How to wear behind-the-ear hearing aids with eyeglasses?

In a few days I will go in for an audiogram and to make a selection of the aids I want to go with (in conjunction with Zip Hearing). One of the candidates, in the RIC category would be the Paradise P90’s (for obvious reasons). I have never worn a BTE-style and only know that many claim they are really unnoticeable by the wearer. When I watch Cliff Olsen’s videos and see him demonstrating how they fit, and how small they look, I imagine I too could live with this style. But I wear glasses (a common plastic frame style). And when I feel the placement of the side frames of my glasses over my ear, I can’t fathom exactly how even the small P90 could possibly co-habit the same space and be comfortable. Do these things fit BESIDE your frames? Do they fit UNDERNEATH the frames and more behind and below them? I have yet to see any promo that uses a model who is wearing glasses. For good reason I guess. I don’t know if the Audi I am being sent to will be able to offer me a sample unit to test fit. I don’t want to order the P90’s and find I hate the way they feel. I am used to IIC-style units (Eargos). Once inserted I didn’t feel them at all most of the time (that’s how you can inadvertently step into the shower with them on!). I have also been considering the Virto Marvel Black half-shell, as I like, and am used to, the simplicity of units that go simply and cleanly into the ear, but the lack of a re-chargeable option puts me off - and thus the P90’s. Thanks

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I have hearing aids and glasses as well. I have sever to profound hearing loss. As a result of this loss I use a Behind The Ear now. I use to use a RIC so I got you on both aspect as I where glasses as well. I have plastic frames nothing fancy. The frame rest next to the hearing aid. At first you may feel them but just like a new set of hearing aids you will adjust to the feel. The nice thing is that a RIC is typically smaller then BTE. So there will be more room for both. If you like an in the ear and are not tied to the p-90. There are other options for example Starkey Livio Edge. It is available in a half shell as well as other styles in the ear. The nice part is it is rechargeable. They also come in RIC’s and BTE. Like I said if you opt to use a RIC or BTE the frame of the glasses will rest next to the aid. You don’t want the glasses to get tangled in the wire or tubing. If that happens it could send hearing aids for a ride when you take off you glasses. This is similar to what mask can do. If you get and in the ear option then that is not a problem. As for seeing them they are hardly visible. Good luck with your choice. How was it working with ZIP HEARING? I was thinking of using them next time I get new hearing aids.


Another advantage is it’s outside the ear and not constantly susceptible to the warm moisture and wax found inside the ear.


I have glasses and a Starkey RIC. Granted mine is a bit smaller as it uses batteries rather than be rechargeable. As @bluejay2025 said, my glasses go to the side of the aid and doesn’t cause any problems. However, aid plus glasses plus mask and it gets awfully crowded back there, and I have to be very careful how I take things off. That’s a particular problem because I can forget I’m even wearing them.

I did change to behind the head masks instead of loops behind the ear, so that did help on that front. I expect the only way to know will be to trial it and see over a week or two if it is comfortable for you. If not then looking at an ITE may be worth considering. But I’d give it a try first. I expect there are plenty of eyeglass wearers here.


I wear eyeglass temples next to my head, then HA. If I do it the other way the HA tends to pop up, out, or something. When putting a mask on and off all day (constantly even before Covid, work in healthcare) the earloops go inside against my head if it is that style. Since I had my cataracts done its just reading glasses, so off and on all day. At the moment the HA are off and on all day to accommodate a stethoscope. Looking forward the BT aids so I can at least end the steth swap. Busy place, these ears :slight_smile:

Fred F


Thanks guys. It sounds much as I expected. In examining exactly how my side frames fit behind my ear, it would seem that the BTE unit MUST sit beside and outside of my frames. It’s hard to imagine them sharing the space without forcing my ear outwards. I am not really put off by the maintenance requirements of an ITE style. My 28 month experience with Eargos - although not “real” H.A’s - was instrumental helping me reach acceptance and to make the daily chores of dealing with hearing instruments routine. I am reminded of the recent film, “The Sound of Metal” one of this year’s Academy selections, which my spouse and I watched this week. Basically the very well done story of a musician who could NOT come to acceptance of his sudden and profound loss. I forgot about the Starkey Livio Edge. I will have to re-visit them again. There is a real convenience to ITE devices, in that, after you place them, you just go about your business as you did in your former life (until you reach up and attempt to scratch your ear! - or go into the shower with them in.). I suppose I am not the norm when it comes to first-time wearers. I’m not going into this blind. Nor am I just giving in to any Audi’s recommendations or sales pitches. I have spent months researching all of this. The irony in this is that you learn there is no perfect device. I came to the P90 because they were generally accepted as one of the most currently advanced models. The RIC offered various fitting options. And because they are Phonak they offer a relatively easy entrance into self-programming. As a relative Noob, I like the idea of having an array of features, in the event I later find I want to have access to them. With the rapid advancement of technology, I am trying not to get wrapped up too much in the idea of having aids that will last me years down the road. I figure that within 3 years my hearing profile is likely to be different, and the technology advances will be such that I will want to change out my devices to take advantage of them. I am viewing hearing devices as a necessary expense and constant for the rest of my days. Re. to my Zip Hearing involvement - I knew that I needed a pro Audi exam before really being able to narrow down my instrument choices. Audi choices in my area are sadly lacking. I doubt I will even have access to REM. Zip came up with a provider in my area who is not even on the Radar. He is a Dr. of Audiology with over 30 years of varied experience, and has maintained FDA registration as a hearing aid manufacturer. A rather big put-off is that he is one of those people whose practice only represents one line of aids - AGX®, which I have never even heard of. Perhaps he recognizes that this package deal from Zip represents the future and he wants to increase his bottom line by taking advantage of it. I do believe that if it works out with Zip, that I can realize a significant savings. I will report after I go for my exam a week from now.

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For most people the glasses issue is not a big deal. For a few, it is. You’ll have to try it out to see which group you fall into.

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One thing I do to get around the mask and hearing is to us a strap to rap it to the back of my head. It help prevent a hard day if I should forget about the hearing aids and helps prevent the hearing aids taking a ride.


I’ve worn glasses and BTE units since the late '90s and the RIC since they were first available. No big deal. I hear an occasional click but nothing that bothers me. I’m more bothered by the grooves in my skull behind the ear from the spring-loaded temples of the glasses, even with thin metal earpieces! And I’m very conscious of the hearing aids as I remove my masks with the loop fasteners. I’ve got some with two over-the-head fasteners but I’m too lazy to haul them out. The “strap” mentioned by another poster might be helpful.

But no issue of consequence with hearing aid and glasses in current configuration.

The issue with the earpieces, grooves and width of the hearing aid have combined to make it difficult for me to convert to rechargeable units until the rechargeable units get just a tad thinner. The width of the unit and the glass earpieces pushes outward on one ear and it becomes painful by the end of the day.

Good luck.

I have no issues with my Phonak Naida V90 SP aid next to my glasses. I have ordered a new Naida P70 UP aid which is a bit bigger than my current aid. If my hearing loss were in the severe range then l would have used the slim tubes so it would be less noticeable.


Thanks for posting the image. I may not feel feel all that stuff crowding the real estate back there, but It’s hard to imagine not being aware of it! I’m kind of leaning towards an IIC model at this point, if it can match my requirements it’s likely the last opportunity to just feel like it’s just me and my ears for a while longer. Nothing hanging off my head. Since I’ll be dealing with this stuff for the remainder of my days, I must assume that at some point I’ll have to adapt, but if I can get another 3 years down this road with IIC’s, maybe miniaturization will have reduced the BTE sizes even more. It’s so easy and convenient to just plug devices into your ears and forget about them. My 28 months with Eargo’s kinda spoiled me in that regard.

Your left should do fine with an IIC. Your right is likely marginal, but you’d still get some benefit. As far as glasses go, you wouldn’t have any issues with an ITE and they generally have more capabilities than IICs.

When I was a child of about 7 years, I thought ears were for hearing. I’ve since learned they are for holding eyeglasses, hearing aids, and masks! And maybe hearing comes into play at some point. :smile:

I imagine it is like when you started wearing eyeglasses. You were VERY aware of them. You could SEE the frames around the lenses, it was a bit distracting, you were CONVINCED you were missing out on things, not seeing all there was to see. Over a short time (3 weeks? 2?) of daily wear, your brain learned to enjoy seeing things in focus, and you ignore the frame rim now. Wearing behind the ear hearing aids is similar.

I wear KS9’s, receiver in the canal, which are similar to the Phonak Marvel; The newer KS10’s are similar to the Phonak Paradise. I had to check, my eyeglasses are on the inside, my hearing aids are on the outside, back there. I really didn’t have any idea! Because I’ve been wearing both for some years now. So you will need to give it a test of wearing both most of the day every day to see how it all sorts out.

I don’t have custom molds so my side view does not look like the image posted by Terost. I have receiver in the canal, so all folks see is the tube . . . if they look. People are so busy with their own lives, most don’t.

You wrote this: “There is a real convenience to ITE devices, in that, after you place them, you just go about your business as you did in your former life . . . .” Well, that is how I feel about my behind the ear hearing aids. I just place them and go about my business as I did in my former life. I don’t think about them. And I have had to jump out the shower quick because I forgot to remove them.

About the masks. There are several products you can get to help prevent loss of a hearing aid when you remove a mask. Some folks only use the sort of mask which ties up high on the head and down low behind the neck, so that nothing is behind the ear. I like the ear savers - plastic straps - I picked up at Staples (pack of 5 for $6). Amazon sells many styles of them as well.

Or: There are several items out there which you may want to consider.

  1. Hearing Aid Retainers. Available for RIC and BTE, comes in several colors. Once you decide what you like, check Amazon; carries some but not all the colors. Hearing Aid Retainers
  2. Hearing Aid Clips. Best Hearing Aid Clips and Accessories | Clear Living
  3. If you wear eyeglasses, Hearing Aid retainers may be what you want.
  4. Hearing Aid suspenders. Head band. Developed for children, work for adults.
  5. Charms, Cheerings, Tube twists. Hayley’s Cherished Charms. offers charms, tube twists, cheerings and more to dress up your hearing aid. These may help find it easier once it flies off your ear.

There are many options, and Etsy also has TONS of ideas. I tried to put the key words first; do your own search, you will find lots of hits with each one.


I’ve been wearing HAs & glasses for years. I’m currently using the Paradise P90 rechargeable behind-the-ear HAs. They’re fine with my glasses, but I have periodically accidentally activated the tap control when switching between clear glasses & sunglasses. I just tap again to discontinue the feature. What doesn’t fit behind my ears with glasses & HAs is a mask. All of mine tie over the top of my head. Good luck!

I am relatively new here but I am wearing P-70s with glasses and here is what it looks like:

Honestly I rarely notice them physically. I do have some sounds if I take the glasses off and slide them back on. I have sun glasses with much larger bows and those sometimes pull an aid off when removing them. I also work in a hospital environment so I’m wearing masks daily. I loop them around my ears as well and notice the thinner the loop the better. I am just mindful to take the mask off slowly and I have had very few issues.

Thanks for posting the images. I’m seeing an Audi in a week - Zip hearing’s provider in my area. So far I think the Zip concept is pretty attractive. You get setup, multiple visits, the factory return period. Even a free year’s supply of batteries. I have no idea what the Audi is going to be like but I would bet he doesn’t do REM. I only know one provider in my state who does, and she’s a 3 1/2 hour drive away. The other thing that’s less than ideal is that you have no way to try different physical configurations at the provider’s office. Once you know what your fitting range is you have to pull the plug on a device and order it. If you don’t like it you must do the factory return process and start over with something else. That could easily stretch into several months before you get something you like. You do have many brand options and you can save a considerable amount while still having reasonable service. You can by the H.A.'s a bit cheaper from other online vendors, but they don’t come with any service other than the initial factory setup. The other potential fail would be if you don’t like Zip’s choice of provider.

@castaway: I’m not a social scientist who has studied folks’ attitude towards the wearing of hearing aids, and how they adapt to the forced compromises inherent in the process, etc, but, you seem (by my potentially faulty interpretation of your posts) to be more anxious than some about it.

And that’s fair enough: you’re you - unique unto yourself - and all the questions you have about the complex world of hearing aids are fair ball, and need to be asked.

The answers to many of them, however, won’t come from what’s written here, but will flow, rather, from your own direct experience of actually wearing them.

Even the choice of device will hinge (to at least some extent) upon which makers your provider is authorized to sell, and which ones they’re most used to fitting. A patient, empathetic fitter will be essential to your obtaining full satisfaction and maximal benefit from your instruments, from what I’m reading here, and in other threads.

Yes, audiologists are high-margin sellers, but their business model supports clients with lots of questions, and allows for easier transitions from one make to another, if you’re dissatisfied.

Costco is lower margin, and has slightly fewer choices than a full-blown audi, but their exchange policy would pretty well guarantee that you walk away a satisfied customer.

I don’t know anything about Zip, except from what I have read here in the Forum, but you may want to give this some second thought if their model is based on quick turnaround, and low returns.

You may want to consider whether the Zip business model is one that will accommodate your needs.

Thanks for your comments. As someone who likes to go into these kinds of things as fully informed as possible, I consider all feedback valuable. I have no acceptance issues really. At 75 I’m pretty much past that stage. I am however, NOT retired. I am a working professional artist. I will continue working until disabled or dead. I have already had to deal with visual impairment (which will likely increase). Hearing impairment is just “the next thing.” I work with large machine tools at times, and I often have to don earmuffs, face shields (both at the same time) and magnifying headgear. Retaining as much physical functionality and mobility as possible is still important. So I’m not “rejecting” BTE models per say. My upcoming audiogram may well dictate that form as a requirement for my losses. And they obviously provide a wide range of fitting options and functionality. I was just hoping that perhaps an in-the-ear form, which would present fewer worries about flinging them somewhere as I work, might get me a bit further down the road before my options grow fewer. A major issue for me is that I live in an area that is devoid of the large number of fitting and purchase options available to those of you who are in or near large cities. Many folks in my area are traditionally terrified when they are forced to have major medical treatment here. Hearing treatment doesn’t fare much better. I have had some discussions with Zip Hearing. Their business model is still developing, but I truly believe it’s a model that will soon proliferate, as it pretty much covers all the necessities and does end up saving you some expense in the end. If I can save a grand - that’s worthwhile. Many Audi’s apparently are contacting them and want to get in on the action, and Zip says that some of them are warned, up-front, that they are being accepted on a trial basis. That tells me that Zip is trying to offer decent service and build a good reputation. Where their system is obviously lacking at present is that if the provider you are directed to in their network does not sell the brands you are interested in, they are not going to have any product samples you can use for in-office testing. Maybe they can supply you with a test fit using similar samples from the lines they do carry. I am a bit disappointed that this Audi only sells the AGX® brand - whatever that is, but he can still likely try a fit with something in his own line so I can better get an idea if I think I can live with a BTE form.

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Well, I’ve never heard of AGX, so I’m not much use for helpful advice.

Would’ve been nice to know the other stuff up front, though, for context.:slightly_frowning_face:

[:scream:… HEY! Maybe it’s one o’ them CHAINSAW CARVER DUDES!]

Just going from memory, but I think AGX carries all the major brands except Phonak and rebrands them as their own brand. There are definitely advantages to an ITE hearing aid, as well as disadvantages. I’d encourage you to be sure you understand what those are before you commit to purchase. Your hearing aid fitter should be able to provide you with that information. Note: I’m talking ITE and not IIC. To me the only advantage of an IIC is cosmetic and one gives up considerable performance.