Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a means to get these two very essential items to work together? If you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, this common question is even more pertinent. Here’s the question, can I wear them both comfortably? The answer is yes.
Before picking out new hearing aids, there are some things to think about if you wear glasses. Here’s what you have to know when it comes to wearing hearing aids and glasses, together.
Picking The Hearing Aids That Best Serve Your Needs
There is a lot to think about when you shop for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. Hearing aids come in all shapes, styles, and sizes. They even offer them in cool colors if you’re into that type of thing. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is gone.
Finding out exactly what kind of hearing aids are on the market is the way to start the search. They break down into three basic categories:
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper into 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 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 suggests, this style of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal with nothing mounted behind the ear.
ITE and ITC models will allow people with glasses to avoid many pitfalls. The features of your new hearing aid should be considered after deciding on a style.
Considering The Different Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your main consideration when shopping. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features constantly change. Watch for some of these common ones:
- T-coil – This feature enables you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or at the movies.
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy space. For example, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you can hear their words clearly in spite of the noise around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
Your objective is to determine the ideal set of features and functions to fit your lifestyle. Then the style of the hearing aid can be chosen.
What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?
Glasses and BTE hearing aids can be worn together. If you want them to be comfortable you have to wear both of these essential accessories the correct way. Here are some tips:
- Get in the habit of putting your glasses on first and then your hearing aids. Positioning of the hearing aid unit is a little bit more flexible so you can work it in around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. To be certain that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you place it, look in the mirror.
- Think about the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. There is the standard version, which is a little bit bulky but will still work with glasses. A newer style choice is the mini BTE. Because the behind the ear portion is smaller, you get enhanced comfort and a reduced amount of feedback. The only certain way to tell 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 up with one. It’s going to take time for this to become a habit. When you forget to do this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will reinforce the practice.
There will be some people who will have to stick to ITE or ITC models. If you of your glasses frequently, for example, BTE devices will be a real inconvenience. This combination will also be a hassle for people with small ears and for children. Which style is best for you can be determined if you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid specialist and take advantage of the free trial. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them out.