Styles - BTE or ITE for Active Persons?

Hello, I am a newbie to the forum and to hearing aids in general. I have enjoyed these forums and found them very informative. Thank you all for the great postings.

I will be getting fitted for at least one hearing aid (right ear for sure) very soon and would appreciate some advice.

Should I consider wearing a BTE hearing aid? I am fairly active and practice Aikido 3 to 4 hours a week. I would like to be able to wear the HA during practice and was concerned that a BTE would fall off while rolling (we do lots of rolling). One of our Aikido senseis wears an ITE model so I thought that might be a better choice. Also I wear glasses and was concerned that they might interfere with a BTE model.

Would also like advice if I should wear a second HA in my left ear, where I have mild to moderate loss only.

I will ask these questions at the Audiologists but wanted to see what folks in the forum had to say.

Thank you and best regards.

If it were me I’d get two hearing aids, and they’d be ITE’s, or a custom in the ear aid like the GN ReSound Live 9 Remote Mic for the situation you describe. BTE’s aren’t necessarily an issue with glasses, but with the activity and rolling, I’d go ITE. You’ll likely have some occlusion at first, but should get used to it. That is, initially with ITEs you may feel plugged up and your own voice will sound different, but you’ll eventually not notice.

With that hearing loss, occlusion will not be a small issue - but a HUGE issue. The hearing in the low frequencies is way too good to get around occlusion, even with extended use.

With that being said, a BTE or RIC is what would best fit your loss, but an ITE would best fit your lifestyle. Unfortunately a BTE or RIC will never stay put during any kind of martial arts, being a fellow student myself.

My question is, does your hearing loss affect you while practicing? Are your instructors or training partners soft speakers? That sweating will surely affect the aids and decrease their life. Your instructor might surely need it if he has a greater degree of hearing loss or to hear softly speaking students…

The other issue would be safety. If you were to inadvertently suffer a blow or hit your ear against the ground or someone’s body (during a throw or rolling) it could damage your ear.

Good luck!

dr. amy

I own a pair of Phonak Smart V’s.
I’m also very active and have the wear my backup ITE unit when I hike. It only takes a few minutes for the sweat to block the speaker making them useless.

Thank you very much! Much appreciated.

That would be my concern. With my last HAs (Resound Live CIC), a whack to the side of my head would feel like a stake being driven through my brain. And my new HAs (Resound Be 9) are much too damned expensive to risk.

Hope you bought a decent warranty with those.

Only aid I’d suggest for the situation above is the Unitron Fuse. Ought to be open enough, but far enough in to be out of harm’s way. Even then I’d suggest that you only wear them if they really sat quite deeply in the ear as opposed to being in the opening of your ear canal.

Actually, you have mild hearing loss in your right ear, slight in your left ear, talking about average hearing loss. What you said applied only to high frequency loss which is moderately-severe/mild-moderate. For sure, you need hearing aid for your right ear, but you will not get it (at least paid by insurance) for your left one. Still, I would recommend you bilateral hearing aids. We always recommend “open fit” BTE for your type of hearing loss. Btw, my own hearing loss is somewhere between your two ears for but my ears and I wear Newsound Aria, and sometimes Siemens Vibe (just because of cosmetic reason) in the moment. However, my average loss is classified as slight, so I would never get hearing aids here, even my high frequency loss (above 3 kHz) is moderately-severe. But, I work in Hearing Aid Dispenser Center so… :wink: