Best Tips for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Modern cell phones have become much clearer and more reliable nowadays. But that doesn’t mean everybody can hear you all the time. In fact, there’s one group for whom using a phone isn’t always a positive experience: those with hearing loss.

There must be a simple solution for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations better? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly that way. In reality, while hearing aids can make in person conversations much easier to manage, there are some difficulties associated with phone-based conversations. But there are definitely a few things you can do to make your phone conversations more effective.

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

Hearing loss typically develops slowly. It isn’t like somebody simply turns down the overall volume on your ears. It tends to go a little at a time. It’s likely that you won’t even detect you have hearing loss and your brain will try to utilize contextual and visual clues to compensate.

So when you get on the phone, all of that contextual data is gone. Your Brain doesn’t have the information it requires to fill in the blanks. You only hear parts and pieces of the other person’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

Hearing aids can be helpful – here’s how

Hearing aids can help with this. Many of those missing pieces can be filled in by using hearing aids. But there are a few distinctive accessibility and communication challenges that arise from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

For example, placing your hearing aids close to a phone speaker can produce some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can result in some uncomfortable gaps in conversation because you can’t hear very well.

Tips to augment the phone call experience

So, what can you do to manage the difficulties of using a phone with hearing aids? Well, there are several tips that most hearing specialists will endorse:

  • Utilize 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 this can help you put context to what’s being talked about.
  • Don’t conceal your hearing trouble from the individual you’re speaking with: It’s okay to admit if you’re having difficulty! You might simply need to be a little extra patient, or you may want to consider switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can connect to your smartphone using Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable, phone calls can be streamed straight to your phone. If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a good place to begin getting rid of feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Try utilizing speakerphone to carry out most of your phone conversations: Most feedback can be prevented this way. There might still be some distortion, but your phone call should be mostly understandable (while maybe not necessarily private). The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid away from each other is by switching to speakerphone.
  • Find a quiet spot to conduct your phone conversations. The less noise near you, the easier it will be to pick out the voice of the person you’re on the phone with. If you control background noise during phone conversations your hearing aids will perform so much better.
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can use: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better during phone conversations.

Finding the correct set of solutions will depend on what you use your phone for, how frequently you’re on the phone, and what your general communication requirements are like. Your ability to once again enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the right approach.

If you need more advice on how to utilize hearing aids with your phone, call us, we can help.

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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