Can Hearing Aids be Worn With Glasses?
The Hearing Clinic - Scarborough, ON

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go very well together, but often times both are necessary. So how can you make them get along? This typical question is specifically true if you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. The question is, can I wear them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.

People who wear glasses should think about a few things before purchasing hearing aids. Use these guidelines to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.

Picking The Hearing Aids Which Best Serve Your Needs

Whether you wear glasses or not, there’s a lot to consider when purchasing new hearing aids. Shape, style, and size are all customizations that are readily available. If you like cool colors, you can get that also. Today’s hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.

Learning exactly what kind of hearing aids are on the market is the way to begin the search. They break down into three basic categories:

  • In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal and has 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 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 sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit versions are pretty much the same setup except without the earmold.

ITE and ITC versions will allow people with glasses to avoid many pitfalls. Once you choose the physical style, it’s time to review the features of different hearing aids.

Learning About The Different Features

Ultimately, 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. Some common ones to watch for include:

  • T-coil – This function permits 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 on the radio.
  • Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy space. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a party, you will be able to hear their words clearly despite the noise around you.
  • Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.

Finding the best features to fit your lifestyle is the goal. Then the style of the hearing aid can be decided on.

What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?

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

  • First put your glasses on, then your hearing aid. Positioning of the hearing aid unit is a little bit more flexible so you can maneuver it around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. To be sure that the hearing aid isn’t hanging from your outer ear, after you place it, look in the mirror.
  • Practice taking your glasses off by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. It will take some time before you form a habit of removing them like this. When you forget to do this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will help reinforce the practice.
  • Pick the appropriate size BTE before you commit to a purchase. There is the traditional version, which is a little bulky but will still work with glasses. The mini BTE is a fairly new option. Minimized feedback and increased comfort are gained by making the behind the ear part smaller. Either of these will work with glasses but see which style fits you best.

There are some people who will have to stick to ITE or ITC devices. If you take your glasses off a lot, for example, BTE devices will be a real hassle. Children will usually have problems with this type 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 find out which style fits your lifestyle. Trying out the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for you.

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