Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go very well together, but sometimes both are required. So how can you make them work? How to wear both is a question that is asked a lot, especially if you are looking at behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? The answer is yes.
Before picking out new hearing aids, there are certain things to give consideration to if you wear glasses. Here’s what you have to know when it comes to wearing hearing aids and glasses, with each other.
Choosing The Hearing Aids That Best Serve Your Needs
There is a lot to think about when you shop for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. Hearing aids come in all sizes, styles, and shapes. You can even get a stylish color if you like. Modern high tech hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa wore.
Start the process by really understanding what kinds of hearing aids are available. 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 much more advanced. With this style, the main section of the device mounts 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 except without the earmold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this style of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting behind the ear.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper into the ear, making them almost invisible.
There are pros and cons to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of problems. Once you choose the physical style, it’s time to evaluate the features of different hearing aids.
Learning About The Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your prime consideration when shopping. Features are getting better all of the time as hearing aid technology improves. 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 using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or on the radio.
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy place. For example, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you can hear their speech clearly in spite of the noise all around you.
Your goal is to determine the ideal set of features to fit your lifestyle. Then the style of the hearing aid can be selected.
Can You Even Wear BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?
Glasses and BTE hearing aids can be worn together. The trick is to wear both of these essential accessories in the correct way, so they are comfortable. Here are some tips:
- First put your glasses on, then put in your hearing aid. You can maneuver your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which is a little more rigid. After placing the hearing aid, check in the mirror to be certain it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
- Before you make an investment look closely at the size of the BTE. While the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. A newer style choice is the mini BTE. The portion that fits behind the ear is much smaller for increased comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE models. You have to try out both styles to find out which one works best.
- Using both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. It will take some time before you form a habit of taking them off this way. Every time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.
There will be some people that will need to stick to ITE or ITC models. For instance, if you take your glasses off a lot, BTE devices will be a much bigger hassle. Children will usually have problems with this type 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 find out which style fits your lifestyle. Use this time to see if you can wear both or not.