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McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Is it possible to comfortably wear hearing aids at the same time as you are wearing your glasses, although the two don’t seem very compatible? If you are thinking about a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, this typical question is even more relevant. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? Yes is the answer.

If you wear glasses, there are some things to consider when buying hearing aids. Learn the strategies to wearing glasses and hearing aids at the same time.

What Style of Hearing Aids Are Best for You?

There is a lot to think about when you’re shopping for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. Hearing aids come in all styles, shapes, and sizes. You can even get a custom color if you want. Modern hearing aids are not like the ones that grandpa used.

The first thing to do is to determine what types of hearing aids are on the market. They break down into three basic categories:

  • 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 mounts 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 but 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 with nothing mounted behind the ear.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them nearly invisible.

ITE and ITC versions will allow people with glasses to avoid many drawbacks. You can go over the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to choose the right style.

Understanding The Different Features

Ultimately, it’s really the features that should drive your decision as you look for hearing aids, not the shape. Evolving hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Some common ones to look for include:

  • T-coil – This function permits you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or on the radio.
  • Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy location. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you will be able to hear their words easily despite the noise all around you.
  • Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.

Determining the best features to suit your lifestyle is the aim. After that selecting the style should be easy.

Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses

Glasses and BTE hearing aids absolutely can be worn together. If you want them to fit together comfortably you need to wear both of these essential accessories the right way. Here are some tips:

  • Using both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. It will take some time before you get into the habit of taking them off this way. Every time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.
  • First put your glasses on, then your hearing aid. Placement of the hearing aid unit is a little more flexible so you can work it in around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. To be sure that the hearing aid isn’t hanging off your outer ear, after you position it, check in the mirror.
  • Consider the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. There is the traditional version, which can be a little bulky but can still work with glasses. A newer style choice is the mini BTE. The portion that fits behind the ear is much smaller for increased comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE devices. You have to try both styles out to determine which one works best.

There are some people that will need to stick to ITE or ITC models. BTE devices will be a big problem if, for example, you take off your glasses a lot. Children will commonly have problems with this type of hearing aid and also adults with small ears. Which style is best for you can be determined if you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid specialist and take advantage of the free trial. Trying the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for your needs.