Hearing aids and glasses might seem like oil and water, but is there a means to get these two very essential accessories to play nice? This common question is particularly true if you are considering a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. Here’s the question, can I use them both comfortably? The answer is yes.
There are a few things, for people who wear glasses, to consider before they buy new hearing aids, though. Learn the secrets to wearing glasses and hearing aids at the same time.
Picking The Hearing Aids That Best Serve Your Needs
Even if you don’t wear glasses, there’s a lot to consider when investing in new hearing aids. Hearing aids come in all styles, shapes, and sizes. If you like stylish colors, you can get that too. Today’s advanced hearing aids are not like your grandpa’s.
Start the process by really getting to know what kinds of hearing aids are available. They break down into three basic categories:
- 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 style, the main section of the device mounts 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.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them nearly invisible.
- 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.
If you wear glasses, you can stay clear of a lot of issues with ITE and ITC versions. Once you choose the physical style, it’s time to evaluate the features of different hearing aids.
Considering The Different Features
When purchasing, it’s the features that should be your number one concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Features are changing all of the time as hearing aid technology evolves. Watch for some of these common ones:
- T-coil – This feature allows you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective 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 party, you can hear their words easily in spite of the noise all around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
Finding the right features to fit your lifestyle is the aim. After that picking out the style should be easy.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
Glasses and BTE hearing aids absolutely can be worn together. If you want them to be comfortable you have to wear both of these essential accessories the correct way. Here are some tips:
- Consider the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. While the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bulky. The other choice is a relatively new style called mini BTE. Because the behind the ear part is smaller, you get enhanced comfort and a reduced amount of feedback. You have to try both styles out to see which one works best.
- Your hearing aid should be put on only after you put your glasses on. The placement of your glasses arm is more fixed than your hearing aid so it’s harder to adjust. After positioning the hearing aid, check in a mirror to be sure it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
- With both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. It will take some time for this to become a habit. Each time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to develop the practice.
The only option for those who have a real problem using a BTE hearing aid with glasses would be the ITE or ITC models. For example, if you take off your glasses a lot, BTE devices will be a much bigger hassle. Children will typically have problems with this type of hearing aid and also adults with small ears. Which style is best for you can be determined if you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid specialist and take advantage of the free trial. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them.