Hearing aids and glasses most likely seem like oil and water, but is there a way to get these two very necessary accessories to play nice? This typical question is particularly true if you are considering a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. Here’s the question, can I wear them both comfortably? The answer is yes.
Before picking out new hearing aids, there are some things to consider if you wear glasses. Here’s what you need to know regarding wearing hearing aids and glasses, at the same time.
There Are Several Styles of Hearing Aids That Might Work For Your Situation
There are quite a few things, in general, to think about when purchasing new hearing aids. Size, shape, and style are all customizations that are readily available. You can even get a custom color if you want. Modern high tech hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa used.
The first thing to do is to learn what kinds of hearing aids are available. 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 mounts right behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit versions are basically the same setup except without the earmold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this format of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting behind the ear.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them nearly invisible.
If you wear glasses, you can stay clear of a lot of issues with ITE and ITC models. Once you decide on the physical style, it’s time to compare the features of different hearing aids.
Considering The Different Features
When buying, it’s the features that should be your number one concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features constantly change. Watch for some of these common ones:
- T-coil – This feature permits you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful when 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.
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy location. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a party, you can hear their words easily in spite of the noise all around you.
Determining the best features to suit your lifestyle is the objective. After that picking out the style should be easy.
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 need to wear both of these essential accessories the correct way. Here are some tips:
- First put on your glasses, then put in your hearing aid. The placement of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s more difficult to adjust. After placing the hearing aid, check in a mirror to be certain it’s not hanging off your outer ear.
- Before you make a purchase look closely at the size of the BTE. Even though the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. The other choice is a fairly new style known as mini BTE. The part that fits behind the ear is much smaller for enhanced comfort and also to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE models. The only sure way to tell which one will work best for you is to try them both.
- Taking your glasses off in a forward motion, with both hands, is something you should practice until it becomes a habit. It will take some time to make this movement a habit. The practice will be reinforced each time you knock off your hearing aid.
ITE and ITC styles will be the only possibilities for those who can’t use a BTE device with their glasses. If you of your glasses a lot, as an example, BTE devices will be a real hassle. This combination will also be a struggle 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 see which style is best for you. Trying out the different styles is the only way you will know which style works best for your needs.