Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a means to get these two very important items to play nice? How to wear both is a question that is asked a lot, specifically if you are looking at behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? Yes is the answer.
People who wear glasses should consider some things before purchasing new hearing aids. Learn the strategies to wearing glasses and hearing aids at the same time.
There Are a Few Types of Hearing Aids That May Work For Your Situation
There is a lot to consider when you’re shopping for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. You can get hearing aids in many shapes, styles, and sizes. You can even get a custom color if you like. Modern high tech hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa wore.
Understanding exactly what kind of hearing aids are on the market is the way to begin the search. They break down 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 models are pretty much the same setup except without the earmold.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them almost invisible.
- 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.
There are positives and negatives to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of issues. Once you decide on the physical style, it’s time to review the features of different hearing aids.
Considering The Different Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your main concern 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 cafe, you can hear their words easily despite the noise around you.
- T-coil – This feature enables you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful if 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 enhance speech.
Your objective is to determine the ideal set of features and functions to fit your lifestyle. After that selecting the style should be easy.
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 have to wear both of these important accessories the right way. Here are some tips:
- Get in the habit of putting on your glasses first and then your hearing aids. 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, look in the mirror to be sure it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
- Pulling your glasses off in a forward motion, with both hands, is something you should practice until it’s a habit. Removing them in this way won’t become a habit right away. Every time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.
- Before you make a purchase look closely at the size of the BTE. Although it’s a little bit bulky, the traditional version will still work with glasses. A newer style choice is the mini BTE. The portion that fits behind the ear is much smaller for enhanced comfort and also to reduce the feedback that you sometimes get with the BTE units. The only certain way to tell which one will be best for you is to try them both out.
ITE and ITC styles are the only solutions for those that can’t wear a BTE device with their glasses. For example, if you take off your glasses a lot, BTE devices will be a much greater burden. Children and people who have really small ears tend to have difficulty with this combination, too. 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.