Hearing Services of Nashville

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a means to get these two very essential accessories to work together? This common question is specifically true if you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. The question is, can I wear them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.

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

There Are Several Types of Hearing Aids That Could Work For Your Needs

There is a lot to think about when you shop for hearing aids, whether you wear glasses or not. Styles, sizes, and shapes are all customizations that are readily available. If you like stylish colors, you can get that as well. Today’s hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.

Finding out exactly what type of hearing aids are on the market is the way to begin the process. They break down 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 sitting behind the ear.
  • 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 mounts 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.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them almost invisible.

If you wear glasses, you can stay clear of a lot of problems with ITE and ITC models. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to decide on a style.

Considering The Features

Ultimately, it’s really the features that should drive your purchase as you shop 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 enables you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or at the movies.
  • Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
  • Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy place. For example, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you will be able to hear their words easily despite the noise all around you.

Determining the best features to fit your lifestyle is the goal. At this point, you can decide on the style of hearing aid.

Can You Even Wear BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?

BTE hearing aids can be worn while your wearing glasses. If you want them to be comfortable you have to wear both of these important accessories the proper way. Here are some tips:

  • First put your glasses on, then your hearing aid. You can maneuver your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which is a little more rigid. Look in the mirror after positioning the hearing aid so you will know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, the outer part of the ear.
  • Choose the correct size BTE before you commit to a purchase. Although the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. A newer style option is the mini BTE. Decreased feedback and enhanced comfort are gained by making the behind the ear part smaller. The only certain way to know which one will work best for you is to try them both out.
  • Practice removing your glasses by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. It will take a little time before you get into the habit of taking them off like this. The practice will be reinforced every time you knock off your hearing aid.

The only possibility for those who have a real issue wearing a BTE device with glasses would be the ITE or ITC devices. As an example, if you take your glasses off a lot, BTE devices will be a much bigger hassle. This combination will also be a struggle for people with small ears and for children. If you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid professional you can get a free trial period to see which style is best for you. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them out.

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