Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a means to get these two very essential items to play nice? How to wear both is a question that comes up a lot, especially if you are considering behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? The answer is yes.
If you wear glasses, there are some things to think about when investing in hearing aids. Here’s what you need to know regarding wearing hearing aids and glasses, together.
Picking The Hearing Aids That Best Serve Your Needs
There are quite a few factors, in general, to consider when buying new hearing aids. Hearing aids come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. If you like stylish colors, you can get that as well. Today’s advanced hearing aids are not like your grandpa’s.
Understanding exactly what kind of hearing aids are out there is the way to start the process. 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.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this format of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal with nothing mounted behind the ear.
- 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 sits right behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit versions are essentially the same setup except without the earmold.
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 issues. 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 concern when shopping. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features change. Some common ones to watch for include:
- T-coil – This function permits you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or at the movies.
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy place. For example, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you will be able to hear their words clearly despite the noise all around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
Identifying the ideal features to fit your lifestyle is the objective. Then, you can make a decision on the style of hearing aid.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids with glasses. The trick is to wear both of these essential accessories properly, so they are comfortable. Here are some tips:
- First put on your glasses, then put in your hearing aid. Positioning of the hearing aid unit is a little bit more flexible so you can maneuver it around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. After placing the hearing aid, check in the mirror to be certain it’s not hanging off your outer ear.
- Taking your glasses off in a forward motion, using both hands, is something you should practice until it’s a habit. It will take time to make this movement a habit. When you forget to do this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
- Before you make an investment look closely at the size of the BTE. Although the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. A newer style option is the mini BTE. Reduced feedback and enhanced comfort are gained by making the behind the ear part smaller. You have to try out both styles to see which one works best.
There are some people who will have to stay with ITE or ITC hearing aids. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for example, you take off your glasses a lot. This combination will also be a hassle for people with small ears and for children. 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. Trying out the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for you.