Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go very well with one another, but often times both are needed. So what can you do to make them get along? If you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) device, this typical question is even more pertinent. The question is, can I wear them both comfortably? The answer is yes.
There are some things, for those people who wear glasses, to consider before they purchase new hearing aids, though. Here’s what you have to know regarding wearing hearing aids and glasses, together.
What Kind of Hearing Aids Are Best for Your Situation?
Even if you don’t wear glasses, there’s a lot to consider when buying new hearing aids. You can get hearing aids in many sizes, shapes, and styles. If you like fancy colors, you can get that too. Today’s hearing aids are not like your grandpa’s.
Start your research by really understanding what kinds of hearing aids are out there. They break down into three basic categories:
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) – This is an older style of hearing aid, but today’s version of this technology is much more advanced. With this style, the main section of the device sits directly behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are pretty much the same setup except without the earmold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this style of hearing aid fits right 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 version but it sits deeper into the ear, making them pretty much invisible.
If you wear glasses, you can keep away from a lot of issues with ITE and ITC versions. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to decide on the right style.
Learning About The Features
Essentially, it’s really the features that should drive your choice as you shop for hearing aids, not the shape. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features constantly change. Some common ones to look for include:
- T-coil – This feature enables you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or on the radio.
- 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 while you are in a noisy space. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a party, you will be able to hear their words easily in spite of the noise around you.
Finding the right features to suit your lifestyle is the goal. After that picking out the style should be easy.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
Glasses and BTE hearing aids can be worn together. If you want them to fit together comfortably you have to wear both of these important accessories the correct way. Here are some tips:
- Taking your glasses off in a forward motion, with both hands, is something you should work on until it becomes a habit. It’s going to take some time for this to become a habit. The practice will be reinforced every time you knock off your hearing aid.
- Get used to putting your glasses on first and then your hearing aids. You can maneuver your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which is a little more rigid. To be sure that the hearing aid isn’t hanging off your outer ear, after you position it, look in the mirror.
- Choose the correct size BTE before you make a purchase. Even though it’s a little bulky, the standard version will still work with glasses. The other option is a relatively new style known as mini BTE. The portion that goes behind the ear is much smaller for enhanced comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE devices. Either one will work fine with glasses but see which style fits you best.
There will be some people who will need to stay with ITE or ITC hearing aids. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for instance, you take your glasses off a lot. This combination will also be a hassle for people with small ears and for children. 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 see if you can wear both or not.