Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go too well together, but often times both are required. So what can you do to make them get along? How to wear both is a question that comes up a lot, specifically if you are considering behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Here’s the question, can I wear them both comfortably? The answer is yes.
Before purchasing hearing aids, there are a few things to give consideration to if you wear glasses. Use these guidelines to be sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
There Are a Few Types of Hearing Aids That Could Work For Your Situation
Whether you wear glasses or not, there are a lot of considerations when picking out new hearing aids. Hearing aids come in all sizes, styles, and shapes. You can even get them in fancy colors if you’re into that type of thing. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is over.
Understanding exactly what kind of hearing aids are out there is the way to start the process. 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 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 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 and has nothing mounted behind the ear.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them nearly invisible.
ITE and ITC versions will allow people who wear glasses to avoid many hurdles. The features of your new hearing aid should be considered after deciding on a style.
Considering The Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your main concern when shopping. Features are getting better all of the time as hearing aid technology improves. Some common ones to watch for include:
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy space. For example, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you will be able to hear their words clearly in spite of the noise all around you.
- T-coil – This function enables you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or on the radio.
Determining the ideal features to suit your lifestyle is the goal. Then the style of the hearing aid can be chosen.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids with glasses. The secret is to wear both of these essential accessories properly, so they are comfortable. Here are some tips:
- First put on your glasses, then your hearing aid. The placement of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s harder to adjust. Look in a mirror after positioning the hearing aid so you know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, the outer part of the ear.
- Pick the appropriate size BTE before you make a purchase. There is the traditional version, which is a little bulky but can still work with glasses. The other alternative is a relatively new style known as mini BTE. The portion that fits behind the ear is a lot smaller for increased comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes get with the BTE models. The only certain way to know which one will be best for you is to try them both out.
- Practice removing your glasses by pulling them forward with both hands instead of pulling them up with one. It will take a little time before you get into the habit of removing them like this. The practice will be reinforced each time you knock off your hearing aid.
ITE and ITC styles are the only choices for those people that can’t use a BTE device with their glasses. If you take your glasses off frequently, for example, a BTE device will be a real inconvenience. Children and people who have smaller ears will have difficulty with this combination, too. Most reputable hearing aid sellers will give a trial period, so schedule an appointment to see what model is the right one for you. Trying out the different styles is the only way you will know which style works best for your needs.