Can I Wear Glasses While Wearing a Hearing Aid?

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses don’t seem to go too well together, but in some cases both are required. So how can you make them get along? This typical question is especially true if you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? The answer is yes.

There are a few things, for those people who wear glasses, to consider before they invest in new hearing aids, though. Here’s what you need to know regarding wearing hearing aids and glasses, at the same time.

What Style of Hearing Aids Are Best for Your Situation?

Even if you don’t wear glasses, there’s a lot to consider when investing in new hearing aids. Styles, shapes, and sizes are all customizations that are available. They even offer them in fancy colors if you’re into that type of thing. Modern hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa used.

Finding out exactly what type of hearing aids are available is the way to start the search. They break down into three basic categories:

  • In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this format of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting behind the ear.
  • 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 model, 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 versions are essentially the same setup but without the earmold.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them pretty much invisible.

If you wear glasses, you can stay away from a lot of issues with ITE and ITC versions. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to choose the right style.

Considering The Features

It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your primary concern when shopping. Features are getting better all of the time as hearing aid technology improves. Watch for some of these common ones:

  • Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
  • T-coil – This function allows you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is useful when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or on the radio.
  • 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 will be able to hear their words clearly in spite of the noise all around you.

Your aim is to determine the best set of features to fit your lifestyle. Then the style of the hearing aid can be selected.

Can You Even Use BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?

BTE hearing aids can be worn with glasses. If you want them to be comfortable you need to wear both of these essential 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 maneuver it around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. After positioning the hearing aid, look in a 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 a little time before you get into the habit of taking them off like this. Every time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to develop the practice.
  • Consider the size of the BTE hearing aids before buying. Despite the fact that it’s a little bit bulky, the standard version will still work with glasses. The mini BTE is a fairly new option. The part that goes behind the ear is a lot smaller for enhanced comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes get with the BTE units. Either of these will work fine with glasses but see which style fits you best.

The only option for those who have a real issue using a BTE device with glasses would be the ITE or ITC models. For example, if you take off your glasses a lot, BTE devices will be a much greater burden. This combination will also be a struggle for people with small ears and for children. Most quality hearing aid sellers will give a trial period, so schedule an appointment to see what model is the right one for you. Trying out the different styles is the only way you will know which style works best for you.

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