Best Tips for Using a 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 that doesn’t mean everyone can hear you all the time. In fact, there’s one population for whom using a phone isn’t always a positive experience: those who have hearing loss.

There must be an easy solution for that, right? Can’t you make use of some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations more clearly? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely like that. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more difficult. But there are some tips 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 generally isn’t sudden. Your hearing typically doesn’t just go. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces 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 a phone, all of that contextual info is gone. There’s no added information for your brain to fill in. You only hear parts and pieces of the other individual’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

How hearing aids can be helpful

Hearing aids will help with this. Lots of those missing pieces can be filled in by using hearing aids. But talking on the phone while wearing hearing aids can present some accessibility issues.

For instance, putting your hearing aids next to a phone speaker can produce some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can make things difficult to hear and uncomfortable.

Tips to improve the phone call experience

So, what can you do to manage the challenges of using a phone with hearing aids? Well, there are a few tips that the majority of hearing specialists will suggest:

  • Find a quiet setting to carry out your phone calls. It will be a lot easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less noise. If you lessen background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will work so much better.
  • Be honest with the person you’re talking to on the phone: If phone calls are hard for you, it’s okay to admit that! Many individuals will be just fine moving the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • Put your phone in speaker mode as often as possible: This will protect against the most serious feedback. There might still be some distortion, but your phone conversation should be mostly understandable (while maybe not necessarily private). The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid apart is by using speakerphone.
  • 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.
  • Use video apps: Face-timing someone or jumping onto a video chat can be a very good way to help you hear better. The sound won’t be louder or more clear, but at least you will have that visual information back. And again, this type of contextual information will be considerably helpful.
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Hold on, can hearing aids connect to smartphones? Yes, they can! This means you’ll be capable of streaming phone calls directly to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable). If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to start reducing feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.

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

Call us for some help and guidance 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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