Hearing aids and glasses might seem like oil and water, but is there a means to get these two very important items to work together? This typical question is specifically true if you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. People often ask whether they can work together comfortably. The answer is yes.
People who wear glasses should think about a few things before purchasing hearing aids. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to wearing hearing aids and glasses, together.
Picking The Hearing Aids That Best Fit Your Needs
There is a lot to think about when you shop for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. You can get hearing aids in many sizes, styles, and shapes. If you like fancy colors, you can get that also. The point is, the days of having to wear hearing aids like your grandpa did is gone.
The first step is to find out what kinds of hearing aids are on the market. 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 almost invisible.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this style of hearing aid fits directly 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 mounts right behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit versions are pretty much the same setup but without the earmold.
There are pros and cons to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of problems. You can go over the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to choose a style.
Understanding The Different Features
When shopping, it’s the features that should be your number one concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Advancing hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Watch for some of these common ones:
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy spot. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a party, you will be able to hear their words clearly despite the noise around you.
- 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 effective when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or on the radio.
Your objective is to find the right set of features to fit your lifestyle. 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. If you want them to fit together comfortably you have to wear both of these essential accessories the correct way. Here are some tips:
- Consider the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. There is the standard version, which can be a little bit bulky but can still work with glasses. The other choice is a relatively new style called mini BTE. Decreased feedback and improved comfort are gained by making the behind the ear portion smaller. The only sure way to know which one will work best for you is to try them both.
- Practice taking your glasses off by pulling them forward with both hands instead of pulling them up with one. Taking them off in this way won’t become a habit immediately. When you forget to use this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
- First put your glasses on, then put in your hearing aid. You can work the placement of your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which is a little more rigid. After placing the hearing aid, look in the mirror to be certain it’s not hanging off your outer ear.
There will be some people that will have to stay with ITE or ITC devices. As an example, if you take your glasses off a lot, BTE devices will be a much bigger hassle. Children and people who have smaller ears will have difficulty with this combination, too. If you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid professional you can get a free trial period to find out which style fits your lifestyle. Trying the different styles is the only way you will know which style works best for your needs.