Center For Better Hearing - Glens Falls, NY

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Is it even possible to comfortably wear hearing aids while you are also wearing your glasses, even though the two don’t seem very compatible? This typical question is particularly true if you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. People often wonder whether they can work together comfortably. The answer is yes.

People who wear glasses should consider a few things before investing in new hearing aids. Here’s what you have to know regarding wearing hearing aids and glasses, together.

Picking The Hearing Aids That Best Fit Your Needs

There is a lot to think about when you shop for hearing aids, whether you wear glasses or not. You can get hearing aids in many shapes, sizes, and styles. If you like fancy colors, you can get that also. Today’s hearing aids are not like your grandpa’s.

The first thing to do is to find out what kinds of hearing aids are available. 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 far more advanced. With this model, the main section of the device sits 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 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 with nothing mounted behind the ear.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them almost invisible.

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

Considering The Features

Ultimately, it’s really the features that should drive your choice as you look for hearing aids, not the shape. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features change. Watch for some of these common ones:

  • Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy location. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you will be able to hear their words easily despite the noise around you.
  • 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 church or at the movies.
  • Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.

Your aim is to find the right set of features and functions to fit your lifestyle. After that selecting the style should be easy.

Can You Even Use BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?

It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids at the same time as glasses. The secret is to wear both of these important accessories properly, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:

  • Practice taking your glasses off by pulling them forward with both hands instead of pulling them up with one. Taking them off in this way won’t become a habit right away. The practice will be reinforced each time you knock off your hearing aid.
  • First put on your glasses, then put in your hearing aid. The position of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s more difficult to adjust. Check in a mirror after placing the hearing aid so you know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, the outer part of the ear.
  • Consider the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. Even though it’s a little bulky, the standard version will still work with glasses. A newer style choice is the mini BTE. The part that goes behind the ear is a lot 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 see which one works best.

There will be some people who will have to stay with ITE or ITC models. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for instance, you take your glasses off a lot. Children and people who have smaller ears will struggle with this combination, too. Most quality hearing aid sellers will give a trial period, so schedule an appointment to find out what device is best for you. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them.

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