Hearing aids and glasses most likely seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a means to get these two very essential items to play nice? This common question is specifically true if you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? The answer is yes.
If you wear glasses, there are some things to consider when getting hearing aids. Here’s what you have to know about wearing hearing aids and glasses, together.
Picking The Hearing Aids That Best Serve Your Needs
There are a lot of factors, in general, to consider when purchasing new hearing aids. Shape, size, and style are all customizations that are available. They even offer them in stylish colors if you’re into that type of thing. Today’s advanced hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.
Finding out exactly what type of hearing aids are out there is the way to start the search. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them virtually 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 style, 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 versions are pretty much the same setup except without the earmold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this format of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting behind the ear.
There are positives and negatives to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of problems. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to decide on the right style.
Understanding The Features
When purchasing, it’s the features that should be your number one concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Evolving hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Some common ones to watch for include:
- T-coil – This feature enables you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or on the radio.
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy spot. For example, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you can hear their words clearly in spite of the noise around you.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
Determining the best features to fit your lifestyle is the objective. Then the style of the hearing aid can be chosen.
What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?
BTE hearing aids can be worn while your wearing glasses. The secret is to wear both of these essential accessories in the correct way, so they are comfortable. Here are some tips:
- Taking 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 some time to make this movement a habit. The practice will be reinforced every time you knock off your hearing aid.
- Before you make an investment look carefully at the size of the BTE. Despite the fact that it’s a little bulky, the standard version will still work with glasses. The other choice is a relatively new style known as mini BTE. Because the behind the ear portion is smaller, you get greater comfort and a reduced amount of feedback. You have to try out both styles to see which one works best.
- First put your glasses on, then put in your hearing aid. You can work the placement of your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. To be certain that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you place it, look in the mirror.
ITE and ITC styles are the only choices for those people that can’t use a BTE device with their glasses. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for instance, you take your glasses off a lot. Children will commonly have trouble with this type of hearing aid and also adults with small ears. Which style is best for you can be determined if you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid specialist and take advantage of the free trial. Use this time to determine if you can wear both or not.