Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Hearing aids and glasses don’t seem to go too well with one another, but sometimes both are necessary. So how can you make them work? How to wear both is a question that comes up a lot, especially if you are considering behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. People often question whether they can work together comfortably. The answer is yes.

If you wear glasses, there are some things to consider when purchasing hearing aids. Use these suggestions to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.

What Kind of Hearing Aids Will Work Best for You?

There are quite a few things, in general, to think about when buying new hearing aids. Hearing aids come in all shapes, styles, and sizes. If you like stylish colors, you can get that also. Today’s hearing aids are a lot better than your grandpa’s.

Begin the process by really understanding what styles of hearing aids are available. They break down into three basic categories:

  • In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing mounted behind the ear.
  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) – This is an older style of hearing aid, but today’s version of this technology is far more advanced. With this model, the main section of the device sits right behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are pretty much the same setup except without the earmold.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper into the ear, making them almost invisible.

ITE and ITC models will allow people with glasses to avoid many drawbacks. Once you choose the physical style, it’s time to evaluate the features of different hearing aids.

Learning About The Features

Essentially, it’s really the features that should drive your decision as you look for hearing aids, not the shape. Advancing hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Watch for some of these common ones:

  • Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
  • T-coil – This function enables you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or at the movies.
  • Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy place. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you can hear their speech clearly in spite of the noise all around you.

Your goal is to find the right set of features to fit your lifestyle. Then the style of the hearing aid can be selected.

What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?

BTE hearing aids can be worn while your wearing glasses. If you want them to fit together comfortably 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. It will take time for this to become a habit. The practice will be reinforced every time you knock off your hearing aid.
  • Your hearing aid should be put in only after you put your glasses on. You can maneuver your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. Check in the mirror after positioning the hearing aid so you know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, which is the outer part of the ear.
  • Think about the size of the BTE hearing aids before buying. While the standard size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bit bulky. The mini BTE is a fairly new alternative. Because the behind the ear part is smaller, you get better comfort and a reduced amount of feedback. You have to try out both styles to determine which one works best.

The only choice for those who have a real issue wearing a BTE device with glasses would be the ITE or ITC models. If you take your glasses off frequently, for example, a BTE device will be a real inconvenience. 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 you.