Best Tips for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Modern cell phones have become a lot clearer and more reliable nowadays. But sometimes, it will still be difficult to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. As a matter of fact, there’s one group for whom using a phone isn’t always a positive experience: those with hearing loss.

There must be an easy solution for that, right? Why not utilize a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little clearer? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly like that. In reality, while hearing aids can make in person conversations a lot easier to handle, there are some difficulties related to phone-based conversations. But there are definitely a few things you can do to make your phone conversations more successful.

Why hearing aids and phone calls don’t always get along

Hearing loss usually develops gradually. It isn’t like someone simply turns down the general volume on your ears. It tends to go a little at a time. This can make it difficult to even detect when you have hearing loss, especially 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 data disappears. There’s no extra information for your brain to fill in. There’s only a very distorted voice and you only make out bits and pieces of the spectrum of the other person’s voice.

Hearing aids can help – here’s how

Hearing aids can help with this. They’ll particularly help your ears fill in many of those missing pieces. But there are some distinctive accessibility and communication troubles that arise from using hearing aids while talking on the phone.

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

Bettering your ability to hear phone conversations

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

  • Make use of video apps: Face-timing somebody or hopping onto a video chat can be a great way to help you hear better. It’s not that the sound quality is magically better, it’s that your brain has access to all of that fantastic visual information again. And this can help you put context to what’s being said.
  • Don’t conceal your hearing trouble from the individual you’re speaking with: If phone calls are difficult for you, it’s fine to admit that! Many people will be just fine transferring the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • Switch your phone to speaker mode as often as you can: This will prevent the most serious feedback. Your phone conversations might not be particularly private, but even though there still may be a little distortion, you should be able to better make out the voice on the other end. Knowing how to hold the phone better with hearing aids (that is, away from your ears) is critical, and speakerphone is how you achieve this!
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet location. It will be a lot easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less noise. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by lowering background noise.
  • 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.
  • Stream your phone to your hearing aid using Bluetooth. Yes, modern hearing aids can stream to your smartphone via Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, phone calls can be streamed straight to your phone. If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to begin getting rid of feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.

Depending on your general hearing needs, how often you use the phone, and what you use your phone for, the appropriate set of solutions will be available. With the right approach, you’ll have the resources you require to start enjoying those phone conversations once again.

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