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Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like oil and water, but is there a way to get these two very essential items to play nice? How to wear both is a question that is asked a lot, especially if you are looking at behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Here’s the question, can I use them both comfortably? Yes is the answer.

People who wear glasses should consider some things before investing in new hearing aids. Learn the secrets to wearing glasses and hearing aids at the same time.

There Are a Few Styles of Hearing Aids That Could Work For Your Situation

There are quite a few factors, in general, to consider when getting new hearing aids. You can get hearing aids in many shapes, sizes, and styles. You can even get a stylish color if you like. Modern hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa wore.

The first step is to determine what types 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 directly behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are essentially the same setup except without the earmold.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them almost invisible.
  • In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name suggests, this style of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting behind the ear.

There are advantages and drawbacks to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of problems. The features of your new hearing aid should be considered after deciding on a style.

Learning About The Different Features

When purchasing, it’s the features that should be your primary concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features constantly change. Watch for some of these common ones:

  • T-coil – This feature 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 church or on the radio.
  • Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy location. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a party, you can hear their speech easily despite the noise around you.
  • Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.

Your objective is to find the ideal set of features to fit your lifestyle. Then the style of the hearing aid can be decided on.

What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?

It is possible to wear BTE hearing aids with glasses. The trick is to wear both of these essential accessories in the correct way, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:

  • Select the correct size BTE before you commit to a purchase. Even though the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bulky. A newer style option is the mini BTE. Because the behind the ear part is smaller, you get increased comfort and a reduced amount of feedback. Either one will work fine with glasses but find out which style fits you best.
  • Practice removing your glasses by pulling them forward with both hands instead of pulling them up with one. It’s going to take time to make this movement a habit. When you forget to use this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will reinforce the practice.
  • Get in the habit of putting on your glasses first and then your hearing aids. 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, look in the mirror.

ITE and ITC styles will be the only solutions for those people that can’t use a BTE device with their glasses. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for instance, you take your glasses off a lot. This combination will also be a struggle for people with small ears and for children. Most reputable hearing aid retailers will give a trial period, so schedule an appointment to find out what model is best for you. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them out.