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Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go very well together, but in some cases both are necessary. So what can you do to make them work? This common question is particularly true if you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. The question is, can I wear them both comfortably? The answer is yes.

There are some things, for those people who wear glasses, to think about before they buy new hearing aids, though. Use these tips to be sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.

Choosing The Hearing Aids That Best Serve Your Needs

There is a lot to think about when you’re shopping for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. Shape, size, and style are all customizations that are readily available. You can even get them in cool colors if you’re into that sort of thing. Today’s advanced hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.

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

  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them virtually 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 style, the main section of the device sits directly 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 implies, this style of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing sitting behind the ear.

ITE and ITC versions will allow people who wear glasses to avoid many pitfalls. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to choose a style.

Considering The Different Features

Essentially, it’s really the features that should drive your purchase 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:

  • 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 spot. For example, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you can hear their words easily despite the noise around you.
  • T-coil – This function allows you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or on the radio.

Your aim is to determine the ideal set of features and functions to fit your lifestyle. After that picking out the style should be easy.

Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses

Glasses and BTE hearing aids can be worn together. The trick is to wear both of these essential accessories properly, so they are comfortable. Here are some tips:

  • Get in the habit of putting your glasses on first and then your hearing aids. Positioning of the hearing aid unit is a little more flexible so you can maneuver it around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. After placing the hearing aid, look in the mirror to be sure it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
  • Practice taking your glasses off by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. Removing them in this way won’t become a habit immediately. The practice will be reinforced every time you knock off your hearing aid.
  • Before you make an investment look carefully at the size of the BTE. While the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bulky. The other choice is a fairly new style called mini BTE. The portion that fits behind the ear is much smaller for enhanced comfort and also to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE models. The only certain way to tell which one will work best for you is to try them both out.

The only solution for those that have a real issue using a BTE device with glasses would be the ITE or ITC models. For example, if you take your glasses off a lot, BTE devices will be a much bigger hassle. Children will commonly have problems with this kind of hearing aid and also adults with small ears. If you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid professional you can get a free trial period to see which style is best for you. Use this time to determine if you can wear both or not.