Hearing aids and glasses might seem like oil and water, but is there a means to get these two very essential items to work together? This common question is especially true if you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. People often ask whether they can work together comfortably. Yes is the answer.
People who wear glasses should consider some things before purchasing new hearing aids. Here’s what you have to know when it comes to wearing hearing aids and glasses, with each other.
Picking The Hearing Aids Which Best Fit Your Needs
There is a lot to consider when you shop for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. You can get hearing aids in many shapes, sizes, and styles. You can even get a custom color if you like. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is gone.
Learning exactly what type of hearing aids are out there is the way to begin the process. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting behind the ear.
- 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 sits right 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-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE model but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them nearly invisible.
If you wear glasses, you can keep away from a lot of problems with ITE and ITC versions. The features of your new hearing aid should be reviewed after deciding on a style.
Learning About The Different Features
Essentially, it’s really the features that should drive your choice as you shop for hearing aids, not the shape. Evolving hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Some common ones to look for include:
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy space. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you can hear their words easily despite the noise around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
- T-coil – This feature enables you to hear better while using 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.
Finding the right features to suit your lifestyle is the objective. After that choosing the style should be easy.
Can You Even Wear BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?
BTE hearing aids can be worn with glasses. The secret is to wear both of these important accessories in the correct way, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:
- Practice removing your glasses by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. It’s going to take some time to make this movement a habit. When you forget to do this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
- Consider the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. While the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bulky. The other choice is a relatively new style called mini BTE. The part that fits behind the ear is a lot smaller for enhanced comfort and also to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE devices. The only sure way to tell which one will be best for you is to try them both out.
- Get used to putting on your glasses first and then your hearing aids. You can maneuver your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. Look in the mirror after positioning the hearing aid so you will know it looks natural and isn’t hanging off your pinna, the outer part of the ear.
There are some people that will need to stick to ITE or ITC hearing aids. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for instance, you take your glasses off a lot. This combination will also be a hassle for people with small ears and for children. If you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid professional you can get a free trial period to see which style is best for you. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them.