Oval Office with presidents who have worn hearing aids or glasses

Presidents often seem larger-than-life due to the position they hold, but they often have many of the same hobbies and interests as the general public. They can also have difficulty seeing and hearing and often require corrective aids that can help them in their role as Commander-in-Chief. While some presidents have dealt with it in private, others have been seen in the Oval Office wearing hearing aids, glasses, or even both.

Presidents who have worn hearing aids

Quite a few presidents have dealt with hearing loss before and after their executive tenure. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt experienced moderate-to-severe hearing loss but served prior to the development of wearable hearing aids.

Ronald Reagan, who developed hearing loss as a young man, was the first president to publicly wear hearing aids and actually permitted footage of him being fitted to be released to destigmatize the treatment method. Bill Clinton’s prolific hobby as a musician left him vulnerable to hearing loss, which was later treated with hearing aids during his second term in 1997. To this day, President Clinton still advocates for hearing aids for patients who are still on the fence about receiving them.

Presidents who have worn glasses

Vision loss is common as you age. George Washington famously pulled out a pair of glasses during a speech to the Continental Army and remarked on his age and diminished eyesight. Abraham Lincoln’s tenacity for reading was complemented with readers during the latter portion of his life. Theodore Roosevelt’s bout with vision loss, compared to his contemporaries, was attributed to an ill-timed punch he received while boxing. He famously wore pince-nez glasses that stayed on by pinching the nose.

Woodrow Wilson, Harry S. Truman, and Lyndon B. Johnson were the last presidents to wear glasses in the public eye, though they were not the last to rely on corrective lenses. Ronald Reagan accomplished another presidential first by wearing contact lenses, and Bill Clinton relied on readers in his recreational time. President Biden is also said to wear contact lenses, though his is more known for wearing aviator sunglasses when he is out and about.

You don’t have to live in the White House to receive the hearing and eye care you need. At CEENTA, our team of audiologists, ENT physicians, and eye doctors can test your senses and guide you towards the hearing aids and glasses best suited for your lifestyle.

Schedule your next appointment with CEENTA today at one of our eighteen locations in the Carolinas to get started.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our eye doctors in North and South Carolina and with our audiologists by calling 704-295-3300. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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