Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like oil and water, but is there a means to get these two very important accessories to work together? This common question is particularly true if you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. Here’s the question, can I use them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.
Before buying hearing aids, there are certain things to think about if you wear glasses. Learn the strategies to wearing glasses and hearing aids at the same time.
There Are Several Types of Hearing Aids That May Work For Your Situation
There is a lot to think about when you shop for hearing aids, whether you wear glasses or not. Styles, sizes, and shapes are all customizations that are available. If you like stylish colors, you can get that also. Modern hearing aids are not like the ones that grandpa had.
The first thing to do is to learn what kinds of hearing aids are available. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them virtually invisible.
- 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.
- 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 models are basically the same setup but without the earmold.
There are advantages and drawbacks 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.
Understanding The Features
When buying, it’s the features that should be your primary concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features constantly change. Watch for some of these common ones:
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy place. For example, if someone is talking to you at a party, you will be able to hear their speech easily despite the noise all around you.
- 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 on the radio.
Identifying the best features to suit your lifestyle is the aim. After that picking out the style should be easy.
What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?
BTE hearing aids can be worn with glasses. The trick is to wear both of these essential accessories correctly, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:
- Before you make an investment look carefully at the size of the BTE. There is the traditional version, which is a little bulky but will still work with glasses. The other choice is a fairly new style known as mini BTE. The portion that goes behind the ear is much smaller for enhanced comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE units. The only sure way to tell which one will work best for you is to try them both out.
- Using both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. It will take time to make this movement a habit. If you forget to do this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will reinforce the practice.
- First put your glasses on, then put in your hearing aid. Positioning of the hearing aid unit is a little more flexible so you can work it in around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. To be certain that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you place it, check in the mirror.
The only possibility for those that have a real problem wearing a BTE device with glasses would be the ITE or ITC devices. If you take your glasses off a lot, for instance, a BTE device will be a real hassle. Children and people with smaller ears tend to have difficulty with this combination, too. If you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid professional you can get a free trial period to see which style is best for you. Use this time to determine if you can wear both or not.