Hearing aids and glasses don’t seem to go too well together, but sometimes both are necessary. So what can you do to make them work? How to wear both is a question that comes up a lot, specifically if you are thinking about behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. People often question whether wearing a hearing aid with glasses will be comfortable. Yes is the answer.

People who wear glasses should think about some factors before investing in new hearing aids. Learn the secrets to wearing glasses and hearing aids at the same time.

Wearing A Hearing Aid With Glasses

There is a lot to think about when you’re shopping for hearing aids, whether you wear glasses or not. You can get hearing aids in many sizes, styles, and shapes. You can even get a fancy color if you want. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is gone.

The first step is to find out 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 versions are pretty much the same setup but without the earmold.
  • In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this style of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal with 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 almost invisible.

If you wear glasses, you can stay away from a lot of problems with ITE and ITC models. 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

It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your main consideration when researching. Features are changing all of the time as hearing aid technology improves. Some common ones to watch for include:

  • Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
  • T-coil – This function permits 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 on the radio.
  • 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 speech clearly in spite of the noise all around you.

Determining the best features to fit your lifestyle is the aim. Then the style of the hearing aid can be decided on.

What If You Want BTE Hearing Aids?

Glasses and BTE hearing aids can be worn together. If you want them to be comfortable you need to wear both of these essential accessories the correct way. Here are some tips:

  • Before you make a purchase look closely at the size of the BTE. Even though it’s a little bit bulky, the traditional version will still work with glasses. The other alternative is a fairly new style known as mini BTE. The portion that goes behind the ear is much smaller for enhanced comfort and also to reduce the feedback that you sometimes get with the BTE models. You have to try both styles out to determine which one works best.
  • Get in the habit of putting your glasses on first and then your hearing aids. The placement of the hearing aid unit is a little bit more flexible so you can work it in around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. To be sure that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you position it, check in the mirror.
  • Using both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. It will take a little time before you form a habit of taking them off this way. Each time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to develop the practice.

There will be some people who will need to stay with ITE or ITC models. BTE devices will be a big problem if, for example, you take off your glasses a lot. Children will commonly 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 time to see if you can wear both or not.

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Dr Kimberly Bonney Au.D.

Dr. Kimberly Bonney Au.D., graduated with her Master’s Degree in 2001 from CSU Sacramento and worked at a non-profit hearing center in Sacramento. She then began working as an educational audiologist in Placer and Nevada County schools where she found working with children who were deaf and hard of hearing to be very rewarding. After she graduated from Salus University with her Doctor of Audiology degree, Dr Bonney bought the first Gold Country Hearing location.