You may wonder why most infants and children are fitted with hearing aids that sit behind the ear. There are several reasons this style is typically chosen.
The outer ear (part you can see) and ear canal change rapidly as the infant and young child grows. If an in the ear style hearing aid was chosen, a new one would need to be made frequently to accommodate these changes. Behind the ear models are attached to an earmold that is placed in the ear canal. It is much less expensive to have new earmolds made periodically versus an entire new hearing aid. During growth spurts, it is not unusual for new earmolds to be needed every six months!
Once the child reaches 7-8 years of age, the need for new earmolds due to growth begins to diminish. By early adolescence, the ear has reached its adult size in most cases. However, there are additional reasons for using a behind the ear style even when ear growth is no longer an issue. Most children will use their hearing instruments with FM systems in school. Behind the ear models have multiple options for connecting with an FM system. This style generally has more options when being used with the telephone. It is also less likely to need repair since the electronic parts are not located in the ear, and therefore less susceptible to damage from ear wax and moisture. It is also not unusual for a child to lose a set of hearing instruments at some point. Loaner hearing aids can easily be attached to an older pair of earmolds while waiting for the new pair to arrive.