Hearing aids and glasses might seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a means to get these two very important accessories to work together? How to wear both is a question that comes up a lot, particularly 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.
Before picking out new hearing aids, there are certain things to think about if you wear glasses. Here’s what you need to know about wearing hearing aids and glasses, at the same time.
What Style of Hearing Aids Will Work Best for Your Situation?
There is a lot to consider when you shop for hearing aids, whether you wear glasses or not. You can get hearing aids in many sizes, styles, and shapes. They even offer them in cool colors if you’re into that sort of thing. Modern high tech hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa had.
Finding out exactly what kind of hearing aids are on the market is the way to begin the search. They break down into three basic categories:
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting behind the ear.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE model but it sits deeper into 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 right behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are pretty much the same setup except 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 issues. The features of your new hearing aid should be reviewed after deciding on a style.
Getting to Know The Different Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your main consideration when researching. Advancing hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Some common ones to watch for include:
- T-coil – This feature enables you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or at the movies.
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy space. For example, if someone is talking to you at a party, you will be able to hear their words clearly despite the noise around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
Finding the ideal features to fit your lifestyle is the objective. After that picking out the style should be easy.
What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?
Glasses and BTE hearing aids can be worn together. If you want them to fit together comfortably you have to wear both of these essential accessories the correct way. Here are some tips:
- Think about the size of the BTE hearing aids before buying. While the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bulky. A newer style choice is the mini BTE. Because the behind the ear portion is smaller, you get enhanced comfort and a reduced amount of feedback. Either one will work with glasses but find out which style fits you best.
- Practice taking your glasses off by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. It will take some time to make this movement a habit. Each time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.
- First put on your glasses, then your hearing aid. The position of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s more difficult to adjust. Check in the mirror after positioning the hearing aid so you know it looks natural and isn’t hanging off your pinna, which is the outer part of the ear.
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 bigger hassle. 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. Use this time to determine if you can wear both or not.