Hearing aids and glasses most likely seem like oil and water, but is there a means to get these two very essential accessories to work together? If you are considering a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, this typical question is even more relevant. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? The answer is yes.
People who wear glasses need to think about some things before buying new hearing aids. Use these guidelines to be sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
Choosing The Hearing Aids Which 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. You can get hearing aids in many shapes, sizes, and styles. They even offer them in stylish colors if you like that sort of thing. Today’s hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.
Begin the process by really getting to know what styles of hearing aids are available. They break down into three basic categories:
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them nearly invisible.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, 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 way more advanced. With this model, 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 essentially the same setup except without the earmold.
If you wear glasses, you can keep away from a lot of issues with ITE and ITC models. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to decide on a style.
Getting to Know The Different Features
When buying, it’s the features that should be your primary concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Evolving hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Some common ones to watch for include:
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy place. For example, if someone is talking to you at a party, you can hear their speech clearly in spite of the noise all around you.
- T-coil – This feature enables you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or on the radio.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
Your goal is to determine the ideal set of features and functions to fit your lifestyle. Then the style of the hearing aid can be decided on.
What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids at the same time as glasses. The trick is to wear both of these important accessories in the correct way, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:
- Get in the habit of putting on your glasses first and then your hearing aids. You can maneuver your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which is a little more rigid. To be sure that the hearing aid isn’t hanging off your outer ear, after you place it, check in the mirror.
- Before you make an investment look closely at the size of the BTE. While the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bulky. The mini BTE is a relatively new alternative. 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 be best for you is to try them both out.
- Using both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. Taking them off in this way won’t become a habit immediately. When you forget to do this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
The only choice for those that have a real problem wearing a BTE hearing aid with glasses would be the ITE or ITC devices. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for instance, you take off your glasses a lot. 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. Use this trial to see if you can wear both or not.