If I Have a Hearing Aid in, Can I Still Wear my Glasses?

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses might seem like oil and water, but is there a way to get these two very important accessories to work together? If you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) device, this typical question is even more pertinent. People often wonder whether they can work together comfortably. The answer is yes.

People who wear glasses should think about some factors before purchasing new hearing aids. Learn the secrets to wearing glasses and hearing aids together.

Choosing The Hearing Aids Which Best Serve Your Needs

Whether you wear glasses or not, there’s a lot to consider when purchasing new hearing aids. You can get hearing aids in many styles, shapes, and sizes. They even offer them in stylish colors if you like that type of thing. Today’s hearing aids are not like your grandpa’s.

The first thing to do is to determine what kinds of hearing aids are on the market. They break down into three basic categories:

  • 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 essentially the same setup except without the earmold.
  • 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 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 almost invisible.

There are good and bad points 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 decide on a style.

Learning About The Different Features

Essentially, it’s really the features that should drive your purchase as you look for hearing aids, not the shape. Evolving hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Some common ones to look for include:

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

Your objective is to determine the right set of features to fit your lifestyle. Then the style of the hearing aid can be selected.

What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?

BTE hearing aids can be worn with glasses. If you want them to fit together comfortably you need to wear both of these essential accessories the right way. Here are some tips:

  • Get used to putting on your glasses first and then your hearing aids. Placement of the hearing aid unit is a little more flexible so you can maneuver it around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. After placing the hearing aid, look in a mirror to be sure it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
  • Think about the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. There is the traditional version, which is a little bulky but will still work with glasses. The mini BTE is a relatively new alternative. Because the behind the ear part is smaller, you get increased comfort and a reduced amount of feedback. The only sure way to tell which one will work best for you is to try them both.
  • Practice removing your glasses by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. It will take some time before you get into the habit of taking them off like this. When you forget to do this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will reinforce the practice.

The only option for those who have a real problem using a BTE device with glasses would be the ITE or ITC devices. If you take your glasses off a lot, as an example, a BTE device will be a real hassle. Children and people with smaller ears will struggle with this combination, too. If you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid professional you can get a free trial period to find out which style fits your lifestyle. Trying out the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for you.

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