Hearing aids and glasses most likely seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a way to get these two very essential accessories to work together? This typical question is especially true if you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. Here’s the question, can I use them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.
There are a few things, for those people who wear glasses, to consider before they invest in new hearing aids, though. Learn the secrets to wearing glasses and hearing aids 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 choosing new hearing aids. Shape, style, and size are all personalizations that are available. If you like fancy colors, you can get that as well. Today’s advanced hearing aids are not like your grandpa’s.
The first thing to do is to find out what kinds of hearing aids are on the market. 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 style, 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 pretty much the same setup but without the earmold.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them almost invisible.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this format of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing mounted behind the ear.
There are pros and cons to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of issues. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to choose the right style.
Considering The Different Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your prime concern when shopping. Features are changing all of the time as hearing aid technology improves. Watch for some of these common ones:
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- T-coil – This feature enables you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or at the movies.
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy location. For example, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you can hear their speech easily despite the noise all around you.
Identifying the right features to fit your lifestyle is the aim. Then, you can make a decision on the style of hearing aid.
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 be comfortable you have to wear both of these important accessories the right way. Here are some tips:
- Practice taking your glasses off by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. It will take some time for this to become a habit. When you forget to do this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
- Get in the habit of putting your glasses on first and then your hearing aids. Placement of the hearing aid unit is a little more flexible so you can work it in around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. To be sure that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you place it, look in the mirror.
- Consider the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. Even though the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bulky. The other choice is a relatively new style called mini BTE. Because the behind the ear part is smaller, you get increased comfort and less feedback. You have to try both styles out to determine which one works best.
The only solution for those who have a real issue wearing a BTE hearing aid with glasses would be the ITE or ITC devices. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for instance, you take off your glasses a lot. Children will usually have problems with this type of hearing aid and also adults with small ears. If you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid professional you can get a free trial period to find out which style fits your lifestyle. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them out.