Hearing aids and glasses most likely seem like oil and water, but is there a way to get these two very essential accessories to work together? How to wear both is a question that is asked a lot, particularly if you are looking at behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Here’s the question, can I wear them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.
If you wear glasses, there are certain things to think about when getting hearing aids. Here’s what you have to know regarding wearing hearing aids and glasses, at the same time.
What Style of Hearing Aids Are Best for You?
Even if you don’t wear glasses, there’s a lot to consider when investing in new hearing aids. Size, style, and shape are all personalizations that are readily available. You can even get them in a custom color if you like. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is over.
The first step is to determine what types of hearing aids are available. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this format 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 way more advanced. With this style, 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 essentially the same setup but without the earmold.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them virtually invisible.
If you wear glasses, you can stay away from a lot of issues with ITE and ITC versions. The features of your new hearing aid should be considered after deciding on a style.
Considering The Features
Essentially, it’s really the features that should drive your decision as you shop 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:
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
- T-coil – This feature permits 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 church or on the radio.
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy spot. For example, if someone is talking to you at a party, you will be able to hear their words easily in spite of the noise all around you.
Finding the best features to suit your lifestyle is the goal. At this point, you can make a decision on the style of hearing aid.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
BTE hearing aids can be worn with glasses. The secret is to wear both of these essential accessories in the correct way, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:
- Your hearing aid should be put on only after you put your glasses on. Positioning 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. 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.
- Taking your glasses off in a forward motion, with both hands, is something you should work on until it’s a habit. Removing them in this way won’t become a habit right away. The practice will be reinforced every time you knock off your hearing aid.
- Think about the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. While the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. The other option is a relatively new style known as mini BTE. Because the behind the ear portion is smaller, you get enhanced comfort and less feedback. The only certain way to tell which one will be best for you is to try them both.
The only possibility for those who have a real problem wearing a BTE hearing aid with glasses would be the ITE or ITC models. If you of your glasses a lot, for instance, BTE devices will be a real hassle. Children and people with smaller ears will have difficulty with this combination, too. 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 time to see if you can wear both or not.