Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a way to get these two very important items to play nice? This common question is particularly true if you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? The answer is yes.
There are a few things, for those people who wear glasses, to think about before they buy new hearing aids, though. Use these tips to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
Choosing The Hearing Aids Which Best Fit Your Needs
Whether you wear glasses or not, there are a lot of considerations when shopping for new hearing aids. Hearing aids come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. You can even get them in a stylish color if you want. Today’s advanced hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.
The first step is to determine what types of hearing aids are available. They break down into three basic categories:
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal and has 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 much more advanced. With this model, the main section of the device mounts directly behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit versions are essentially the same setup but without the earmold.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper into the ear, making them almost invisible.
ITE and ITC versions will allow people who wear glasses to avoid many hurdles. Once you decide on the physical style, it’s time to review the features of different hearing aids.
Considering The Features
Ultimately, it’s really the features that should drive your decision as you shop for hearing aids, not the shape. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features constantly change. Some common ones to watch for include:
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy space. For example, if someone is talking to you at a party, you can hear their speech easily despite the noise around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- T-coil – This feature permits you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or at the movies.
Determining the ideal features to suit your lifestyle is the aim. Then the style of the hearing aid can be chosen.
Can You Even Wear BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids with glasses. If you want them to be comfortable you need to wear both of these essential accessories the correct way. Here are some tips:
- Before you make a purchase look closely at the size of the BTE. Although the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. A newer style choice is the mini BTE. The portion that fits behind the ear is much smaller for increased comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes get with the BTE devices. You have to try both styles out to determine which one works best.
- Pulling your glasses off in a forward motion, with both hands, is something you should work on until it’s a habit. It’s going to take time for this to become a habit. Every time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to develop the practice.
- 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 sits a little more rigidly. To be sure that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you position it, look in the mirror.
ITE and ITC styles will be the only solutions for those who can’t wear a BTE device with their glasses. If you of your glasses a lot, as an example, BTE devices will be a real hassle. Children and people who have smaller ears will have difficulty with this combination, too. Most reputable hearing aid sellers offer a trial period, so schedule an appointment to see what device is best for you. Trying out the different styles is the only way you will know which style works best for your needs.