Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a means to get these two very important items to work together? If you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, this typical question is even more relevant. The question is, can I use them both comfortably? The answer is yes.

People who wear glasses should think about some factors before buying new hearing aids. Use these tips to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.

There Are a Few Types of Hearing Aids That Could Work For Your Needs

There are quite a few factors, in general, to look at when investing in new hearing aids. You can get hearing aids in many styles, shapes, and sizes. If you like fancy colors, you can get that as well. Modern hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa wore.

The first step is to learn what kinds of hearing aids are on the market. They divide into three basic categories:

  • 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 a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them pretty much invisible.
  • 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 style, the main section of the device sits directly behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are essentially the same setup except without the earmold.

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

When shopping, it’s the features that should be your primary concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Evolving hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Some common ones to look for include:

  • 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 space. For example, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you will be able to hear their words clearly despite the noise around you.
  • T-coil – This function permits you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or on the radio.

Finding the ideal features to fit your lifestyle is the objective. After that picking out the style should be easy.

Can You Even Use BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?

BTE hearing aids can be worn with glasses. The secret is to wear both of these essential accessories in the correct way, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:

  • Think about the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. There is the standard version, which can be a little bit bulky but can still work with glasses. The mini BTE is a relatively new alternative. The portion that fits behind the ear is much smaller for enhanced comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE models. You have to try out both styles to see which one works best.
  • First put your glasses on, then your hearing aid. The placement of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s more difficult to adjust. After placing the hearing aid, look in the mirror to be certain it’s not hanging off your outer ear.
  • Pulling your glasses off in a forward motion, using both hands, is something you should work on until it becomes a habit. It will take some time before you get into the habit of taking them off this way. The practice will be reinforced each time you knock off your hearing aid.

The only choice for those that have a real issue wearing a BTE device with glasses would be the ITE or ITC devices. As an example, if you take off your glasses a lot, BTE devices will be a much greater burden. Children and people who have really small ears will struggle with this combination, too. If you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid professional you can get a free trial period to find out which style fits your lifestyle. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them out.