Can I Wear Hearing Aids When I Have my Glasses on?

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses might seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a way to get these two very essential items to work together? How to wear both is a question that comes up a lot, particularly if you are looking at behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? The answer is yes.

There are a few things, for people who wear glasses, to consider before they buy new hearing aids, though. Use these suggestions to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.

There Are Several Types of Hearing Aids That Could Work For Your Situation

There is a lot to think about when you’re shopping for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. Hearing aids come in all sizes, shapes, and styles. If you like cool colors, you can get that as well. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is gone.

Finding out exactly what kind of hearing aids are out there is the way to begin the process. They divide into three basic categories:

  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them almost invisible.
  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) – This is an older style of hearing aid, but today’s version of this technology is far 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 basically the same setup except 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 with nothing mounted behind the ear.

There are positives and negatives to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of issues. Once you choose the physical style, it’s time to review the features of different hearing aids.

Learning About The Features

It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your prime consideration when shopping. Features are changing all of the time as hearing aid technology evolves. 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 useful if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or on the radio.
  • Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
  • Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy location. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you can hear their speech easily despite the noise around you.

Determining the ideal features to suit your lifestyle is the aim. Then the style of the hearing aid can be chosen.

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 have to wear both of these important accessories the proper way. Here are some tips:

  • Select the appropriate 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. Minimized feedback and increased comfort are gained by making the behind the ear portion smaller. You have to try both styles out to find out which one works best.
  • Your hearing aid should be put in after you put on your glasses. The position of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s harder to adjust. Look in a mirror after placing the hearing aid so you will know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, which is the outer part of the ear.
  • Taking your glasses off in a forward motion, with both hands, is something you should practice until it’s a habit. It will take some time before you form a habit of taking them off this way. Each time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.

The only option for those that have a real problem using a BTE hearing aid with glasses would be the ITE or ITC models. If you of your glasses a lot, for example, a BTE device will be a real hassle. Children will usually have trouble with this type 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 make use of the free trial. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them.

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