If you suffer from hearing loss and use hearing aids to improve the quality of your life, you might feel like you can’t also wear headphones to listen to music or television. It’s often communicated that using headphones in conjunction with hearing devices won’t be comfortable or you won’t enjoy clear sounds, but the reality is that there is a wide range of designs on the market that is quite complementary to hearing aid use. Let’s take a look at what might work well for you:
On The Ear Styles
Individuals who wear certain styles of hearing aids can still utilize traditional on the ear headphones for their favorite activities. Because these designs sit directly on the outer portion of your ear, the microphone in your hearing aid will pick up on the noises they transmit.
This style of headphone works best with those who wear CIC (completely-in-canal) and IIC (invisible-in-canal) hearing aids. While other types of hearing aids might be able to function with on the ear headphones, there’s a greater chance for feedback.
When shopping for an on the ear set of headphones, many find the most comfortable option to be one that’s marketed as lightweight. Some brands will construct their headphones from titanium, or design them to be smaller than normal so as not to create a heavy feeling when worn.
If an on the ear style just isn’t comfortable or you haven’t had much success with them in the past, you might explore using a type of headphone that’s referred to as bone-conduction. Since part of the way we naturally hear has to do with the vibration of tiny bones inside of your ear canal, it makes sense that this technology would work nicely for those with hearing aids.
Bone-conduction headphones sit on your temples just in front of your ears. They utilize the vibrations from what you’re listening to and transmit them through your jawbone and cheekbones. These vibrations are transmitted to your inner ear, allowing you to translate them into sounds.
Because these types of headphones utilize vibrations and essentially bypass your hearing aid, individuals who wear all types of devices can use them.
Sometimes a noise-canceling option is a favorite when choosing a set of headphones to wear in conjunction with hearing aids. These sit completely over most of your entire ear and tend to have heavier padding in an attempt to seal your ears from outside noise. Styles with this design are often referred to as over-ear headphones.
While it’s a popular option for many these days, using earbud styles simply won’t work with any kind of hearing aid. Even with small and lightweight devices, there isn’t enough room in your ear canal to accommodate both pieces of hardware.
If you’re a music aficionado or simply like wearing headphones while watching television, you can always discuss your options with your hearing health professional. Often times there might be a specific brand or style of headphone that works best with your hearing aid, and they can help to guide you in the right direction.