Hearing aids and glasses might seem like oil and water, but is there a means to get these two very necessary items to play nice? How to wear both is a question that is asked a lot, specifically 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.
People who wear glasses should think about a few factors before purchasing hearing aids. Use these tips to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
What Style of Hearing Aids Are Best for Your Needs?
There are quite a few factors, in general, to think about when purchasing new hearing aids. You can get hearing aids in many Styles, sizes, and shapes. You can even get a fancy color if you like. Today’s hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.
Understanding exactly what type of hearing aids are available is the way to begin the process. They divide into three basic categories:
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) – This is an older style of hearing aid, but today’s version of this technology is much more advanced. With this style, 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 basically the same setup except without the earmold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this format of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing sitting behind the ear.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them virtually invisible.
ITE and ITC versions will allow people who wear glasses to avoid many drawbacks. The features of your new hearing aid should be considered after deciding on a style.
Getting to Know The Features
When purchasing, it’s the features that should be your primary concern not the shape of the hearing aid. 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 enhance speech.
- 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 restaurant, you can hear their words easily in spite of the noise around you.
- T-coil – This function 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 a bingo game or at the movies.
Your goal is to determine the best set of features to fit your lifestyle. After that choosing the style should be easy.
Can You Even Use BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids with glasses. If you want them to be comfortable you need to wear both of these important accessories the right way. Here are some tips:
- Practice removing your glasses by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. It’s going to take time to make this movement a habit. Every time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.
- Get in the habit of putting your glasses on first and then your hearing aids. The placement of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s harder to adjust. Look in a mirror after positioning the hearing aid so you will know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, the outer portion of the ear.
- Choose the appropriate size BTE before you make a purchase. Despite the fact that it’s a little bulky, the traditional version will still work with glasses. A newer style option is the mini BTE. Because the behind the ear portion is smaller, you get increased comfort and less feedback. The only certain way to know which one will be best for you is to try them both.
ITE and ITC styles will be the only possibilities for those people who can’t use a BTE device with their glasses. For instance, if you take your glasses off a lot, BTE devices will be a much greater burden. Children and people who have smaller ears will 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 is best for you. Trying out the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for your needs.