An Asian man who wears glasses and a hearing aid putting on a hat

How to wear hearing aids with glasses

7 May 2024

Are you a glasses wearer who for the first time has to wear hearing aids? Or perhaps you are new to wearing glasses? Either way, you might be curious to know whether the two can function together. After all, they both tend to rest behind your ear and it can feel really uncomfortable wearing them at the same time to begin with, especially if you wear behind-the-ear hearing aids. However, once you know how, wearing a hearing aid with glasses is actually completely fine and virtually unnoticeable.

What types of hearing aid can I wear with glasses?

There are different kinds of hearing aids you can wear with glasses. We have listed the main types below.

Close-up of a behind-the-ear hearing aid attached to a man's ear

How to wear behind-the-ear hearing aids with glasses

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are very powerful and therefore are suited to all levels of hearing loss, especially moderate to severe. The main plastic body of the hearing aid is attached with a tube to an ear piece that sits in the opening of the ear. They tend to sit outside or on top of your ear so might be more comfortable for people who prefer not to have anything inside their ear canals.

Wearing receiver-in-the-canal hearing aids with glasses

Receiver-in-the-canal (RITC) hearing aids are the most popular in the UK. RITC hearing aids are very similar to BTE hearing aids. The main difference is that RITC hearing aids have the speaker within the device which goes into the ear and a very discreet case rests behind the ear, whereas BTE hearing aids have the speaker in the device behind the ear and the sound is then sent through the tube. RITC hearing aids also tend to be smaller than BTE hearing aids and so are slightly easier to wear with glasses. They are suitable for most people, whether you have mild or severe hearing loss.

Close-up of an in-ear hearing aid being inserted into a woman's ear

Ways to wear in-the-ear hearing aids with glasses

In-the-ear hearing aids (ITE) make a great alternative for people who do not have enough room behind their ears to fit both glasses and behind-the-ear hearing aids. They also work well for individuals who have very small ears or an irregular ear shape which makes it harder to wear a hearing aid behind their ear.

This type of hearing aid has the benefit of resting discreetly inside the ear canal so it will not rub against the temples of your glasses. ITE hearing aids are custom-made to the shape of your ear for a secure and comfortable fit. While some individuals might prefer ITE hearing aids, it is not always a possibility based on the severity of your hearing loss. ITE aids are more suited to those who have mild to moderate hearing loss. Speak to your audiologist to decide which type of hearing aid works best for you.

How to put on hearing aids with glasses

Follow these simple steps to find a comfortable way in which to put on BTE hearing aids with glasses.

1. Put your glasses on first as they can be more easily secured when your hearing aid is not in your ear. Make sure they are lined up with your eyes and the temples rest on the top of your ears.

2. Next, gently sit your hearing aid between the end piece of the glasses and the outside of your ear.

3. Make sure the hearing aid rests comfortably and as near to the outside of your ear as you can. Your hearing aid should not be hanging away from your ear. For added security, you can also purchase clips and accessories which connect your hearing aid to your glasses and thus keeps it in place. Sports locks can also be attached to some BTE hearing aids to keep them in place which is ideal if you have a very active lifestyle.

4. Use both hands to take your glasses on and off very gently in a forward motion without tilting them to avoid knocking your hearing aid off. When you feel the tips of the temples touch the back of your ear, tilt them forward very slightly.

5. Do this a few times in front of a mirror whilst leaving your hearing aid in. Practice this at home and make sure you are standing on a soft surface like a carpet or rug to avoid any damage to your hearing aid. Be patient and repeat the process until you get into the habit of taking your glasses on and off in this way.

What are the best glasses to wear with hearing aids?

A majority of glasses are comfortable to wear with hearing aids. However, we would recommend that you stay clear of designs with thick temples, especially if you wear behind-the-ear hearing aids. Ideally, you should try a slim metal or acetate frame with flexible spring hinges. You will also want your glasses to have relatively long temples. They should be the right length and curve nicely around your ears. Take a look at our guide to sunglasses for small faces to find out how to measure your face for glasses. Our frames come in a variety of different sizes. So, depending on your individual measurements, you can easily find a design that will fit you. You can also choose to make small adjustments to your glasses yourself or you can speak to your optician about doing this for you.

We have carefully selected some frames which work well with hearing aids. Take a look and get some ideas of which glasses are suitable to wear with your hearing aid.

Please do not delay treatment for hearing loss

If you are worried about hearing loss, do not put off treatment because you are worried about hearing aids not being comfortable enough to wear with glasses. The health of your hearing is just as important as your eyesight. There are numerous small adjustments you can make in order to get used to wearing hearing aids with glasses.