Top Tips for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Contemporary cell phones have become a lot clearer and more reliable nowadays. But in some cases, it will still be difficult to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. As a matter of fact, there’s one population for whom phone conversations aren’t always a reliable experience: those who have hearing loss.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s an easy solution for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you understand phone conversations more clearly? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly like that. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more challenging. But there are some guidelines for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a little more out of your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss typically isn’t sudden. It isn’t like somebody simply turns down the general volume on your ears. 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 try to use contextual and visual clues to compensate.

So when you get on the phone, all of that contextual data is gone. Your Brain lacks the information it needs to fill in the blanks. You only hear parts and pieces of the other person’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

How hearing aids can help

Hearing aids can help with this. They’ll particularly help your ears fill in many of those missing pieces. But there are some distinctive accessibility and communication troubles that occur from using hearing aids while talking on the phone.

Feedback can happen when your hearing aids come near a phone, for instance. This can make things difficult to hear and uncomfortable.

Bettering your ability to hear phone conversations

So what steps can be taken to help make your hearing aids work better with a phone? the majority of hearing specialists will recommend several tips:

  • Connect your phone to your hearing aid using Bluetooth. Wait, can hearing aids stream to smartphones? Yes, they can! This means you’ll be capable of streaming phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable). This can prevent feedback and make your phone calls a little more private, so it’s a practical place to begin if you’re having difficulty on your phone.
  • Put your phone in speaker mode as frequently as possible: Most feedback can be averted this way. There might still be a little distortion, but your phone conversation should be mostly understandable (if not necessarily private). Knowing how to hold the phone better with hearing aids (that is, away from your ears) is crucial, and speakerphone is how you accomplish this!
  • 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).
  • Make use of video apps: Face-timing someone or hopping onto a video chat can be a great way to help you hear better. The sound won’t be louder or more clear, but at least you’ll have that visual information back. And again, this kind of contextual information will be substantially helpful.
  • Don’t conceal your hearing trouble from the individual you’re talking to: If phone calls are hard for you, it’s okay to admit that! You may simply need to be a little extra patient, or you might want to think about using text, email, or video chat.
  • 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. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by lowering background noise.

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. Your ability to once again enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the correct approach.

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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