Is it even possible to comfortably wear hearing aids at the same time as you are wearing your glasses, even though the two don’t seem very harmonious? This typical question is specifically true if you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? The answer is yes.
If you wear glasses, there are certain things to think about when purchasing hearing aids. Here’s what you have to know regarding wearing hearing aids and glasses, at the same time.
Picking The Hearing Aids Which Best Fit Your Needs
There are a lot of factors, in general, to think about when purchasing new hearing aids. Styles, sizes, and shapes are all personalizations that are available. If you like stylish colors, you can get that also. Today’s advanced hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.
The first thing to do is to find out what kinds of hearing aids are available. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside 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 model, 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 versions are pretty much the same setup except 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.
There are positives and negatives to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of problems. Once you choose the physical style, it’s time to compare the features of different hearing aids.
Learning About The Features
Essentially, it’s really the features that should drive your purchase as you shop for hearing aids, not the shape. Features are getting better all of the time as hearing aid technology evolves. Some common ones to watch for include:
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy spot. For example, if someone is talking to you at a party, you can hear their speech clearly despite the noise around you.
- T-coil – This function allows you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or at the movies.
Your goal is to determine the right set of features and functions to fit your lifestyle. Then the style of the hearing aid can be selected.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
Glasses and BTE hearing aids can be worn together. The secret is to wear both of these important accessories in the correct way, so they are comfortable. Here are some tips:
- Pulling your glasses off in a forward motion, with both hands, is something you should practice until it’s a habit. It’s going to take time for this to become a habit. Each time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.
- Select the appropriate size BTE before you make a purchase. While the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bulky. The other choice is a fairly new style called mini BTE. Because the behind the ear portion is smaller, you get increased comfort and less feedback. Either one will work fine with glasses but see which style fits you best.
- Get in the habit of putting your glasses on first and then your hearing aids. You can work the placement of your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. After positioning the hearing aid, check in the mirror to be sure it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
There will be some people who will need to stick to ITE or ITC models. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for example, you take your glasses off a lot. This combination will also be a hassle for people with small ears and for children. Most quality hearing aid retailers offer a trial period, so schedule an appointment to see what model is best for you. Use this time to see if you can wear both or not.