Mini behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are one of the more unique assistive devices to help your hearing.
Technology continues to quickly refine ways to help your ear send signals that your brain translates into recognizable sounds. While the standard BTE device is the largest hearing aid, the Mini BTE is one of the smallest devices.
- These new, streamlined devices are barely visible.
- While they are suitable for all age groups and hearing loss ranging from mild to severe, patients with mild to moderate hearing loss use Mini BTE devices the most.
How Do Mini BTE Devices Work?
The new Mini BTE device is an open-fit hearing aid. This means a tiny, custom-molded device fits completely behind your ear. It usually remains invisible to others. A slim, narrow tube connects to a flexible tip. Although this tip sits directly in the ear canal, it does not block it.
Unlike other hearing assistive devices, the Mini BTE hearing aid allows air and sound into the ear for a more natural feeling. Often, the person wearing hearing aids hears their own voice echoed to them. The Mini BTE hearing aid eliminates the echo and the feeling that they have a plugged nose (similar to experiencing a cold).
What to Expect During an Evaluation for Mini BTE Hearing Aids
Your audiologist will test your hearing range, especially the low frequency ranges. The Mini BTE device may not be the best aid for you if your hearing loss extends to low frequencies. An examination of your ears will check for excess earwax, drainage, or fluids. The Mini BTE hearing aid is usually one of the few hearing assistive devices available for use in those situations.
A cast, or mold, of your ears will help design Mini BTE hearing aids that fit your lower ear precisely. There is no pain or discomfort associated with these evaluations.
Benefits Associated with Mini BTE Hearing Aids
Many benefits connected with using Mini BTE devices for hearing assistance include:
- They are ideal for someone who gets a lot of earwax build-up in their ears. Unlike most other hearing aids, earwax build-up does not damage or ruin a Mini BTE device.
- They are suitable for people who have draining or wet ears. Again, moisture or drainage does not damage or ruin a Mini BTE device, where it would with other hearing aid types.
- The nature of the Mini BTE hearing aid makes it appropriate for children. Often children cannot wear hearing aids that have a discrete appearance, as their ears are still growing.
- While typically used for mild to moderate hearing loss, the Mini BTE hearing aid may be the best choice for severe hearing loss with some individuals.
- The Mini BTE device is a digital hearing device rather than an analog aid. Digitized sound translates sound wave frequencies into digital information capable of telling the difference between the voice of someone talking versus background noise, like the sound of traffic.
- The ultra-slim Mini BTE device tube combines with digital technology to improve the quality of your speech. Furthermore, digital noise cancellation allows you to hear your conversation partner clearly and respond appropriately.
- The Mini BTE hearing aid has Bluetooth technology, so you can pair it with your smartphone, your television, or with other Bluetooth compatible devices.
As with any product, patients have personal preferences and these hearing aids do have some possible drawbacks to them. While people with severe hearing loss can wear the Mini BTE device, it does not pick up low frequencies consistently. People with mild to moderate hearing loss who have normal low frequency hearing have the best results.