Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like oil and water, but is there a means to get these two very necessary accessories to work together? If you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) device, this common question is even more pertinent. Here’s the question, can I use them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.
If you wear glasses, there are some things to consider when buying hearing aids. Learn the secrets to wearing glasses and hearing aids at the same time.
Picking 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. You can even get a cool color if you like. The point is, the days of having to wear hearing aids like your grandpa did is over.
Finding out exactly what kind of hearing aids are out there is the way to begin the search. They break down into three basic categories:
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this format of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing sitting behind the ear.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them pretty much invisible.
- 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 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 basically the same setup except without the earmold.
If you wear glasses, you can steer clear of a lot of issues with ITE and ITC versions. Once you decide on the physical style, it’s time to compare the features of different hearing aids.
Considering The Features
Ultimately, it’s really the features that should drive your decision 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 feature allows 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 a bingo game or on the radio.
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy location. For example, if someone is talking to you at a party, you can hear their speech clearly despite the noise around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
Your goal is to find the best set of features and functions to fit your lifestyle. At that point, you can decide on the style of hearing aid.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
BTE hearing aids can be worn while your wearing glasses. If you want them to fit together comfortably you have to wear both of these important accessories the right way. Here are some tips:
- Think about the size of the BTE hearing aids before buying. Even though the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. The other alternative is a relatively new style called mini BTE. Reduced feedback and increased comfort are gained by making the behind the ear part smaller. The only sure way to tell which one will work best for you is to try them both.
- Pulling your glasses off in a forward motion, with both hands, is something you should practice until it’s a habit. It will take some time before you get into the habit of taking them off like this. Every time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.
- Your hearing aid should be put in 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. To be certain that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you place it, check in the mirror.
There are some people that will have to stay with ITE or ITC devices. BTE devices will be a big problem if, for example, you take off your glasses a lot. Children and people who have really small ears will have difficulty with this combination, too. 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 time to see if you can wear both or not.