Top Tips for Using the 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 hard to hear what the person on the other end is saying. As a matter of fact, there’s one group for whom phone conversations aren’t always a positive experience: those with hearing loss.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s an easy fix for that, right? Why not use a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit easier? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely like that. In reality, while hearing aids can make face-to-face conversations a lot easier to handle, there are some challenges related to phone-based conversations. But there are certainly some things you can do to make your phone conversations more effective.

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

Hearing loss generally isn’t sudden. Your hearing normally doesn’t just go. It has a tendency to go a little at a time. This can make it difficult to even notice when you have hearing loss, particularly because your brain tries really hard to fill in the gaps with context clues and other visual information.

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual hints. Your Brain lacks the info it needs to fill in the blanks. There’s only a really muffled voice and you only make out bits and pieces of the spectrum of the other individual’s voice.

Hearing aids can be helpful – here’s how

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

Feedback can happen when your hearing aids come close to a phone, for instance. This can lead to some uncomfortable gaps in conversation because you can’t hear really well.

Tips to augment the phone call experience

So, what can you do to manage the challenges of utilizing a phone with hearing aids? the majority of hearing specialists will recommend a few tips:

  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can get: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better when you’re having phone conversations.
  • Download a video call app: You might have an easier time making out phone conversations on a video call. It isn’t that the sound quality is somehow better, it’s that your brain has use of all of that fantastic visual information again. And again, this kind of contextual information will be greatly helpful.
  • Don’t conceal your hearing problems from the person you’re talking to: It’s ok to admit if you’re having trouble! You may simply need to be a little more patient, or you may want to think about using text, email, or video chat.
  • Find a quiet spot 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 reducing background noise.
  • Put your phone in speaker mode as often as you can: Most feedback can be averted this way. Your phone calls might not be very private, but even though there still may be a little distortion, you should be able to better understand the voice on the other end. Knowing how to better hold your phone with hearing aids (that is, away from your ears) is critical, and speakerphone is how you accomplish this!
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, modern hearing aids can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth! This means you’ll be capable of streaming phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable). This can eliminate feedback and make your phone calls a bit more private, so it’s a good place to begin if you’re having difficulty on your phone.

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

Call us for some help and advice on how to best use 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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