Top Tips for Using a Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

These days, the cellular phone network is a lot more reliable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But in some cases, it will still be difficult to hear what the person on the other end is saying. As a matter of fact, there’s one population for whom using a phone isn’t always a reliable experience: those who have hearing loss.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s an easy solution for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations more clearly? Well, that isn’t… exactly… the way it works. It turns out that, while hearing aids can make face-to-face conversations a lot easier to handle, there are some difficulties associated with phone-based conversations. But there are some guidelines for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a bit more out of your next conversation.

Phone calls and hearing aids don’t always work well together – here’s why

Hearing loss usually isn’t sudden. Your hearing usually doesn’t just go. It tends to go a little at a time. It’s likely that you won’t even notice you have hearing loss and your brain will attempt to utilize contextual and visual clues to compensate.

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual hints. Your Brain lacks the information it requires to fill in the blanks. There’s only a really muffled voice and you only hear bits and pieces of the range of the other individual’s voice.

Hearing aids can be helpful – here’s how

This can be helped by wearing hearing aids. They’ll particularly help your ears fill in a lot of those missing pieces. But talking on the phone with hearing aids can present some accessibility issues.

Feedback can occur when your hearing aids come close to a phone, for instance. This can make things hard to hear and uncomfortable.

Tips to improve the phone call experience

So what measures can be taken to help make your hearing aids function better with a phone? Well, there are several tips that the majority of hearing specialists will suggest:

  • Don’t conceal your hearing problems from the person you’re talking to: If phone calls are difficult for you, it’s okay to admit that! Many individuals will be fine switching the conversation to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • Find a quiet place to conduct your phone calls. It will be much easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less noise. If you control background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will perform so much better.
  • Utilize video apps: Face-timing someone or jumping onto a video chat can be a great way to help you hear better. It isn’t that the sound quality is magically better, it’s that your brain has access to all of that amazing visual information again. And this can help you add context to what’s being said.
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can connect to your cellphone using Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, phone calls can be streamed straight to your phone. This can eliminate feedback and make your phone calls a little more private, so it’s a practical place to start if you’re having trouble on your phone.
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can get: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better when you’re having a phone conversation (and this includes numerous text-to-type services).
  • Consider using speakerphone to conduct most of your phone conversations: This will prevent the most serious feedback. There may still be some distortion, but your phone conversation should be mostly understandable (if not necessarily private). The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid apart is by switching to speakerphone.

Depending on your general hearing needs, how frequently you use the phone, and what you use your phone for, the appropriate set of solutions will be available. With the correct approach, you’ll have the tools you require to begin enjoying those phone conversations once again.

Contact us for some help and advice on how to best utilize your phone and hearing aids together.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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