Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go too well together, but sometimes both are necessary. So how can you make them work? If you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) device, this common question is even more relevant. People often question whether they can work together comfortably. The answer is yes.
There are a few things, for people who wear glasses, to think about before they invest in new hearing aids, though. Here’s what you need to know regarding wearing hearing aids and glasses, with each other.
There Are Several Styles of Hearing Aids That Could Work For Your Needs
There is a lot to consider when you shop for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. You can get hearing aids in many styles, shapes, and sizes. You can even get them in stylish colors if you like that kind of thing. Modern high tech hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa wore.
Begin your research by really learning about what styles of hearing aids are on the market. They break down into three basic categories:
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this format of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting behind the ear.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) – This is an older style of hearing aid, but today’s version of this technology is much more advanced. With this model, 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 basically the same setup except 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 virtually invisible.
ITE and ITC versions will allow people with glasses to avoid many drawbacks. The features of your new hearing aid should be considered after choosing a style.
Understanding The Different Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your main concern when researching. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features change. Watch for some of these common ones:
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy space. For example, if someone is talking to you at a party, you can hear their speech clearly despite the noise around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- T-coil – This function allows you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or at the movies.
Your goal is to determine the best set of features to fit your lifestyle. At that point, you can make a decision on the style of hearing aid.
Can You Even Wear BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?
BTE hearing aids can be worn with glasses. If you want them to be comfortable you need to wear both of these important accessories the proper way. Here are some tips:
- First put on your glasses, then your hearing aid. The position of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s harder to adjust. After placing the hearing aid, check in a mirror to be sure it’s not hanging off your outer ear.
- Select the correct size BTE before you commit to a purchase. Although it’s a little bit bulky, the standard version will still work with glasses. A newer style option is the mini BTE. Reduced feedback and improved comfort are gained by making the behind the ear part smaller. You have to try both styles out to see which one works best.
- Using 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 develop the practice.
The only possibility for those who have a real problem 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. This combination will also be a hassle for people with small ears and for children. Most reputable hearing aid retailers offer a trial period, so schedule an appointment to see what device is the right one for you. Use this trial to see if you can wear both or not.