Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go very well with one another, but sometimes both are necessary. So what can you do to make them get along? If you are considering a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, this typical question is even more pertinent. The question is, can I wear them both comfortably? The answer is yes.
People who wear glasses need to consider a few things before buying hearing aids. Use these tips to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
Picking The Hearing Aids That Best Serve Your Needs
There is a lot to consider when you’re shopping for hearing aids, whether you wear glasses or not. Styles, sizes, and shapes are all personalizations that are readily available. You can even get a stylish color if you want. Modern hearing aids are not like the ones that grandpa had.
Finding out exactly what kind of hearing aids are out there is the way to start the search. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them almost invisible.
- 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 style, the main section of the device sits directly behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are pretty much the same setup but without the earmold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this style of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal with nothing mounted behind the ear.
If you wear glasses, you can keep away from a lot of issues with ITE and ITC versions. Once you choose the physical style, it’s time to evaluate the features of different hearing aids.
Understanding The Different Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your prime consideration when shopping. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features constantly change. Watch for some of these common ones:
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy space. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a party, you can hear their words clearly in spite of the noise all around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- T-coil – This function permits you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or on the radio.
Your goal is to determine the ideal set of features to fit your lifestyle. At that 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. If you want them to fit together comfortably you have to wear both of these essential accessories the correct way. Here are some tips:
- Practice removing your glasses by pulling them forward with both hands instead of pulling them up with one. It will take some time before you form a habit of removing them this way. The practice will be reinforced each time you knock off your hearing aid.
- Your hearing aid should be put in only after you put on your glasses. The position of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s more difficult to adjust. Check in the mirror after placing the hearing aid so you know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, the outer part of the ear.
- Choose the correct size BTE before you make a purchase. There is the standard version, which is a little bit bulky but will still work with glasses. The other alternative is a fairly new style called 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 devices. Either of these will work fine with glasses but find out which style fits you best.
The only possibility for those who have a real problem wearing a BTE device with glasses would be the ITE or ITC devices. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for instance, you take your glasses off a lot. Children and people with smaller ears tend to struggle with this combination, too. Most quality hearing aid sellers offer a trial period, so schedule an appointment to see what model is the right one for you. Use this time to determine if you can wear both or not.