Hearing aids and glasses most likely seem like oil and water, but is there a way to get these two very essential items to play nice? This typical question is especially true if you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. 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 when it comes to wearing hearing aids and glasses, with each other.
Picking The Hearing Aids That Best Serve Your Needs
There is a lot to think about when you’re shopping for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. Hearing aids come in all Styles, sizes, and shapes. You can even get them in cool colors if you like that kind of thing. Today’s hearing aids are not like your grandpa’s.
Understanding exactly what kind of hearing aids are on the market is the way to begin the process. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this style of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal with nothing mounted behind the ear.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE model but it sits deeper inside 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 much more advanced. With this model, 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 versions are pretty much the same setup but without the earmold.
If you wear glasses, you can keep away from a lot of problems with ITE and ITC models. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to decide on a style.
Considering The Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your primary consideration when researching. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features constantly change. Some common ones to look for include:
- T-coil – This function allows you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or on the radio.
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy spot. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you can hear their words easily in spite of the noise around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
Your aim is to determine the ideal set of features to fit your lifestyle. Then the style of the hearing aid can be selected.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids with glasses. The trick is to wear both of these important accessories in the correct way, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:
- Get used to 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 is a little more rigid. To be sure that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you position it, check in the mirror.
- Before you make a purchase look carefully at the size of the BTE. There is the standard version, which is a little bulky but will still work with glasses. A newer style choice is the mini BTE. Minimized feedback and increased comfort are gained by making the behind the ear portion smaller. Either one will work fine with glasses but see which style fits you best.
- Pulling your glasses off in a forward motion, using both hands, is something you should practice until it becomes a habit. Taking them off like this won’t become a habit immediately. The practice will be reinforced each time you knock off your hearing aid.
ITE and ITC styles will be the only choices for those people that can’t use a BTE device with their glasses. If you take your glasses off frequently, 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. Which style is best for you can be determined if you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid specialist and take advantage of the free trial. Use this time to see if you can wear both or not.