If I Have a Hearing Aid in, Can I Still Comfortably Put on my Glasses?

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like incompatible opposites, but is there a way to get these two very essential accessories to work together? How to wear both is a question that comes up a lot, especially if you are looking at behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? Yes is the answer.

If you wear glasses, there are certain things to consider when investing in hearing aids. Here’s what you have to know regarding wearing hearing aids and glasses, with each other.

What Kind of Hearing Aids Will Work Best for You?

There is a lot to consider when you’re shopping for hearing aids, whether you wear glasses or not. Shape, style, and size are all customizations that are available. If you like cool colors, you can get that too. Modern high tech hearing aids are not like the ones that grandpa wore.

Begin the process by really getting to know what styles of hearing aids are available. 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 sits right 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.
  • In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting 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 models will allow people with glasses to avoid many pitfalls. You can go over the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to decide on a style.

Getting to Know The 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. Some common ones to look for include:

  • Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
  • T-coil – This feature allows you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful if 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 place. 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.

Identifying the best features to fit your lifestyle is the objective. At this point, you can make a decision on the style of hearing aid.

Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses

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

  • Consider the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. Although the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. A newer style option is the mini BTE. The portion that fits behind the ear is a lot smaller for increased comfort and also to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE units. The only sure way to tell which one will be best for you is to try them both out.
  • Practice taking your glasses off by pulling them forward with both hands instead of pulling them up with one. Removing them like this won’t become a habit right away. The practice will be reinforced each time you knock off your hearing aid.
  • Your hearing aid should be put on after you put on your glasses. You can maneuver your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. Check in the mirror after placing the hearing aid so you know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, the outer portion of the ear.

ITE and ITC styles are the only solutions for those people that can’t wear a BTE device with their glasses. As an example, if you take your glasses off 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 retailers offer a trial period, so schedule an appointment to find out what device is the right one for you. Use this trial to see if you can wear both or not.

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