Best Practices for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

These days, the mobile phone network is much more reliable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But sometimes, it will still be challenging to hear what the person on the other end is saying. And for people who have hearing loss, it can be especially challenging.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s a simple fix for that, right? Why not use a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit clearer? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely that way. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more challenging. But there are a few tips for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a bit more from your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss usually progresses slowly. Your hearing usually doesn’t just go. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces over time. This can make it difficult to even detect when you have hearing loss, particularly because your brain tries really hard to fill in the gaps with context clues and other visual information.

So when you get on a phone, all of that contextual info disappears. Your Brain lacks the info it needs to fill in the blanks. You only hear parts and pieces of the other individual’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 a lot of those missing pieces. But talking on the phone with hearing aids can introduce some accessibility issues.

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

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

So, what can you do to overcome the obstacles of using a phone with hearing aids? Well, there are a number of tips that the majority of hearing specialists will endorse:

  • Find a quiet place to conduct your phone conversations. The less noise near you, the easier it will be to pick out the voice of the individual you’re on the phone with. If you minimize background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will perform so much better.
  • Don’t conceal your hearing problems from the person you’re speaking with: It’s ok to admit if you’re having difficulties! Many people will be just fine switching the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • Utilize other assistive hearing devices: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better when you’re having a phone conversation (including many text-to-type services).
  • Make use of video apps: Face-timing somebody 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 once more, this type of contextual information will be greatly helpful.
  • Consider utilizing speakerphone to conduct most of your phone conversations: This will counter the most serious feedback. There may still be a little distortion, but your phone call 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.
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can stream to your smartphone via Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable, phone calls can be streamed directly to your phone. If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a good place to begin eliminating feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.

Depending on your overall 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 more enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the correct approach.

If you need more guidance on how to use 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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