Hearing aids and glasses don’t seem to go too well with one another, but often times both are required. So what can you do to make them work? This typical question is particularly true if you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. People often question whether they can work together comfortably. The answer is yes.
There are some things, for those people who wear glasses, to think about before they invest in new hearing aids, though. Here’s what you have to know when it comes to wearing hearing aids and glasses, at the same time.
There Are Several Styles of Hearing Aids That May Work For Your Situation
There are a lot of things, in general, to think about when purchasing new hearing aids. You can get hearing aids in many sizes, styles, and shapes. They even offer them in fancy colors if you’re into that sort of thing. The point is, the days of having to wear hearing aids like your grandpa did is gone.
Start the process by really understanding what types of hearing aids are available. They break down into three basic categories:
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version 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 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 sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are pretty much the same setup but without the earmold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this style of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing sitting behind the ear.
ITE and ITC models will allow people who wear glasses to avoid many hurdles. Once you decide on the physical style, it’s time to compare the features of different hearing aids.
Considering 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:
- T-coil – This function permits you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or at the movies.
- 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 location. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you will be able to hear their words clearly despite the noise around you.
Identifying the right features to suit your lifestyle is the aim. Then the style of the hearing aid can be selected.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids with glasses. If you want them to be comfortable you need to wear both of these essential accessories the proper way. Here are some tips:
- Think about the size of the BTE hearing aids before buying. There is the traditional version, which is a little bit bulky but will still work with glasses. The mini BTE is a relatively new option. Reduced feedback and improved comfort are gained by making the behind the ear portion smaller. Either of these will work with glasses but see which style fits you best.
- Your hearing aid should be put in only after you put your glasses on. Positioning of the hearing aid unit is a little more flexible so you can maneuver it around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. To be sure that the hearing aid isn’t hanging off your outer ear, after you place it, look in the mirror.
- With both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. It will take a little time before you get into the habit of removing them this way. Each time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to develop the practice.
There are some people that will have to stay with ITE or ITC devices. For instance, if you take off your glasses a lot, BTE devices will be a much greater burden. Children will typically have problems with this type of hearing aid and also adults with small ears. Most reputable hearing aid retailers offer a trial period, so schedule an appointment to find out what model is the right one for you. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them out.