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 a great deal more dependable (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. In fact, there’s one population for whom using a phone isn’t always a reliable experience: those who have hearing loss.

There must be an easy solution for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations better? Well, that’s not… exactly… how it works. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more difficult. But there are some guidelines 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 well together – here’s why

Hearing loss normally develops slowly. Your hearing usually doesn’t just go. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces at a time. It’s likely that you won’t even notice you have hearing loss and your brain will attempt to utilize contextual and visual clues to compensate.

So when you get on the phone, all of that contextual data is gone. Your Brain lacks the info it requires to fill in the blanks. You only hear parts and pieces of the other person’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

How hearing aids can help

This can be improved by using hearing aids. They’ll especially help your ears fill in many of those missing pieces. But talking on the phone with hearing aids can introduce some accessibility issues.

For instance, placing your hearing aids next to a phone speaker can create some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can lead to some uncomfortable gaps in conversation because you can’t hear really well.

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

So what measures can be taken to help make your hearing aids work better with a phone? Well, there are several tips that the majority of hearing specialists will recommend:

  • 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 when you’re having phone conversations.
  • Stream your phone to your hearing aid via Bluetooth. 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 enabled). This can prevent feedback and make your phone calls a little more private, so it’s a practical place to start if you’re having difficulty on your phone.
  • Consider utilizing speakerphone to carry out most of your phone calls: This will prevent the most serious feedback. Your phone conversations may not be very private, but even though there still might 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 crucial, and speakerphone is how you achieve this!
  • Find a quiet spot to carry out your phone calls. The less noise around you, the easier it will be to make out the voice of the individual you’re on the phone with. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by reducing background noise.
  • Be sincere with the person you’re talking to on the phone: It’s ok to admit if you’re having difficulty! Many people will be just fine transferring the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • Utilize video apps: You may have an easier time making out phone conversations on a video call. It’s not that the sound quality is somehow better, it’s that your brain has use of all of that fantastic visual information again. And once more, this kind of contextual information will be greatly helpful.

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

Contact 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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