Coastal Hearing Aid Center - Encinitas, CA

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go too well together, but sometimes both are needed. So what can you do to make them work? If you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) device, this common question is even more relevant. The question is, can I use them both comfortably? The answer is yes.

There are a few things, for those people who wear glasses, to consider before they buy new hearing aids, though. Learn the secrets to wearing glasses and hearing aids together.

What Style of Hearing Aids Are Best for Your Needs?

There is a lot to think about when you shop for hearing aids, whether you wear glasses or not. Size, shape, and style are all personalizations that are available. If you like fancy colors, you can get that as well. Today’s advanced hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.

The first step 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 far 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 essentially the same setup but without the earmold.
  • In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing mounted behind the ear.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them virtually invisible.

ITE and ITC models will allow people who wear glasses to avoid many pitfalls. Once you choose the physical style, it’s time to evaluate the features of different hearing aids.

Learning About The Features

When purchasing, it’s the features that should be your number one concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Features are getting better 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 enhance speech.
  • Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy place. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you can hear their words easily in spite of the noise around you.
  • T-coil – This feature permits you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or on the radio.

Finding the ideal features to fit your lifestyle is the goal. At that point, you can make a decision on the style of hearing aid.

What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?

It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids at the same time as glasses. The secret is to wear both of these essential accessories in the correct way, so they are comfortable. Here are some tips:

  • 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 form a habit of taking them off like this. When you forget to use this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will reinforce the practice.
  • 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 bulky. A newer style option is the mini BTE. Reduced feedback and increased comfort are gained by making the behind the ear part smaller. You have to try out both styles to determine which one works best.
  • Your hearing aid should be put in after you put your glasses on. You can work the placement of your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. After positioning the hearing aid, check in the mirror to be sure it’s not hanging from your outer ear.

The only possibility for those who have a real problem using a BTE hearing aid with glasses would be the ITE or ITC devices. If you of your glasses a lot, for example, a BTE device will be a real hassle. This combination will also be a hassle for people with small ears and for children. Most reputable hearing aid sellers offer a trial period, so schedule an appointment to see what device is best for you. Trying the different styles is the only way you will know which style works best for you.

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