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 play nice? How to wear both is a question that is asked a lot, particularly if you are thinking about behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? Yes is the answer.

People who wear glasses should consider a few things before investing in hearing aids. Here’s what you need to know about wearing hearing aids and glasses, at the same time.

Picking The Hearing Aids Which Best Serve Your Needs

There is a lot to think about when you shop for hearing aids, whether you wear glasses or not. You can get hearing aids in many sizes, styles, and shapes. If you like cool colors, you can get that as well. Today’s advanced hearing aids are not like your grandpa’s.

The first thing to do is to determine what kinds of hearing aids are on the market. 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 far 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 versions are pretty much the same setup but without the earmold.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them virtually invisible.
  • In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this format of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing mounted behind the ear.

If you wear glasses, you can steer clear of a lot of problems with ITE and ITC models. Once you choose the physical style, it’s time to compare the features of different hearing aids.

Considering The Features

When buying, it’s the features that should be your number one concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Features are changing all of the time as hearing aid technology improves. Some common ones to watch for include:

  • Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy place. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you can hear their words easily in spite of the noise all around you.
  • Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
  • T-coil – This feature permits 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 a bingo game or at the movies.

Finding the right features to fit your lifestyle is the aim. Then, you can decide on the style of hearing aid.

Can You Even Use BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses?

BTE hearing aids can be worn with glasses. The secret is to wear both of these important accessories in the correct way, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:

  • Choose the correct size BTE before you make a purchase. Even though the traditional size will still work with glasses, it’s a little bulky. A newer style option is the mini BTE. The part that fits behind the ear is a lot smaller for enhanced comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE devices. You have to try out both styles to find out which one works best.
  • Get in the habit of putting your glasses on first and then your hearing aids. You can maneuver your hearing aid around the arm of your glasses which sits a little more rigidly. Look in a mirror after positioning the hearing aid so you will know it looks discrete and isn’t hanging off your pinna, the outer part of the ear.
  • Taking your glasses off in a forward motion, using both hands, is something you should practice until it’s a habit. It will take time for this to become a habit. Each time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.

The only possibility for those that have a real problem 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 bigger hassle. Children will typically have trouble with this kind 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. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them.