Hearing aids and glasses most likely seem like oil and water, but is there a way to get these two very important items to play nice? If you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) device, this common question is even more pertinent. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? The answer is yes.
Before purchasing new hearing aids, there are a few things to give consideration to if you wear glasses. Here’s what you have to know regarding wearing hearing aids and glasses, at the same time.
Picking The Hearing Aids Which Best Serve Your Needs
Even if you don’t wear glasses, there’s a lot to consider when picking out new hearing aids. Size, style, and shape are all customizations that are readily available. You can even get a custom color if you want. Today’s advanced hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.
The first step is to learn what kinds of hearing aids are on the market. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing mounted behind the ear.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them almost invisible.
- 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 model, the main section of the device sits right behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit versions are essentially the same setup except without the earmold.
There are advantages and drawbacks to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of problems. The features of your new hearing aid should be considered after deciding on a style.
Learning About The Different Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your main consideration when shopping. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features change. Some common ones to watch for include:
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy location. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you will be able to hear their speech clearly despite the noise around you.
- T-coil – This function allows you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or on the radio.
Identifying the ideal features to fit your lifestyle is the objective. Then the style of the hearing aid can be selected.
Can You Even Wear BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?
Glasses and BTE hearing aids can be worn together. If you want them to be comfortable you need to wear both of these important accessories the right way. Here are some tips:
- First put on your glasses, then your hearing aid. Placement of the hearing aid unit is a little bit more flexible so you can maneuver it around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. Look in the mirror after placing the hearing aid so you will know it looks natural and isn’t hanging off your pinna, the outer portion of the ear.
- With both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. It will take some time before you form a habit of taking them off like this. Each time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to develop the practice.
- Before you make a purchase look carefully at the size of the BTE. Although it’s a little bit bulky, the standard version will still work with glasses. A newer style choice is the mini BTE. Minimized feedback and improved comfort are gained by making the behind the ear part smaller. You have to try both styles out to determine which one works best.
The only choice for those that have a real problem wearing a BTE hearing aid with glasses would be the ITE or ITC devices. For instance, if you take off your glasses 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. Use this trial to determine if you can wear both or not.