BTE HA for Spectacle Wearers

I am 77 and have benefited from the use of ITE aids (Widex and Oticon) for approx 15 years. A reduction in hearing in the known problem areas; soft spoken people, inside moving vehicles,noisy restaurants etc. obliged me to try to find better solutions. My audiologist recommended BTE RIC aids and I have tested Widex and Belltone versions which I found to be an improvement in hearing ability but this was accompanied by two problems.
The first problem was retaining my BTE devices in place because I wear spectacles and the frames tend to dislodge the aids, on one occasion the aid fell out and under my driving seat.The remedy tried was fitting a thin plastic finger to lodge within my outer ear but the finger constantly worked its way out to protrude from my ear without my realising.

The second problem arose when the audiologist recommended an ITE retainer, unfortunately when removing the mould the skin in my ear canal was damaged and allowed a nasty ear infection to take hold, the infection has almost gone after antibiotic tablets, ear drops and anti-inflammatory medication. Presently I am using my left ITE aid but because the swelling in the canal has not completely gone I am unable to use the right aid.

I would very much appreciate advice from anyone who has a solution to the problems I have experienced, specifically;
a) Are BTE devices incompatible with the wearing of spectacles?
b) Are there better methods of safely retaining BTE aids in position, particularly during activities such as golf for mid to high handicap players?

Finally I feel that the performance of RIC aids is better and would prefer to enjoy their benefits.
Many thanks.

Hello Roy,
I just started wearing my first hearing aids about 6 weeks ago. I started off with the BTE with the Receiver In Canal style. I too wear glasses. I did have some initial issues with my glasses. Mainly felt as if there was just not enough room behind my ears for both devices. My existing glasses at the time had large plastic arms. The arms did not look to be very wide, but when I compared them to an older pair with then metal arms, they were more than twice as thick. They were very stylish and I hated to get rid of them, but I got a new pair with metal arms and life got much better.

The new pair have thin metal arms, but another feature that I think helps is that the arms are flexible. If I remove the glasses while I am wearing the aids, the flexible arms allow me to bend and guide the ends of the arms behind the hearing aids. Before it felt like I needed two hands to get the arms on one ear as I had to bend my ear down to get the arms behind my ears. Now I can easily remove and replace the glasses with ease.

As for keeping them in place. I do not play golf so can not comment on that. I have not had any issues with loosing mine, yet! I have worn mine on the rocking and windy top deck of a cruise ship. Wind was so high that I had to remove my hat to keep it from blowing away. I was very paranoid that the wind would blow them right off my head, but they never budged.

I do have the little plastic retainer on mine and know what you mean about them sticking out. Makes it feel like you have an antenna sticking out of your ear. But I am a guy, and many of us older guys have hair growing from our ears, so I hope those who have seen it think it is a very, VERY, large gray hair!! :stuck_out_tongue:

I would guess that at least half the people in BTEs also wear glasses. I normally wear contacts but many times I will wear glasses for a couple of hours in the morning and then put my contacts in (multifocal contacts).

My glasses have metal temples covered at the end by thin plastic. I have not had any issue with the BTE hearing aids. They stay put with or without the glasses being there.

I have always put on and taken off my glasses with two hands and it may be a problem to try it with one hand.

My audiologist told me about a little trick to keep from losing them but I haven’t tried it. She said get the thinest fishing line and tie it around the hearing aid where it could not come loose. Then measure out enough line, cut it, and tie it to a small alligator clip. Then clip the alligator clip on your clothing or collar, or just inside your shirt on the label. The fishing line would be invisible and then if they go flying they will not go far.

Hello Reidan and Don,
Many thanks for your responses, flexible frame arms and the fishing line plus dragon clip tether are excellent suggestions.
Sadly, as you may see from my post of yesterday, I lost the right aid and have to buy a new one.
I will now bolt the stable door after my “aid” bolted, by taking out insurance, buying specs with flexible ear pieces and using a fishing line tether.
Happy hearing.:rolleyes:

I too wear glasses with BTE (Phonak Audeo S).
The side arms are the wire type and the they live comfortably with the BTEs.

In fact I have found an advantage in this.
When I first got my BTEs I was bothered by some cracking sounds, especially when chewing or yawning.
The audiologist quickly identified this as being due to my short hairs behind the ears rubbing on the microphones.
The arms of the glasses seem to push the aids away from the skull just enough to eliminate the problem.

When I first got these tiny BTEs I constantly reached up to my ears to make sure they were still there!

I too wear BTE Open Ear (HearSource FreeStyle) hearing aids and glasses. I really haven’t had any issues with their simultaneous use. My eye glass ear piece is closest to my head with the hearing aids sitting between the glasses ear piece and the ear.

I have had issues with the glasses and hearing aids both when I have been working on my car or other handy man projects where my head has been upside down. In those situations, my flopping body worn sensory enhancing products have been all over. I have even taped my glasses to my face when I have had to be in those contortionist positions.

The benefits of BTE aids will far outshine anything you can get from any other type of aid for no other reason then they are bigger so you can get more bang for the buck. Are they compatible with eyeglasses can only be determined by each individual wearer but the general answer is yes. The bigger question is how much room you have behind your ear. Some people have ears that stick out far from their head and others like myself have ears that are close to their head. In my case I wear wire rim glasses and the ear frames slide between my aids and my head. No problem. Others who have more room back there will be able to get away with the thicker frames that are more the style right now. If pain developes in the ear area then the frames are probably too thick. And yes you will need to remove your frames with two hands, but then frames should always be removed and put on with two hands anyway.