Hearing aids and glasses most likely seem like oil and water, 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, particularly if you are thinking about behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. The question is, can I wear them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.
Before buying hearing aids, there are certain things to consider if you wear glasses. Use these guidelines to be sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
There Are a Few Types of Hearing Aids That Could Work For Your Situation
Whether you wear glasses or not, there are a lot of considerations when choosing new hearing aids. Size, style, and shape are all personalizations that are readily available. If you like fancy colors, you can get that also. Modern high tech hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa had.
Finding out exactly what type of hearing aids are out there is the way to start the process. They divide 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.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper into the ear, making them pretty much 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 model, 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 basically the same setup except without the earmold.
There are advantages and drawbacks to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of problems. You can go over the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to decide on a style.
Getting to Know The Features
Ultimately, it’s really the features that should drive your purchase as you look for hearing aids, not the shape. Features are changing all of the time as hearing aid technology evolves. Watch for some of these common ones:
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy location. For example, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you will be able to hear their speech clearly despite the noise all around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- T-coil – This function enables you to hear better while using 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.
Identifying the best features to suit your lifestyle is the aim. After that picking out the style should be easy.
Can You Even Use BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids at the same time as glasses. The trick is to wear both of these important accessories in the correct way, so they are comfortable. Here are some tips:
- Before you make an investment look closely at the size of the BTE. Even though the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bulky. The mini BTE is a relatively new alternative. Because the behind the ear portion is smaller, you get better comfort and less feedback. Either of these will work fine with glasses but find out which style fits you best.
- Taking your glasses off in a forward motion, using both hands, is something you should practice until it becomes a habit. It’s going to take time for this to become a habit. The practice will be reinforced each time you knock off your hearing aid.
- Your hearing aid should be put in after you put on your glasses. The position of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s harder to adjust. After positioning the hearing aid, check in the mirror to be certain it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
The only solution for those that have a real issue using a BTE device with glasses would be the ITE or ITC devices. For example, if you take your glasses off a lot, BTE devices will be a much bigger hassle. Children will usually have problems with this kind of hearing aid and also adults with small ears. If you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid professional you can get a free trial period to see which style fits your lifestyle. Use this time to see if you can wear both or not.