Audiology Specialty Clinic - Sioux Falls, SD

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Is it even possible to comfortably wear hearing aids at the same time as you are wearing your glasses, although the two don’t seem very harmonious? This typical question is particularly true if you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. The question is, can I use them both comfortably? The answer is yes.

There are some things, for people who wear glasses, to think about before they purchase new hearing aids, though. Use these tips 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 think about when you’re shopping for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. You can get hearing aids in many shapes, sizes, and styles. You can even get a fancy color if you like. Modern high tech hearing aids are not like the ones that grandpa wore.

Learning 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 a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper into the ear, making them almost invisible.
  • In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with 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 resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are pretty much the same setup but without the earmold.

There are pros and cons to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of problems. You can go over the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to choose a style.

Considering The Features

It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your main concern when researching. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features constantly change. Watch for some of these common ones:

  • T-coil – This function allows you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or on the radio.
  • Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
  • Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy spot. For example, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you will be able to hear their words clearly in spite of the noise all around you.

Your objective is to determine the right set of features to fit your lifestyle. Then, you can decide 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 trick is to wear both of these essential accessories correctly, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:

  • Your hearing aid should be put in only after you put your glasses on. Positioning of the hearing aid unit is a little bit more flexible so you can maneuver it around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. Check in a mirror after positioning the hearing aid so you know it looks natural and isn’t hanging off your pinna, which is the outer part of the ear.
  • Consider the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. Even though the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. The mini BTE is a relatively new alternative. Minimized feedback and increased comfort are gained by making the behind the ear portion smaller. Either one will work with glasses but see which style fits you best.
  • Using both hands, and in a forward motion, practice taking off your glasses. Taking them off in this way won’t become a habit right away. If you forget to use this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.

The only option for those that have a real issue using a BTE hearing aid with glasses would be the ITE or ITC devices. BTE devices will be a big problem if, for instance, you take off your glasses a lot. Children and people who have smaller ears will have difficulty with this combination, too. Which style is best for you can be determined if you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid specialist and make use of the free trial. Use this time to determine if you can wear both or not.

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