Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a means to get these two very essential items to work together? This common question is especially true if you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. People often wonder whether they can work together comfortably. The answer is yes.
Before purchasing new hearing aids, there are certain things to give consideration to if you wear glasses. Learn the secrets to wearing glasses and hearing aids together.
There Are a Few Types of Hearing Aids That Might Work For Your Needs
There is a lot to think about when you’re shopping for hearing aids, whether you wear glasses or not. Hearing aids come in all shapes, styles, and sizes. If you like fancy colors, you can get that too. Today’s advanced hearing aids are not like your grandpa’s.
Understanding exactly what kind of hearing aids are out there is the way to start the process. They divide into three basic categories:
- 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 far more advanced. With this model, the main section of the device sits directly behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are basically the same setup but without the earmold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this format of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing mounted behind the ear.
ITE and ITC models will allow people who wear glasses to avoid many pitfalls. The features of your new hearing aid should be reviewed after deciding on a style.
Understanding The Different Features
Ultimately, it’s really the features that should drive your choice as you look for hearing aids, not the shape. Evolving hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Some common ones to watch for include:
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- T-coil – This function permits you to hear better while talking on 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 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 cafe, you can hear their speech clearly in spite of the noise around you.
Identifying the right features to fit your lifestyle is the goal. At this point, you can decide on the style of hearing aid.
Can You Even Wear BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?
Glasses and BTE hearing aids absolutely can be worn together. The trick is to wear both of these important accessories properly, so they are comfortable. Here are some tips:
- Think about the size of the BTE hearing aids before buying. Even though it’s a little bulky, the traditional version will still work with glasses. The mini BTE is a relatively new option. 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.
- Practice removing your glasses by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. It will take a little time before you form a habit of removing them like this. Each time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to develop the practice.
- First put your glasses on, then your hearing aid. The position of your glasses arm is more fixed than your hearing aid so it’s harder to adjust. Look in a mirror after positioning the hearing aid so you know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, which is the outer portion of the ear.
There will be some people that will have to stay with ITE or ITC models. BTE devices will be a big problem if, for instance, you take off your glasses a lot. This combination will also be a struggle for people with small ears and for children. Which style is best for you can be determined if you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid specialist and make use of the free trial. Trying the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for you.