If I Have a Hearing Aid in, Can I Still Wear my Glasses?

Couple wearing hearing aids with glasses enjoy a vacation.

Is it even possible to comfortably wear hearing aids while you are also wearing your glasses, although the two don’t seem very compatible? How to wear both is a question that is asked a lot, specifically if you are looking at behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Is it even possible to wear them both and still be comfortable? Yes is the answer.

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

Choosing The Hearing Aids That Best Fit Your Needs

There is a lot to consider when you’re shopping for hearing aids, even when you don’t happen to wear glasses. You can get hearing aids in many shapes, sizes, and styles. You can even get a cool color if you like. The point is, the days of having to wear hearing aids like your grandpa did is gone.

Understanding exactly what type of hearing aids are available is the way to start the process. They break down into three basic categories:

  • In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this format of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal with nothing sitting behind the ear.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE model but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them pretty much invisible.
  • 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 versions are essentially the same setup but without the earmold.

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

Understanding The Features

Essentially, it’s really the features that should drive your choice as you shop 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:

  • 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 speech 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 function enables you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is helpful if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at a bingo game or at the movies.

Determining the right features to fit your lifestyle is the aim. At this point, you can decide on the style of hearing aid.

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 important accessories properly, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:

  • Your hearing aid should be put on only after you put on your glasses. 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 from your outer ear, after you position it, check in the mirror.
  • Practice removing your glasses by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. It will take some time before you form a habit of removing them this way. The practice will be reinforced every time you knock off your hearing aid.
  • Select the correct size BTE before you make a purchase. Although it’s a little bulky, the standard version will still work with glasses. The other alternative is a fairly new style called mini BTE. The part that goes behind the ear is much smaller for increased comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes get with the BTE models. You have to try out both styles to see which one works best.

There will be some people that will need to stay with ITE or ITC models. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for instance, you take off your glasses a lot. Children and people with really small ears will struggle with this combination, too. Most quality hearing aid retailers will give a trial period, so schedule an appointment to find out what device is the right one for you. Trying the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for you.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.