Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go too well together, but in some cases both are necessary. So what can you do to make them work? If you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, this common question is even more pertinent. People often wonder whether they can work together comfortably. Yes is the answer.
There are a few things, for people who wear glasses, to think about before they purchase new hearing aids, though. Use these guidelines to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
There Are Several Types of Hearing Aids That May Work For Your Needs
There is a lot to consider when you’re shopping for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. Hearing aids come in all sizes, styles, and shapes. If you like stylish colors, you can get that too. Today’s advanced hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.
Start your research by really learning about what types of hearing aids are out there. They break down into three basic categories:
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper into the ear, making them nearly invisible.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this format of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting behind the ear.
- 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 directly behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are essentially the same setup except without the earmold.
If you wear glasses, you can stay clear of a lot of issues with ITE and ITC versions. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to decide on a style.
Considering The Features
When shopping, it’s the features that should be your number one 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 helpful if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or on the radio.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy spot. For example, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you will be able to hear their words easily despite the noise all around you.
Your objective is to find the best set of features to fit your lifestyle. Then the style of the hearing aid can be selected.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
BTE hearing aids can be worn with glasses. If you want them to fit together comfortably you have to wear both of these essential accessories the correct way. Here are some tips:
- Get used to putting on your glasses first and then your hearing aids. The placement of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s more difficult to adjust. To be certain that the hearing aid isn’t hanging off your outer ear, after you place it, check in the mirror.
- Practice taking your glasses off by pulling them forward with both hands instead of pulling them up with one. Taking them off like this won’t become a habit immediately. If you forget to use this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
- Think about the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. While the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bulky. A newer style option is the mini BTE. Because the behind the ear portion is smaller, you get improved comfort and a reduced amount of feedback. Either one will work with glasses but find out which style fits you best.
ITE and ITC styles will be the only choices for those people who can’t wear a BTE device with their glasses. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for instance, you take your glasses off a lot. This combination will also be a hassle for people with small ears and for children. Most reputable hearing aid retailers will give a trial period, so schedule an appointment to see what device is the right one for you. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them.