side of the keyboard (2 octaves- 12 keys per octave) are where all the consonants are spoken and heard. Most People have a hearing loss in the High Frequencies, the last 24 keys.
People that only have a high frequency hearing loss, when using a hearing aid, have always complained of feeling stuffed up, plugged, or under water. That is because they have normal hearing in the low frequencies.
The open fit designed hearing aids, with a dome type earmold, eliminates the stuffed up feeling.
Such fittings, always involve the use of what is called a behind the ear hearing aid.
Traditonally, those People with a high frequency hearing loss have always complained of feedback.
The feedback management systems provided in the latest Digital hearing aids have minimized or eliminated the feedback problems.
Custom made hearing aids, have always resulted in the high-frequency hearing loss users complaining of feeling stuffed up, plugged up, or under water.This is because they have normal hearing in the low frequencies.
The "Open-fit" hearing aids have resolved this problem.
The best "Open-Fit" hearing aids, with the most sophisticaed Digital Signal Processing, should cost more than $1495 each. That is the most expensive hearing aid produced by Companies such as Siemens,Rexton,Phonak,Viva-Tone,Sebo-tek,Resound,Unitron,Bernafon,Oticon,Widex,Electone,Starkey,Microtech,or anyone else.
For the most part, you never have to pay more than $1495 for the most sophistical hearing aid made.
Any more than that is extortion or a waste of money.