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 sometimes, it will still be hard to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. And for people who have hearing loss, it can be especially difficult.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s an easy remedy for that, right? Can’t you make use of some hearing aids to help you understand phone conversations more clearly? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely that way. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more difficult. But there are some tips for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a little more from your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss typically isn’t sudden. Your hearing usually doesn’t just go. It tends to go in bits and pieces. This can make it hard to even notice when you have hearing loss, especially because your brain tries really hard to fill in the gaps with contextual clues and other visual information.

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual hints. 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.

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 some unique accessibility and communication difficulties that happen from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

For instance, putting your hearing aids next to a phone speaker can create some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can result in some awkward gaps in conversation because you can’t hear that well.

Improving your ability to hear phone conversations

So, what can you do to overcome the obstacles of using a phone with hearing aids? Most hearing specialists will suggest several tips:

  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Hold on, can hearing aids stream to smartphones? Yes, they can! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable, phone calls can be streamed directly to your phone. If you’re having difficulty using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to begin getting rid of feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Make use of video apps: Face-timing somebody or jumping onto a video chat can be a very good way to help you hear better. It isn’t that the sound quality is somehow better, it’s that your brain has access to all of that amazing visual information again. And this can help you add context to what’s being said.
  • Switch your phone to speaker mode as often as possible: This will counter the most severe 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 away from each other is by using speakerphone.
  • 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 (including numerous text-to-type services).
  • Don’t hide your hearing trouble from the individual you’re talking to: It’s all right to admit if you’re having difficulties! You may simply need to be a little more patient, or you may want to consider switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet location. The less noise near you, the easier it will be to pick out the voice of the individual you’re speaking with. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by lowering background noise.

Finding the correct set of solutions will depend on what you use the phone for, how often you’re on the phone, and what your overall communication needs are like. With the right approach, you’ll have the tools you require to start enjoying those phone conversations again.

If you need more advice 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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