Hearing aids and glasses most likely seem like oil and water, but is there a means to get these two very necessary items to work together? If you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, this typical question is even more relevant. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? Yes is the answer.
If you wear glasses, there are a few things to think about when getting hearing aids. Here’s what you need to know about wearing hearing aids and glasses, with each other.
There Are a Few Styles of Hearing Aids That Could Work For Your Needs
There is a lot to consider when you’re shopping for hearing aids, whether you wear glasses or not. You can get hearing aids in many sizes, styles, and shapes. If you like cool 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 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 much more advanced. With this model, the main section of the device sits 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-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing mounted behind the ear.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them almost invisible.
There are good and bad points to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of issues. The features of your new hearing aid should be reviewed after deciding on a style.
Learning About The Different Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your primary consideration when shopping. 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 augment speech.
- T-coil – This function allows 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.
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy place. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you can hear their words easily in spite of the noise all around you.
Your aim is to determine the ideal set of features and functions to fit your lifestyle. After that picking out the style should be easy.
Can You Even Wear BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?
BTE hearing aids can be worn while your wearing glasses. If you want them to be comfortable you have to wear both of these essential accessories the correct way. Here are some tips:
- Before you make an investment look closely at the size of the BTE. While the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. The other choice is a relatively new style called mini BTE. Reduced feedback and enhanced comfort are gained by making the behind the ear part smaller. Either one will work with glasses but see which style fits you best.
- Get in the habit of putting on your glasses first and then your hearing aids. You can work the placement of your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. Check in a mirror after placing the hearing aid so you will know it looks natural and isn’t hanging off your pinna, which is the outer part of the ear.
- With both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. Taking them off in this way won’t become a habit right away. Every time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to develop the practice.
There are some people that will have to stick to ITE or ITC devices. If you take your glasses off frequently, for instance, a BTE device 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 find out which style fits your lifestyle. Use this time to see if you can wear both or not.