Have you noticed that, as time and technology have moved on, we stick a lot of things in our ears? Wired earbuds, wireless earbuds, wireless phone earpieces, you name it. Now, people who use hearing aids absolutely have to wear things in and on their ears. And since there is only so much real estate available on the average ear, that tends to raise certain questions. Among them; How do I wear glasses AND my hearing aid?
How, indeed?The obvious answer to some might be one of the many small hearing aids that don’t make use of the outer ear, at all. But those models don’t work for everybody. For instance, some people can’t stand the “plugged up” feeling that can come with in-the-canal (ITC) or in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids. And others, due to the smaller size of their ear canals, can’t fit an ITC in there. Also, if a person is dealing with significant hearing loss, the smaller ITC and ITE models may not have enough power for their needs.
For many, a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid is the only option. But what to do about trying to wear glasses, when you have a hearing aid in the way? There’s good news for anyone asking that question, nowadays. Discreet styling isn’t only for ITC and ITE hearing aids. Today’s BTE technology has been miniaturized to a point where the hearing aid sits almost unnoticeable between the outer ear and the head. There is also something called the miniBTE that is even more discreet.
Another benefit of the BTE is how easy it is to use. The outer shell is much easier to work with than smaller styles, and the simple-to-use controls are easy to access.
Yes, but what about the glasses?
Not to worry. First of all, our hearing health professionals will work with you on meeting your needs, glasses and all. In the meantime, if you like puzzling over such things yourself, here are some interesting practical tips and considerations to keep in mind, should you or a loved one find yourself in a behind-the-ear conundrum.
1. Get glasses and a hearing aid that work well together: If you already have a BTE and find out you need glasses, look into getting wireframes with thin earpieces. If you already wear glasses and find out you need a BTE, ask your hearing health professional to recommend the smallest casing possible for the number of electronics you need.
2. Do things in the right order: Your hearing aid needs to sit between your ear and your glasses, so the glasses need to go on first. Once those are in place, put the hearing aid carefully between the earpiece of your glasses and your outer ear. Adjust both the glasses and hearing aid until they are sitting comfortably and your hearing aid remains snug against your outer ear.
3. Try putting on and taking off your glasses: Get in front of a mirror, but make sure you are standing or sitting on a soft surface, in case your hearing aids fall. Using both hands, practice pulling your glasses off in a straight, forward motion and putting them back on the same way. Moving your glasses up, down, or to one side can easily knock hearing aids off.
4. Practice…a lot: Practicing the on-and-off motion at home, inside, on a soft surface, is a much better alternative to learning as you go and knocking your hearing off onto a hard office floor, into the middle of the street or into some thick backyard foliage. Eventually, you will develop the perfect motion for your needs. The muscle memory you develop by practicing will make all the difference.
If you already have an eyeglasses/hearing aid issue, make an appointment to come in and talk to us about it. We’ve seen these problems before and we’ll be glad to help sort yours out. And if it’s been a while since your last hearing test, we strongly recommend scheduling one of those, too. If we find your hearing aid needs an adjustment, we can take care of that while you’re here.