Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go very well with one another, but in some cases both are required. So how can you make them work? If you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, this common question is even more relevant. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? The answer is yes.
Before buying new hearing aids, there are certain things to consider if you wear glasses. Here’s what you have to know about wearing hearing aids and glasses, at the same time.
There Are a Few Types of Hearing Aids That Might Work For Your Situation
There is a lot to think about when you’re shopping for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. Shape, size, and style are all customizations that are readily available. You can even get them in fancy colors if you like that sort of thing. Modern hearing aids are not like the ones that grandpa had.
The first thing to do is to learn what kinds of hearing aids are available. They divide into three basic categories:
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) – This is an older style of hearing aid, but today’s version of this technology is far more advanced. With this style, the main section of the device mounts right behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are pretty much the same setup but without the earmold.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them pretty much invisible.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this format of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting behind the ear.
If you wear glasses, you can steer clear of a lot of issues with ITE and ITC models. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to choose a style.
Getting to Know The Features
When shopping, it’s the features that should be your primary concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Features are getting better all of the time as hearing aid technology evolves. Watch for some of these common ones:
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy location. For example, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you can hear their speech easily in spite of the noise all around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- T-coil – This feature permits you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or on the radio.
Your objective is to find the ideal set of features and functions to fit your lifestyle. Then, you can make a decision on the style of hearing aid.
What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?
BTE hearing aids can be worn with glasses. The trick is to wear both of these essential accessories correctly, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:
- Before you make a purchase look closely at the size of the BTE. There is the standard version, which can be a little bit bulky but can still work with glasses. The other option is a relatively new style called mini BTE. Because the behind the ear part is smaller, you get enhanced comfort and a reduced amount of feedback. The only certain way to tell which one will work best for you is to try them both out.
- Pulling your glasses off in a forward motion, with both hands, is something you should practice until it’s a habit. Removing them in this way won’t become a habit right away. If you forget to use this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will reinforce the practice.
- First put on your glasses, then put in your hearing aid. You can maneuver your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which is a little more rigid. To be certain that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you position it, check in the mirror.
The only possibility for those who have a real issue wearing a BTE hearing aid with glasses would be the ITE or ITC models. If you of your glasses frequently, as an example, BTE devices will be a real hassle. This combination will also be a struggle for people with small ears and for children. Most reputable hearing aid retailers offer a trial period, so schedule an appointment to find out what model is best for you. Trying the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for your needs.