Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a way to get these two very essential accessories to work together? This typical question is specifically true if you are considering a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? Yes is the answer.
Before purchasing new hearing aids, there are some things to consider if you wear glasses. Here’s what you need to know about wearing hearing aids and glasses, with each other.
What Style of Hearing Aids Are Best for Your Needs?
There is a lot to think about when you shop for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. Size, shape, and style are all personalizations that are available. You can even get them in a stylish color if you like. Modern high tech hearing aids are not like the ones that grandpa used.
Begin your research by really understanding what styles of hearing aids are available. They break down into three basic categories:
- 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 model, 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 versions are basically the same setup except without the earmold.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them almost invisible.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this style of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing sitting behind the ear.
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 compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to decide on the right style.
Understanding The Different Features
When purchasing, it’s the features that should be your primary concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features change. Watch for some of these common ones:
- T-coil – This function allows you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or on the radio.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy place. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a party, you can hear their words easily in spite of the noise all around you.
Identifying the ideal features to fit your lifestyle is the goal. After that selecting the style should be easy.
What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?
BTE hearing aids can be worn with glasses. If you want them to fit together comfortably you need to wear both of these important accessories the proper way. Here are some tips:
- Your hearing aid should be put on after you put your glasses on. Positioning of the hearing aid unit is a little more flexible so you can maneuver it around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. After placing the hearing aid, look in a mirror to be sure it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
- Taking your glasses off in a forward motion, with both hands, is something you should work on until it becomes a habit. Removing them like this won’t become a habit right away. Each time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to develop the practice.
- Consider the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. Despite the fact that it’s a little bulky, the standard version will still work with glasses. A newer style option is the mini BTE. Reduced feedback and increased comfort are gained by making the behind the ear part smaller. The only certain way to know which one will work best for you is to try them both.
ITE and ITC styles will be the only possibilities for those people who can’t use a BTE device with their glasses. For instance, if you take your glasses off a lot, BTE devices will be a much bigger hassle. Children and people who have really small ears will have difficulty with this combination, too. Most reputable hearing aid retailers will give a trial period, so schedule an appointment to find out what device is the right one for you. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them out.