Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go too well together, but sometimes both are necessary. So how can you make them work? This common question is particularly true if you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. The question is, can I wear them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.
People who wear glasses need to consider some things before buying new hearing aids. Here’s what you need to know regarding wearing hearing aids and glasses, with each other.
Picking The Hearing Aids That Best Serve Your Needs
There are quite a few factors, in general, to consider when getting new hearing aids. Shape, style, and size are all personalizations that are readily available. If you like fancy colors, you can get that too. Modern high tech hearing aids are not like the ones that grandpa wore.
Understanding exactly what type of hearing aids are available is the way to start the process. They break down into three basic categories:
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them almost 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 style, the main section of the device sits 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 but without the earmold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this format of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing mounted behind the ear.
ITE and ITC models will allow people who wear glasses to avoid many drawbacks. The features of your new hearing aid should be considered after choosing a style.
Getting to Know The Features
When shopping, it’s the features that should be your number one 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:
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy place. For example, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you will be able to hear their words easily despite the noise all around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- T-coil – This function permits you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or on the radio.
Your goal is to determine the best set of features to fit your lifestyle. After that choosing the style should be easy.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
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:
- Before you make an investment look carefully at the size of the BTE. While the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. The other choice is a relatively new style known as mini BTE. Reduced feedback and enhanced comfort are gained by making the behind the ear portion smaller. You have to try both styles out to see which one works best.
- Your hearing aid should be put on only after you put on your glasses. You can work the placement of your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. To be certain that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you position it, check in the mirror.
- Practice taking your glasses off by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. Taking them off in this way won’t become a habit right away. The practice will be reinforced every time you knock off your hearing aid.
ITE and ITC styles will be the only choices for those people who can’t use a BTE device with their glasses. 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 make use of the free trial. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them out.