Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like oil and water, but is there a way to get these two very necessary items to work together? This typical question is specifically true if you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. People often question whether they can work together comfortably. Yes is the answer.
People who wear glasses should consider some factors before buying new hearing aids. Use these suggestions to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
What Style of Hearing Aids Will Work Best for You?
There is a lot to consider when you shop for hearing aids, whether you wear glasses or not. You can get hearing aids in many Styles, sizes, and shapes. You can even get them in cool colors if you like that sort of thing. Modern hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa used.
Start the process by really learning about what types of hearing aids are out there. 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 almost invisible.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this style of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal with nothing mounted behind the ear.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) – This is an older style of hearing aid, but today’s version of this technology is much more advanced. With this model, the main section of the device mounts right behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are pretty much the same setup except without the earmold.
There are advantages and drawbacks to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of issues. Once you decide on the physical style, it’s time to evaluate the features of different hearing aids.
Learning About The Features
It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your main concern when researching. Evolving hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Watch for some of these common ones:
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- T-coil – This function allows you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or at the movies.
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy space. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you can hear their words easily in spite of the noise all around you.
Determining the right features to fit your lifestyle is the objective. After that choosing the style should be easy.
What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?
It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids at the same time as glasses. If you want them to fit together comfortably you need to wear both of these important accessories the right way. Here are some tips:
- Practice taking your glasses off by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. It’s going to take some time for this to become a habit. The practice will be reinforced each time you knock off your hearing aid.
- First put on your glasses, then put in your hearing aid. The position of your glasses arm is more fixed than your hearing aid so it’s harder to adjust. After placing the hearing aid, look in a mirror to be sure it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
- Pick the correct size BTE before you commit to a purchase. There is the standard version, which is a little bulky but can still work with glasses. A newer style choice is the mini BTE. Decreased feedback and increased comfort are gained by making the behind the ear portion smaller. The only sure way to tell which one will work best for you is to try them both.
There are some people that will have to stay with ITE or ITC hearing aids. If you take your glasses off frequently, as an example, BTE devices will be a real hassle. Children will typically have problems with this kind 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 trial to see if you can wear both or not.