Hearing aids and glasses might seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a way to get these two very necessary accessories to play nice? This typical question is particularly true if you are considering a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? The answer is yes.
People who wear glasses need to think about some factors before purchasing new hearing aids. Learn the secrets to wearing glasses and hearing aids at the same time.
There Are Several Types of Hearing Aids That Might Work For Your Needs
There are quite a few things, in general, to think about when investing in new hearing aids. You can get hearing aids in many sizes, shapes, and styles. If you like fancy colors, you can get that as well. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is gone.
Start the process by really understanding what kinds of hearing aids are on the market. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this style of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing mounted behind the ear.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper into 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 sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are essentially the same setup except without the earmold.
If you wear glasses, you can keep away from a lot of problems with ITE and ITC versions. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to choose a style.
Learning About The Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your prime consideration when researching. Features are changing all of the time as hearing aid technology improves. Watch for some of these common ones:
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- T-coil – This function enables you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or at the movies.
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy space. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you will be able to hear their speech easily despite the noise around you.
Identifying the ideal features to fit your lifestyle is the goal. After that selecting the style should be easy.
What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?
Glasses and BTE hearing aids can be worn together. The secret is to wear both of these important accessories correctly, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:
- Get in the habit of putting on your glasses first and then your hearing aids. You can work the placement of your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. Check in a mirror after placing the hearing aid so you know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, the outer portion of the ear.
- Pick the appropriate size BTE before you commit to a purchase. While the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. The mini BTE is a fairly new alternative. Minimized feedback and increased comfort are gained by making the behind the ear part smaller. You have to try out both styles to see which one works best.
- Taking your glasses off in a forward motion, using both hands, is something you should practice until it becomes a habit. It will take some time for this to become a habit. If you forget to use this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
There are some people that will have to stick to ITE or ITC hearing aids. For example, if you take your glasses off a lot, BTE devices will be a much greater burden. This combination will also be a struggle for people with small ears and for children. 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. Trying out the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for your needs.