Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like oil and water, but is there a way to get these two very essential accessories to play nice? If you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, this typical question is even more relevant. The question is, can I wear them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.
There are some things, for people who wear glasses, to think about before they invest in new hearing aids, though. Use these suggestions to be sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
There Are Several Styles of Hearing Aids That Could Work For Your Needs
There are quite a few factors, in general, to look at when getting new hearing aids. Styles, sizes, and shapes are all customizations that are readily available. You can even get a custom color if you want. Modern high tech hearing aids are not like the ones that grandpa wore.
Start your research by really learning about what kinds of hearing aids are out there. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them pretty much invisible.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) – This is an older style of hearing aid, but today’s version of this technology is way more advanced. With this style, the main section of the device mounts directly behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are essentially the same setup except without the earmold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this style of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting behind the ear.
There are good and bad points to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of problems. The features of your new hearing aid should be considered after choosing a style.
Considering The Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your main concern when shopping. Evolving hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Some common ones to look for include:
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- T-coil – This feature enables 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 a bingo game or at the movies.
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy location. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you can hear their words clearly in spite of the noise all around you.
Your aim is to determine the ideal set of features and functions to fit your lifestyle. Then the style of the hearing aid can be decided on.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
BTE hearing aids can be worn while your wearing glasses. The trick is to wear both of these important accessories in the correct way, so they are comfortable. Here are some tips:
- Your hearing aid should be put in after you put on your glasses. The position of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s more difficult to adjust. Check in a mirror after positioning the hearing aid so you know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, the outer portion of the ear.
- Taking your glasses off in a forward motion, with both hands, is something you should practice until it’s a habit. Removing them in this way won’t become a habit immediately. If you forget to do this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
- Before you make a purchase look carefully at the size of the BTE. Although the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bulky. A newer style option is the mini BTE. The part that goes behind the ear is a lot smaller for increased comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE models. You have to try both styles out to see which one works best.
ITE and ITC styles are the only solutions for those who can’t wear a BTE device with their glasses. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for example, you take off your glasses a lot. 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. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them out.