Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go very well with one another, but sometimes both are necessary. So what can you do to make them work? If you are considering a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, this typical question is even more pertinent. Here’s the question, can I wear them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.
Before picking out hearing aids, there are certain things to give consideration to if you wear glasses. Here’s what you need to know about wearing hearing aids and glasses, together.
There Are Several Styles of Hearing Aids That Might Work For Your Needs
Whether you wear glasses or not, there’s a lot to consider when investing in new hearing aids. Hearing aids come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. You can even get them in stylish colors if you’re into that sort of thing. Modern hearing aids are not like the ones that grandpa had.
Finding out exactly what type of hearing aids are on the market is the way to start the search. They break down into three basic categories:
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this format of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing mounted behind the ear.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) – This is an older style of hearing aid, but today’s version of this technology is way more advanced. With this style, the main section of the device mounts directly behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are essentially the same setup except without the earmold.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper into the ear, making them nearly invisible.
If you wear glasses, you can keep away from a lot of problems with ITE and ITC models. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to decide on a style.
Considering The Features
Essentially, it’s really the features that should drive your purchase as you look for hearing aids, not the shape. Features are changing all of the time as hearing aid technology improves. Watch for some of these common ones:
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy place. For example, if someone is talking to you at a party, you will be able to hear their speech clearly in spite of the noise around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
- T-coil – This feature enables you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or on the radio.
Your aim is to find the best set of features to fit your lifestyle. After that choosing the style should be easy.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids with glasses. The trick is to wear both of these essential accessories correctly, so they are comfortable. Here are some tips:
- Consider the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. There is the standard version, which is a little bulky but will still work with glasses. The mini BTE is a relatively new option. The portion that goes behind the ear is a lot smaller for enhanced comfort and also to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE models. You have to try out both styles to see which one works best.
- Get in the habit of putting on your glasses first and then your hearing aids. You can work the placement of your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. After placing the hearing aid, check in a mirror to be sure it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
- Practice taking your glasses off by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. It will take some time for this to become a habit. If you forget to use this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
There will be some people that will need to stay with ITE or ITC hearing aids. For instance, if you take your glasses off a lot, BTE devices will be a much bigger hassle. Children will typically have problems with this kind of hearing aid and also adults with small ears. Which style is best for you can be determined if you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid specialist and take advantage of the free trial. Trying the different styles is the only way you will know which style works best for your needs.