Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like oil and water, but is there a way to get these two very important accessories to work together? This common question is particularly true if you are considering a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. The question is, can I use them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.
There are a few things, for people who wear glasses, to consider before they invest in new hearing aids, though. Use these tips to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
There Are Several Types of Hearing Aids That Could Work For Your Situation
There are a lot of things, in general, to think about when purchasing new hearing aids. Size, shape, and style are all customizations that are available. You can even get a cool color if you like. The point is, the days of having to wear hearing aids like your grandpa did is gone.
The first thing to do is to find out what kinds of hearing aids are available. They divide 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 virtually 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 mounted behind the ear.
- 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 sits right behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit versions are essentially the same setup except without the earmold.
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. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to choose the right style.
Learning About The Features
Essentially, it’s really the features that should drive your purchase as you look for hearing aids, not the shape. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features constantly change. Watch for some of these common ones:
- T-coil – This feature allows you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or at the movies.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy location. 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.
Your aim is to determine the ideal set of features and functions to fit your lifestyle. Then the style of the hearing aid can be chosen.
Can You Even Wear BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids with glasses. The secret is to wear both of these essential accessories correctly, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:
- Pulling your glasses off in a forward motion, using both hands, is something you should practice until it’s a habit. Taking them off in this way won’t become a habit right away. Every time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.
- Your hearing aid should be put on after you put on your glasses. You can maneuver your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which is a little more rigid. After placing the hearing aid, check in a mirror to be certain it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
- Before you make a purchase look carefully at the size of the BTE. While the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. The other choice is a relatively new style known as mini BTE. Decreased feedback and improved comfort are gained by making the behind the ear part smaller. You have to try out both styles to find out which one works best.
There will be some people who will have to stay with ITE or ITC devices. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for instance, you take off your glasses a lot. Children and people with really small ears tend to 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. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them.