Hearing aids and glasses might seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a way to get these two very important items to work together? How to wear both is a question that comes up a lot, specifically if you are considering behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Here’s the question, can I wear them both comfortably? The answer is yes.
People who wear glasses need to think about some factors before investing in new hearing aids. Here’s what you need to know about wearing hearing aids and glasses, with each other.
Picking The Hearing Aids Which Best Fit Your Needs
There are a lot of factors, in general, to look at when purchasing new hearing aids. Hearing aids come in all sizes, styles, and shapes. You can even get them in fancy colors if you like that sort of thing. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is gone.
Start your research by really getting to know what kinds of hearing aids are on the market. 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 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 resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are pretty much the same setup except without the earmold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing mounted behind the ear.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper into the ear, making them almost invisible.
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 compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to decide on a style.
Learning About 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:
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
- T-coil – This feature permits 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 on the radio.
- 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 will be able to hear their speech clearly despite the noise around you.
Finding the right features to suit your lifestyle is the aim. Then the style of the hearing aid can be chosen.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids at the same time as glasses. The secret is to wear both of these essential accessories properly, so they are comfortable. Here are some tips:
- Think about the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. There is the standard version, which is a little bulky but can still work with glasses. A newer style choice is the 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 devices. Either one will work with glasses but find out which style fits you best.
- Practice removing your glasses by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. It will take a little time before you get into the habit of removing them like this. The practice will be reinforced every time you knock off your hearing aid.
- Your hearing aid should be put on only after you put your glasses on. You can maneuver your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which is a little more rigid. 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.
There will be some people who will need to stick to ITE or ITC models. For example, if you take off your glasses a lot, BTE devices will be a much greater burden. This combination will also be a hassle for people with small ears and for children. Most reputable hearing aid sellers will give a trial period, so schedule an appointment to see what device is best for you. Use this trial to see if you can wear both or not.