Best Hearing Aids for People Who Wear Glasses: The Pros and Cons of Different Types

Hearing loss is a common problem among many people, and wearing hearing aids is a solution many people opt for. However, the challenge arises when it comes to wearing hearing aids with glasses. Fortunately, the popularity of Receiver-in-canal (RIC) devices has made it easier for individuals to wear hearing aids with glasses, but if it doesn’t work in-the-ear options are available.

The Popularity of RIC Devices (even with glasses)

The popularity of receiver-in-the-ear (RIC) devices has been on the rise, and they are now the most popular type of hearing aid available in the market. RIC devices are built with the components of the hearing aid sitting on top of the ear (next to the glasses) and then a small wire that travels down into the ear canal to amplify the sound.

RICs are suitable for most people with mild to profound hearing loss. They are comfortable, small, and discreet, offering good sound quality that makes hearing more comfortable and enjoyable.

Advantages of Wearing RIC Devices with Glasses

RIC devices are ideal for people who wear glasses as they are smaller than BTE devices and do not interfere with glasses most of the time. You may expect to hear the glasses tapping on the hearing aids when you put your glasses on but otherwise, there is a little problem.

RIC devices are customizable for individual hearing needs, making them suitable for people with small ear canals, allergies, or excessive earwax. The customization process involves adjusting the device’s settings to ensure that it meets the individual’s specific hearing needs. This customization ensures that the individual gets the best hearing experience while wearing their hearing aids.

RICs are also the first to be updated by each manufacturer means you get the latest technology and have the most access to Bluetooth and accessories..

Steps to Wear BTE/RIC Hearing Aids with Glasses

To wear BTE/RIC hearing aids with glasses, most users put the hearing aid in first prior to putting on the glasses. This prevents the hearing aid from displacing the glasses when it is fitted. Once the hearing aid is in place, you can then slide the arm of the glasses next to the hearing aid.

Practice with a Mirror

Practicing with a mirror is essential when wearing hearing aids with glasses. It allows the individual to see how the hearing aid sits in the ear and how it interacts with the glasses. This practice enables the individual to make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the hearing aid and glasses sit comfortably together.

If It Isn’t Comfortable

See if your glasses can be adjusted at your optometrist or local eye care center. Often time they can extend the arm of the glasses to go back further before angling down and it can help with comfort. If discomfort continues you may then choose to change your glasses frames or consider an in-the-ear hearing aid style which is discussed below.

Choosing the Right Hearing Aids for People Who Wear Glasses

People who wear glasses may face challenges when choosing hearing aids that are comfortable and convenient to wear. However, with the right information and guidance, they can find the perfect hearing aids to suit their needs. In this section, we will explore the different categories of hearing aids and recommend the best hearing aids for people who wear glasses.

Four Categories of Hearing Aids: ITE, ITC, CIC, and RIC/BTE

Learn about the different styles of hearing aids as they all have advantages and their own drawbacks to consider.

For people who wear glasses, ITE, ITC, and CIC hearing aids are the first of what people think of. But they have occlusion issues, a higher repair rate, and may be less comfortable. RIC hearing aids are the most popular because they generally are the best for most people.

Moreover, it is financially advantageous to purchase hearing aids first and then find glasses that work with them, as glasses cost a few hundred dollars compared to hearing aids, which cost a few thousand dollars. By investing in the right hearing aids, you can ensure optimal hearing and improve your quality of life.

RIC hearing aids are more suitable for people who want a discreet, comfortable, and powerful hearing aid that can be worn with glasses. They are designed to fit snugly in the ear canal, which means they do not interfere with glasses for most people.

I have personally fit thousands of hearing aids over the last decade. A good 30-40% of those indiviuals wear glasses. I would estimate only 1% of people come back to a follow upcomplaining that they do not like their glasses and hearing aids sitting next to each other.

Could you be in that 1% sure, then try an ITE or Invisible hearing aid. All hearing aids have trial periods where you can switch styles.

What if you have more than glasses behind your ears

RIC devices may not work for everyone, especially those with thick glasses frames (that you do not want to change) or use an oxygen cannula. In these cases, it is better to consider the other types of hearing aids that go into the canal. When choosing hearing aids, it is also essential to consider features that suit your individual needs and work with an audiologist to find the right hearing aid for your hearing loss, lifestyle, and budget.

It is true that some people have other things behind their ears too. Things like facemasks for covid policies, and other items can be a big pain. There is a limited amount of real estate behind each ear. The more you put behind an ear, the harder it becomes to take anything off. So in that case I would go forward with an in-the-ear hearing aid. See my current recommendations for all hearing aids. The choice is really yours. Each person is welcome to try each device and see what works best for their individual circumstance.

Jonathan Javid Au.D.

Jonathan Javid Au.D., a seasoned audiologist with an extensive background in the field of audiology. With over 11 years of invaluable clinical experience, Jonathan has dedicated his career to helping individuals enhance their hearing and improve their quality of life.

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