Hearing aids and glasses don’t seem to go too well with one another, but sometimes both are required. So how can you make them get along? This common question is particularly true if you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. Here’s the question, can I wear them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.
If you wear glasses, there are certain things to think about when getting hearing aids. Learn the strategies to wearing glasses and hearing aids together.
Choosing The Hearing Aids Which Best Fit 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 sizes, shapes, and styles. They even offer them in fancy colors if you like that type of thing. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is over.
Start the process by really getting to know what kinds of hearing aids are out there. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this format of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal and has 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 mounts directly 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.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them nearly invisible.
ITE and ITC versions will allow people who wear glasses to avoid many drawbacks. Once you choose the physical style, it’s time to review the features of different hearing aids.
Understanding The Different Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your main consideration when shopping. Features are changing all of the time as hearing aid technology evolves. Some common ones to look for include:
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy location. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a party, you can hear their speech easily in spite of the noise all around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
- T-coil – This feature permits you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or at the movies.
Your goal is to find the best set of features to fit your lifestyle. Then the style of the hearing aid can be selected.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
BTE hearing aids can be worn while your wearing glasses. If you want them to be comfortable you need to wear both of these important accessories the proper way. Here are some tips:
- Using both hands, and in a forward motion, practice taking off your glasses. It will take time to make this movement a habit. Each time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.
- Before you make an investment 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. A newer style choice is the mini BTE. Because the behind the ear portion is smaller, you get better comfort and less feedback. The only sure way to know which one will work best for you is to try them both out.
- First put on your glasses, then put in your hearing aid. The placement of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s harder to adjust. To be certain that the hearing aid isn’t hanging off your outer ear, after you position it, look in the mirror.
The only option for those who have a real problem wearing a BTE device with glasses would be the ITE or ITC models. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for instance, you take your glasses off a lot. This combination will also be a struggle for people with small ears and for children. If you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid professional you can get a free trial period to see which style fits your lifestyle. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them.