Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go very well together, but sometimes both are needed. So what can you do to make them work? How to wear both is a question that comes up a lot, particularly if you are thinking about behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. People often wonder whether or not they can work together comfortably. The answer is yes.
Before purchasing new 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, at the same time.
There Are Several Styles of Hearing Aids That May 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. Styles, shapes, and sizes are all personalizations that are available. They even offer them in stylish colors if you’re into that sort of thing. Modern hearing aids are not like the ones that grandpa wore.
Understanding exactly what kind of hearing aids are on the market is the way to start the search. They break down into three basic categories:
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them almost invisible.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing sitting 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 model, the main section of the device mounts directly behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are basically the same setup except without the earmold.
If you wear glasses, you can stay clear of a lot of issues with ITE and ITC versions. Once you choose the physical style, it’s time to compare the features of different hearing aids.
Considering The Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your prime concern when researching. Evolving hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Watch for some of these common ones:
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy place. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you can hear their words clearly in spite of the noise around you.
- T-coil – This function enables you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or at the movies.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
Determining the ideal features to suit your lifestyle is the aim. Then the style of the hearing aid can be selected.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids at the same time as glasses. If you want them to fit together comfortably you have to wear both of these essential accessories the proper way. Here are some tips:
- Before you make an investment look carefully at the size of the BTE. There is the traditional version, which is a little bulky but can still work with glasses. The mini BTE is a relatively new option. The portion that goes behind the ear is much smaller for increased comfort and also to reduce the feedback that you sometimes get with the BTE devices. Either one will work fine with glasses but find out which style fits you best.
- First put on your glasses, then put in your hearing aid. Placement of the hearing aid unit is a little bit more flexible so you can work it in around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. Check in the mirror after placing the hearing aid so you will know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, the outer portion of the ear.
- Practice taking your glasses off by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. Removing them like this won’t become a habit immediately. The practice will be reinforced every time you knock off your hearing aid.
The only possibility for those who have a real issue wearing a BTE device with glasses would be the ITE or ITC models. If you take your glasses off frequently, for example, a BTE device will be a real hassle. This combination will also be a hassle for people with small ears and for children. If you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid professional you can get a free trial period to find out which style is best for you. Use this time to determine if you can wear both or not.