Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go very well with one another, but often times both are needed. So what can you do to make them work? This common question is particularly true if you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. People often question whether they can work together comfortably. Yes is the answer.
People who wear glasses should think about some things before investing in new hearing aids. Here’s what you have to know regarding wearing hearing aids and glasses, at the same time.
There Are Several Styles of Hearing Aids That May Work For Your Needs
There is a lot to consider when you’re shopping for hearing aids, whether you wear glasses or not. You can get hearing aids in many shapes, sizes, and styles. You can even get a stylish color if you like. Today’s hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.
Learning exactly what kind of hearing aids are out there is the way to begin the process. They break down into three basic categories:
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this format of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing mounted behind the ear.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them nearly invisible.
- 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 sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are pretty much the same setup except without the earmold.
If you wear glasses, you can steer clear of a lot of issues with ITE and ITC models. The features of your new hearing aid should be reviewed after choosing a style.
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 function allows you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful when 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 spot. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, 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 enhance speech.
Determining the right features to suit your lifestyle is the goal. After that choosing the style should be easy.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
BTE hearing aids can be worn while your wearing glasses. The trick is to wear both of these important accessories properly, so they are comfortable. Here are some tips:
- Pick the correct size BTE before you commit to a purchase. Although the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bulky. A newer style option is the mini BTE. The portion that fits behind the ear is much smaller for enhanced comfort and also to reduce the feedback that you sometimes get with the BTE devices. You have to try out both styles to determine which one works best.
- With both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. It will take some time before you form a habit of removing them like this. If you forget to use this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
- Your hearing aid should be put on only after you put on your glasses. The position of your glasses arm is more fixed than your hearing aid so it’s more difficult to adjust. To be sure that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you place it, check in the mirror.
The only choice for those that have a real problem wearing a BTE hearing aid with glasses would be the ITE or ITC devices. As an example, if you take off your glasses a lot, BTE devices will be a much greater burden. Children and people who have smaller ears will have difficulty with this combination, too. Which style is best for you can be determined if you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid specialist and make use of the free trial. Use this trial to see if you can wear both or not.