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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 get along? How to wear both is a question that is asked a lot, particularly if you are looking at behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. People often wonder whether or not they can work together comfortably. Yes is the answer.

People who wear glasses need to consider a few factors before buying new hearing aids. Learn the secrets to wearing glasses and hearing aids at the same time.

There Are Several Styles of Hearing Aids That Might Work For Your Situation

There are quite a few things, in general, to consider when getting new hearing aids. Hearing aids come in all shapes, styles, and sizes. You can even get a stylish color if you like. Today’s hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.

Start the process by really understanding what types of hearing aids are on the market. They divide into three basic categories:

  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) – This is an older style of hearing aid, but today’s version of this technology is much more advanced. With this style, the main section of the device sits directly behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are basically the same setup but 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 and has nothing sitting behind the ear.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper into the ear, making them virtually invisible.

If you wear glasses, you can keep away from a lot of issues with ITE and ITC versions. Once you choose the physical style, it’s time to review the features of different hearing aids.

Learning About The Features

Essentially, it’s really the features that should drive your decision as you shop 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 enhance speech.
  • Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy space. For example, if someone is talking to you at a party, you can hear their speech clearly despite the noise all around you.
  • 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.

Determining the right features to fit your lifestyle is the goal. After that picking out the style should be easy.

Can You Even Use BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?

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

  • Practice taking your glasses off by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. Removing them like this won’t become a habit immediately. The practice will be reinforced every time you knock off your hearing aid.
  • Before you make a purchase look closely at the size of the BTE. Even though it’s a little bit bulky, the standard version will still work with glasses. The other choice is a relatively new style known as mini BTE. The part that fits behind the ear is a lot smaller for enhanced comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes get with the BTE devices. You have to try out both styles to find out which one works best.
  • Your hearing aid should be put on after you put your glasses on. The placement of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s more difficult to adjust. Look in a mirror after positioning the hearing aid so you will know it looks natural and isn’t hanging off your pinna, which is the outer part of the ear.

The only choice for those who have a real issue using a BTE hearing aid with glasses would be the ITE or ITC models. As an 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. Which style is best for you can be determined if you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid specialist and make use of the free trial. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them out.