Can Glasses be Comfortably Worn With Hearing Aids?

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses don’t seem to go too well with one another, but in some cases both are needed. So how can you make them get along? How to wear both is a question that comes up a lot, especially if you are looking at behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. The question is, can I use them both comfortably? The answer is yes.

Before picking out hearing aids, there are a few things to give consideration to if you wear glasses. Here’s what you have to know when it comes to wearing hearing aids and glasses, with each other.

There Are a Few Types of Hearing Aids That Might Work For Your Situation

Whether you wear glasses or not, there’s a lot to consider when shopping for new hearing aids. Hearing aids come in all sizes, styles, and shapes. If you like fancy colors, you can get that also. Modern high tech hearing aids are not like the ones that grandpa had.

The first thing to do is to find out what kinds of hearing aids are on the market. They divide into three basic categories:

  • 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 much 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.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper into the ear, making them almost invisible.

There are advantages and drawbacks to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of issues. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to choose a style.

Understanding The Features

When shopping, it’s the features that should be your number one concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features constantly change. Watch for some of these common ones:

  • 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 instance, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you can hear their speech easily in spite of the noise 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 on the radio.

Determining the right features to suit your lifestyle is the goal. Then the style of the hearing aid can be selected.

What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?

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

  • First put on your glasses, then your hearing aid. Positioning of the hearing aid unit is a little more flexible so you can work it in around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. To be certain that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you place it, check in the mirror.
  • Before you make an investment look carefully at the size of the BTE. There is the traditional version, which can be a little bulky but can still work with glasses. The other option is a fairly new style called mini BTE. The portion that goes behind the ear is much smaller for increased comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE models. You have to try both styles out to see which one works best.
  • Taking your glasses off in a forward motion, using both hands, is something you should practice until it’s a habit. It’s going to take time for this to become a habit. Every time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.

There will be some people who will have to stay with ITE or ITC devices. For instance, if you take your glasses off a lot, BTE devices will be a much bigger hassle. This combination will also be a struggle for people with small ears and for children. Most reputable hearing aid sellers offer a trial period, so schedule an appointment to see what model is best for you. Trying out the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for you.

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