Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go too well with one another, but often times both are needed. So how can you make them work? How to wear both is a question that comes up 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.
If you wear glasses, there are certain things to consider when purchasing hearing aids. Use these suggestions to be sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
Picking The Hearing Aids Which Best Serve Your Needs
There is a lot to consider when you’re shopping for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. Hearing aids come in all sizes, styles, and shapes. If you like cool colors, you can get that also. The point is, the days of having to wear hearing aids like your grandpa did is over.
Begin your research by really understanding what types 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 far more advanced. With this style, 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 versions are essentially the same setup except without the earmold.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper into the ear, making them nearly invisible.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this style of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing sitting behind the ear.
ITE and ITC versions will allow people with glasses to avoid many pitfalls. The features of your new hearing aid should be reviewed after choosing a style.
Considering The Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your prime consideration when researching. Features are changing all of the time as hearing aid technology evolves. Some common ones to look for include:
- T-coil – This feature permits 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 space. For example, if someone is talking to you at a party, you will be able to hear their words easily despite the noise all around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
Determining the ideal features to suit your lifestyle is the goal. Then the style of the hearing aid can be decided on.
What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?
Glasses and BTE hearing aids absolutely can be worn together. If you want them to be comfortable you have to wear both of these important accessories the correct way. Here are some tips:
- Get in the habit of putting your glasses on first and then your hearing aids. The position of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s more difficult to adjust. After placing the hearing aid, check in the mirror to be certain it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
- Before you make a purchase look closely at the size of the BTE. There is the standard version, which can be a little bit bulky but will still work with glasses. The mini BTE is a relatively new alternative. Reduced feedback and enhanced comfort are gained by making the behind the ear part smaller. You have to try out both styles to see which one works best.
- Practice taking your glasses off by pulling them forward with both hands instead of pulling them up with one. It’s going to take time to make this movement a habit. The practice will be reinforced every time you knock off your hearing aid.
The only solution for those who have a real problem using a BTE hearing aid with glasses would be the ITE or ITC models. BTE devices will be a big problem if, for example, you take off your glasses a lot. This combination will also be a struggle for people with small ears and for children. Most reputable hearing aid sellers offer a trial period, so schedule an appointment to find out what device is the right one for you. Trying the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for you.