Cedar Audiology Associates - Cleveland, OH

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go very well together, but in some cases both are necessary. So what can you do to make them work? If you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) device, this typical question is even more relevant. People often question whether or not they can work together comfortably. Yes is the answer.

People who wear glasses should consider some factors before purchasing hearing aids. Use these suggestions to be sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.

Choosing The Hearing Aids That Best Fit Your Needs

There are quite a few things, in general, to consider when purchasing new hearing aids. You can get hearing aids in many sizes, styles, and shapes. You can even get them in stylish colors if you like that type of thing. Modern high tech hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa used.

Finding out exactly what type of hearing aids are out there is the way to begin the search. They break down into three basic categories:

  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper into the ear, making them nearly invisible.
  • In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this format of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal and has 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 way more advanced. With this style, the main section of the device mounts directly 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.

If you wear glasses, you can stay away from a lot of issues with ITE and ITC models. The features of your new hearing aid should be considered after choosing a style.

Getting to Know The Features

Ultimately, it’s really the features that should drive your purchase as you shop for hearing aids, not the shape. 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 enhance speech.
  • Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy location. For example, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you can hear their words clearly in spite of the noise all around you.
  • T-coil – This feature allows 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.

Your goal is to find the ideal set of features and functions to fit your lifestyle. After that selecting the style should be easy.

Can You Even Use BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?

Glasses and BTE hearing aids absolutely can be worn together. The trick is to wear both of these important accessories in the correct way, so they are comfortable. Here are some tips:

  • Before you make an investment look carefully at the size of the BTE. Although the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. A newer style option is the mini BTE. The portion that fits behind the ear is a lot smaller for enhanced comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes get with the BTE units. The only sure way to tell which one will work best for you is to try them both.
  • 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. Look in a mirror after placing the hearing aid so you will know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, the outer portion of the ear.
  • With both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. It’s going to take time to make this movement a habit. If you forget to use this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will reinforce the practice.

There will be some people who will have to stay with ITE or ITC hearing aids. If you take your glasses off a lot, for example, BTE devices will be a real inconvenience. Children will usually have problems with this kind of hearing aid and also adults with small ears. Most quality hearing aid retailers offer a trial period, so schedule an appointment to find out what model is the right one for you. Trying the different styles is the only way you will know which style works best for you.

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