Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like oil and water, but is there a way to get these two very necessary accessories to play nice? If you are considering a behind-the-ear (BTE) device, this common question is even more pertinent. The question is, can I use them both comfortably? The answer is yes.
There are some things, for those people who wear glasses, to think about before they invest in new hearing aids, though. Use these tips to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
There Are a Few Styles of Hearing Aids That Could Work For Your Situation
There are quite a few factors, in general, to think about when getting new hearing aids. Hearing aids come in all shapes, styles, and sizes. You can even get a cool color if you want. Modern hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa had.
Start your research by really learning about what types 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 inside 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 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 models are basically 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 sitting behind the ear.
ITE and ITC models will allow people who wear glasses to avoid many hurdles. The features of your new hearing aid should be reviewed after deciding on a 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 change. Watch for some of these common ones:
- T-coil – This function allows you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church 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 place. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you can hear their speech clearly despite the noise around you.
Determining the right features to fit your lifestyle is the goal. After that choosing the style should be easy.
What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?
Glasses and BTE hearing aids can be worn together. The trick is to wear both of these essential accessories in the correct way, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:
- Using both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. It will take a little time before you get into the habit of removing them this way. Each time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.
- Think about the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. There is the traditional version, which is a little bit bulky but will still work with glasses. The other choice is a fairly new style called mini BTE. Reduced feedback and improved comfort are gained by making the behind the ear part smaller. The only certain way to tell which one will work best for you is to try them both out.
- Your hearing aid should be put in only after you put on your glasses. Placement 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. After positioning the hearing aid, check in a mirror to be certain it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
There are some people who will have to stay with ITE or ITC models. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for example, you take your glasses off a lot. Children will commonly have problems with this kind of hearing aid and also adults with small ears. 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. Trying the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for your needs.