Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go very well with one another, but sometimes both are needed. So how can you make them work? If you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, this typical question is even more pertinent. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? Yes is the answer.
If you wear glasses, there are certain things to consider when buying hearing aids. Use these suggestions to be sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
Picking The Hearing Aids Which Best Serve Your Needs
There are quite a few things, in general, to consider when purchasing new hearing aids. Styles, sizes, and shapes are all personalizations that are readily available. If you like fancy colors, you can get that also. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is gone.
Finding out exactly what type 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 very much like the ITE model but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them virtually invisible.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this style of hearing aid fits right 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 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.
If you wear glasses, you can stay clear of a lot of issues with ITE and ITC versions. The features of your new hearing aid should be considered after deciding on a style.
Understanding The Different Features
When shopping, it’s the features that should be your primary concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features constantly change. Watch for some of these common ones:
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- T-coil – This feature enables you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful 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 instance, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you will be able to hear their words clearly in spite of the noise around you.
Your objective is to determine the right set of features to fit your lifestyle. After that selecting the style should be easy.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids at the same time as glasses. If you want them to fit together comfortably you need to wear both of these important accessories the proper way. Here are some tips:
- Taking your glasses off in a forward motion, with both hands, is something you should practice until it becomes a habit. Removing them in this way won’t become a habit immediately. If you forget to do this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
- Get used to 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 maneuver it around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. Look in a mirror after placing the hearing aid so you know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, which is the outer part of the ear.
- Before you make a purchase look carefully at the size of the BTE. Although it’s a little bulky, the traditional version will still work with glasses. A newer style choice is the mini BTE. The part that fits behind the ear is a lot smaller for enhanced comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes get with the BTE units. The only certain way to know which one will work best for you is to try them both out.
There are some people that will need to stick to ITE or ITC devices. If you of your glasses frequently, as an example, a BTE device will be a real inconvenience. Children will commonly have trouble with this type 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 which style works best for you.