Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go too well together, but often times both are necessary. So what can you do to make them work? This typical question is especially true if you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? The answer is yes.
If you wear glasses, there are some things to think about when buying hearing aids. Use these guidelines to be sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
What Kind of Hearing Aids Are Best for Your Situation?
There is a lot to consider when you shop for hearing aids, whether you wear glasses or not. Hearing aids come in all sizes, styles, and shapes. You can even get a stylish color if you like. Today’s hearing aids are not like your grandpa’s.
The first step is to find out what types of hearing aids are on the market. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing mounted behind the ear.
- 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 model, the main section of the device mounts directly behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are basically the same setup except without the earmold.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them pretty much invisible.
There are positives and negatives 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 reviewed after deciding on a style.
Getting to Know The Different Features
Ultimately, it’s really the features that should drive your decision as you look for hearing aids, not the shape. Advancing hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Watch for some of these common ones:
- T-coil – This feature enables you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or on the radio.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy space. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you can hear their speech clearly despite the noise all around you.
Finding 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
BTE hearing aids can be worn while your wearing glasses. The trick is to wear both of these important accessories correctly, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:
- First put your glasses on, then your hearing aid. Placement of the hearing aid unit is a little more flexible so you can maneuver it 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 natural and isn’t hanging off your pinna, which is the outer portion of the ear.
- With both hands, and in a forward motion, practice taking off your glasses. It’s going to take some time for this to become a habit. Every time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.
- Before you make a purchase look closely at the size of the BTE. Although the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. A newer style option is the mini BTE. The part that fits behind the ear is a lot smaller for enhanced comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes get with the BTE devices. The only certain way to tell which one will be best for you is to try them both.
The only possibility for those that have a real issue using a BTE hearing aid with glasses would be the ITE or ITC devices. As an example, if you take off your glasses a lot, BTE devices will be a much greater burden. Children will usually have trouble with this kind of hearing aid and also adults with small ears. Most reputable hearing aid sellers will give a trial period, so schedule an appointment to find out what model is the right one for you. Use this time to determine if you can wear both or not.