Best Practices 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 dependable nowadays. But that doesn’t mean everyone can hear you all the time. As a matter of fact, there’s one group for whom phone conversations aren’t always a positive experience: those with hearing loss.

There must be an easy solution for that, right? Why not utilize a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit clearer? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely like that. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more difficult. But there are a few guidelines for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a bit more from your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss normally progresses slowly. It’s not like somebody simply turns down the overall volume on your ears. It tends to go in bits and pieces. It’s likely that you won’t even notice you have hearing loss and your brain will attempt to use contextual and visual clues to compensate.

When you talk on the phone, you no longer have these visual hints. There’s no extra information for your brain to work with. You only hear parts and pieces of the other person’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

How hearing aids can help

Hearing aids can help with this. Many of those missing pieces can be filled in by using hearing aids. But there are some distinctive accessibility and communication troubles that happen from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

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

Improving your ability to hear phone conversations

So what steps can be taken to help make your hearing aids work better with a phone? Most hearing specialists will endorse several tips:

  • Don’t hide your hearing problems from the person you’re speaking with: It’s okay to admit if you’re having trouble! Many people will be just fine switching the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can connect to your cellphone 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 great place to begin reducing feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Find a quiet setting to conduct your phone calls. The less noise around you, the easier it will be to pick out the voice of the individual you’re speaking with. If you minimize background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will work so much better.
  • Consider using speakerphone to conduct most of your phone conversations: This will protect against the most serious feedback. There might still be a little distortion, but your phone call 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.
  • Make use of other assistive hearing devices: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better when you’re having phone conversations.
  • Download a video call app: You might have an easier time making out phone conversations on a video call. It’s not that the sound quality is magically better, it’s that your brain has use of all of that fantastic visual information again. And this can help you put context to what’s being talked about.

Finding the correct set of solutions will depend on what you use your phone for, how often you’re on the phone, and what your general communication needs are like. Your ability to once again enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the right approach.

If you need more advice on how to use hearing aids with your phone, give us a call, 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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