Is it feasible to comfortably wear hearing aids while you are also wearing your glasses, despite the fact that the two don’t seem very harmonious? If you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, this typical question is even more pertinent. The question is, can I wear them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.
Before picking out hearing aids, there are a few things to consider if you wear glasses. Use these tips to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
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. Styles, shapes, and sizes are all personalizations that are readily available. You can even get a cool color if you want. Modern hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa wore.
Start your research by really getting to know what styles of hearing aids are out there. They break down into three basic categories:
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them nearly invisible.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this style of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing sitting behind the ear.
- 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 sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit versions are essentially 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 issues. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to choose the right style.
Considering The Features
Essentially, it’s really the features that should drive your decision as you look for hearing aids, not the shape. Evolving hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Watch for some of these common ones:
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- T-coil – This feature 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 when you are in a noisy space. For example, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you can hear their speech easily despite the noise around you.
Your aim is to determine the ideal set of features to fit your lifestyle. At this point, you can make a decision on the style of hearing aid.
What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids at the same time as glasses. If you want them to fit together comfortably you have to wear both of these important accessories the correct way. Here are some tips:
- Using both hands, and in a forward motion, practice taking off your glasses. It will take some time for this to become a habit. If you forget to use this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
- Before you make a purchase look closely at the size of the BTE. Although it’s a little bulky, the standard version will still work with glasses. The other choice is a relatively new style called mini BTE. Because the behind the ear portion is smaller, you get better comfort and less feedback. The only sure way to tell which one will be best for you is to try them both.
- Your hearing aid should be put in only after you put your glasses on. Positioning of the hearing aid unit is a little more flexible so you can maneuver it around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. After placing the hearing aid, look in a mirror to be sure it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
The only option for those that have a real problem wearing a BTE device with glasses would be the ITE or ITC models. If you take your glasses off a lot, for instance, BTE devices will be a real hassle. Children will usually have problems with this kind of hearing aid and also adults with small ears. Most reputable hearing aid sellers offer a trial period, so schedule an appointment to find out what model is best for you. Trying the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for you.