Hearing aids and glasses most likely seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a means to get these two very important accessories to work together? This common question is especially true if you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. Here’s the question, can I wear them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.
Before picking out new hearing aids, there are some things to think about if you wear glasses. Use these suggestions to be sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
What Style of Hearing Aids Are Best for Your Situation?
There are quite a few things, in general, to consider when getting new hearing aids. You can get hearing aids in many Styles, sizes, and shapes. If you like stylish colors, you can get that too. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is over.
Start the process by really understanding what types of hearing aids are available. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper into the ear, making them almost invisible.
- 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 style, the main section of the device mounts right 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 but without the earmold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing sitting behind the ear.
ITE and ITC versions will allow people who wear glasses to avoid many drawbacks. Once you decide on the physical style, it’s time to compare the features of different hearing aids.
Learning About The Features
When purchasing, it’s the features that should be your primary concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Advancing hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Watch for some of these common ones:
- T-coil – This function permits 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 church or at the movies.
- 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 in spite of the noise around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
Identifying the right features to suit your lifestyle is the aim. Then, you can make a decision on the style of hearing aid.
Can You Even Wear BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids at the same time as glasses. The secret is to wear both of these important 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 sits a little more rigidly. To be certain that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you position it, look in the mirror.
- With both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. It will take a little time before you form a habit of taking them off this way. When you forget to do this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
- Select the appropriate size BTE before you make a purchase. While the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. The mini BTE is a fairly new option. Because the behind the ear portion is smaller, you get greater comfort and less feedback. The only certain way to know which one will be best for you is to try them both out.
There are some people that will need to stick to ITE or ITC devices. If you of your glasses a lot, as an example, a BTE device will be a real hassle. Children and people who have really small ears tend to struggle 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 is best for you. Trying the different styles is the only way you will know which style works best for you.