Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go very well together, but sometimes both are needed. So how can you make them work? How to wear both is a question that comes up a lot, especially if you are looking at behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Here’s the question, can I wear them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.

There are a few things, for people who wear glasses, to think about before they purchase new hearing aids, though. Here’s what you have to know regarding wearing hearing aids and glasses, together.

What Style of Hearing Aids Are Best for You?

Whether you wear glasses or not, there are a lot of considerations when buying new hearing aids. Styles, shapes, and sizes are all personalizations that are available. If you like fancy colors, you can get that also. Today’s advanced 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 start the process. They divide into three basic categories:

  • 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 model, 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 versions are basically the same setup but without the earmold.
  • In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this format of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing sitting behind the ear.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them nearly invisible.

If you wear glasses, you can keep away from a lot of problems with ITE and ITC models. Once you choose the physical style, it’s time to evaluate the features of different hearing aids.

Considering The Different 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. Some common ones to look for include:

  • T-coil – This feature allows you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful when 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 augment speech.
  • Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy spot. For example, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you will be able to hear their speech clearly despite the noise all around you.

Finding the ideal features to suit your lifestyle is the aim. Then the style of the hearing aid can be decided on.

What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?

It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids with glasses. If you want them to be comfortable you need to wear both of these important accessories the proper way. Here are some tips:

  • Choose the correct size BTE before you make a purchase. Even though the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. A newer style choice is the mini BTE. Because the behind the ear part is smaller, you get better comfort and less feedback. The only certain way to tell which one will work best for you is to try them both out.
  • Get in the habit of putting your glasses on first and then your hearing aids. You can work the placement of your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. After placing the hearing aid, check in a mirror to be certain it’s not hanging off your outer ear.
  • Practice removing your glasses by pulling them forward with both hands instead of pulling them up with one. It will take some time before you form a habit of removing them like this. The practice will be reinforced each time you knock off your hearing aid.

ITE and ITC styles are the only solutions for those people that can’t use a BTE device with their glasses. If you take your glasses off a lot, for instance, a BTE device will be a real hassle. This combination will also be a struggle for people with small ears and for children. 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. Trying out the different styles is the only way you will know which style works best for you.

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