Is it even possible to comfortably wear hearing aids at the same time as you are wearing your glasses, despite the fact that the two don’t seem very harmonious? This typical question is specifically true if you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. People often wonder whether or not they can work together comfortably. The answer is yes.
There are some things, for people who wear glasses, to think about before they purchase new hearing aids, though. Use these tips to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
What Style of Hearing Aids Are Best for You?
Whether you wear glasses or not, there are a lot of considerations when choosing new hearing aids. Hearing aids come in all sizes, shapes, and styles. You can even get them in a cool color if you like. Modern high tech hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa used.
Learning exactly what kind of hearing aids are on the market is the way to begin the search. They divide 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 virtually 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 model, 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 models are pretty much the same setup but without the earmold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting behind the ear.
There are good and bad points to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of issues. Once you decide on the physical style, it’s time to evaluate the features of different hearing aids.
Considering 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. Watch for some of these common ones:
- T-coil – This feature enables you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or on the radio.
- 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 restaurant, you will be able to hear their words clearly in spite of the noise all around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
Your goal is to determine the right set of features to fit your lifestyle. Then the style of the hearing aid can be decided on.
What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?
BTE hearing aids can be worn with glasses. The trick is to wear both of these important accessories properly, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:
- First put on your glasses, then your hearing aid. The placement of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s harder to adjust. To be certain that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you position it, check in the mirror.
- With both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. It’s going to take some time to make this movement a habit. If you forget to do this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
- Choose the appropriate size BTE before you commit to a purchase. There is the standard version, which can be a little bulky but can still work with glasses. The mini BTE is a fairly new alternative. The portion that fits behind the ear is much smaller for increased comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE devices. Either one will work fine with glasses but find out which style fits you best.
The only solution for those that have a real problem using a BTE hearing aid with glasses would be the ITE or ITC models. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for example, you take off your glasses a lot. Children and people who have smaller ears tend to struggle with this combination, too. If you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid professional you can get a free trial period to see which style fits your lifestyle. Trying the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for you.