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Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses don’t appear to go very well with one another, but sometimes both are necessary. So how can you make them get along? This common question is especially true if you are considering a behind-the-ear (BTE) model. People often ask whether they can work together comfortably. Yes is the answer.

There are some things, for those people who wear glasses, to consider before they invest in new hearing aids, though. Use these guidelines to be sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.

What Kind of Hearing Aids Will Work Best for You?

There are quite a few factors, in general, to think about when getting new hearing aids. Hearing aids come in all sizes, shapes, and styles. They even offer them in cool colors if you like that sort of thing. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is gone.

Start your research by really getting to know what types of hearing aids are available. 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 right 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 except without the earmold.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE model but it sits deeper into the ear, making them pretty much invisible.
  • In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this format of hearing aid fits right into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing sitting behind the ear.

If you wear glasses, you can stay clear of a lot of problems with ITE and ITC models. The features of your new hearing aid should be considered after deciding on a style.

Learning About The Features

It’s really the features not the shape of the hearing aid that should be your primary concern when researching. Advancing hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Some common ones to watch for include:

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

Your aim is to find the best set of features and functions to fit your lifestyle. After that selecting the style should be easy.

What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?

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

  • First put on your glasses, then your hearing aid. You can maneuver your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. After positioning the hearing aid, check in a mirror to be sure it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
  • With both hands, and in a forward motion, practice taking off your glasses. It will take some time before you get into the habit of removing them this way. If you forget to do this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will reinforce the practice.
  • Select the appropriate size BTE before you make a purchase. There is the traditional version, which can be a little bit bulky but will still work with glasses. The mini BTE is a relatively new option. Reduced feedback and improved comfort are gained by making the behind the ear portion smaller. The only sure way to know which one will be best for you is to try them both.

ITE and ITC styles are the only solutions for those who can’t wear a BTE device with their glasses. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for example, you take your glasses off a lot. This combination will also be a struggle for people with small ears and for children. 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. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them.