Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a means to get these two very important accessories to play nice? How to wear both is a question that comes up a lot, particularly if you are considering behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Here’s the question, can I wear them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.
Before buying hearing aids, there are certain things to give consideration to if you wear glasses. Use these suggestions to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
Choosing The Hearing Aids That Best Fit Your Needs
There are a lot of things, in general, to look at when purchasing new hearing aids. You can get hearing aids in many Styles, sizes, and shapes. If you like fancy colors, you can get that too. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is over.
Start your research by really learning about what styles of hearing aids are on the market. They break down 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 virtually invisible.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this format of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing mounted behind the ear.
- 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 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 but without the earmold.
There are pros and cons to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of problems. You can go over the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to decide on the right style.
Getting to Know The Features
Essentially, it’s really the features that should drive your purchase as you shop for hearing aids, not the shape. Features are changing all of the time as hearing aid technology improves. Some common ones to watch for include:
- T-coil – This function permits you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or on the radio.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy space. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you can hear their speech easily in spite of the noise all around you.
Your aim is to determine the ideal set of features to fit your lifestyle. At that point, you can make a decision on the style of hearing aid.
Wearing 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 in the correct way, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:
- Using both hands, and in a forward motion, practice taking off your glasses. Removing them in this way won’t become a habit right away. When you forget to do this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
- Get in the habit of putting your glasses on first and then your hearing aids. You can work the placement of your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. To be sure that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you place it, check in the mirror.
- Select the correct size BTE before you make a purchase. Even though it’s a little bit bulky, the traditional version will still work with glasses. The other alternative is a relatively new style known as mini BTE. Reduced feedback and increased comfort are gained by making the behind the ear portion smaller. The only certain way to know which one will be best for you is to try them both out.
The only choice for those that have a real issue using a BTE device with glasses would be the ITE or ITC devices. If you of your glasses frequently, for example, BTE devices will be a real inconvenience. Children and people who have smaller 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 fits your lifestyle. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them.