Center for Hearing - Sarasota, FL

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go too well with one another, but sometimes both are required. So what can you do to make them work? If you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, this common 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 should think about some factors before purchasing hearing aids. Learn the secrets to wearing glasses and hearing aids at the same time.

What Style of Hearing Aids Will Work Best for You?

There are quite a few things, in general, to consider when investing in new hearing aids. Styles, shapes, and sizes are all personalizations that are available. You can even get them in fancy colors if you’re into that sort of thing. Today’s hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.

The first thing to do is to determine what kinds of hearing aids are on the market. They divide into three basic categories:

  • 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 pretty much the same setup except without the earmold.
  • 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 format of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing mounted behind the ear.

If you wear glasses, you can keep away from a lot of issues with ITE and ITC versions. Once you decide on the physical style, it’s time to review the features of different hearing aids.

Considering The Features

When shopping, it’s the features that should be your primary concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Advancing hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Watch for some of these common ones:

  • Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
  • Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy spot. For example, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you can hear their speech clearly in spite of the noise 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 church or at the movies.

Identifying the ideal features to suit your lifestyle is the goal. After that picking out the style should be easy.

What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?

BTE hearing aids can be worn with glasses. If you want them to fit together comfortably you need to wear both of these essential accessories the right way. Here are some tips:

  • First put your glasses on, then put in your hearing aid. You can maneuver your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. After placing the hearing aid, look in the mirror to be sure it’s not hanging off your outer ear.
  • Using both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. Taking them off in this way won’t become a habit right away. The practice will be reinforced every time you knock off your hearing aid.
  • Select the appropriate size BTE before you make a purchase. There is the standard version, which is a little bit bulky but can still work with glasses. The other choice is a fairly new style known as mini BTE. Because the behind the ear part is smaller, you get enhanced comfort and less feedback. The only certain way to tell which one will be best for you is to try them both.

ITE and ITC styles are the only possibilities for those people who can’t use a BTE device with their glasses. BTE devices will be a big problem if, for instance, you take off your glasses a lot. Children will typically have trouble with this kind of hearing aid and also adults with small ears. Most quality hearing aid retailers offer a trial period, so schedule an appointment to see what device is best for you. Use this trial to determine if you can wear both or not.

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