Best Practices 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 dependable nowadays. But that doesn’t mean everyone can hear you all the time. And for individuals who have hearing loss, it can be particularly difficult.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s an easy fix for that, right? Can’t you make use of some hearing aids to help you understand phone conversations better? Well, that isn’t… exactly… the way it works. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more difficult. But there are a few tips for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a little more out of your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss normally develops gradually. It isn’t like someone simply turns down the general volume on your ears. It has a tendency to go a little at a time. This can make it difficult to even notice when you have hearing loss, particularly because your brain tries very hard to fill in the gaps with context clues and other visual information.

When you talk on the phone, you no longer have these visual hints. Your Brain lacks the information it needs to fill in the blanks. You only hear parts and pieces of the other individual’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

Hearing aids can help – here’s how

This can be helped by wearing hearing aids. Many of those missing pieces can be filled in by using hearing aids. But talking on the phone while wearing hearing aids can introduce some accessibility issues.

Feedback can happen when your hearing aids come close to a phone, for instance. This can result in some uncomfortable gaps in conversation because you can’t hear very well.

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

So, what can you do to control the difficulties of utilizing a phone with hearing aids? Well, there are a few tips that the majority of hearing specialists will endorse:

  • Don’t conceal your hearing problems from the person you’re talking to: If phone calls are difficult for you, it’s fine to admit that! Many people will be fine transferring the conversation to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • Find a quiet location to conduct your phone calls. The less noise around you, the easier it will be to make out the voice of the person you’re on the phone with. Your hearing aids will be much more efficient by lowering background noise.
  • Download a video call app: Face-timing someone or hopping onto a video chat can be a very good way to help you hear better. It isn’t that the sound quality is magically better, it’s that your brain has use of all of that amazing visual information again. And this can help you put context to what’s being said.
  • 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 (and this includes many text-to-type services).
  • Put your phone in speaker mode as often as possible: This will protect against the most serious feedback. Your phone conversations may not be particularly 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 critical, and speakerphone is how you achieve this!
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Yes, modern hearing aids can connect to your cellphone via Bluetooth! This means you’ll be able to stream phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable). This can eliminate feedback and make your phone calls a bit more private, so it’s a good place to start if you’re having trouble on your phone.

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. With the right approach, you’ll have the tools you require to begin enjoying those phone conversations once again.

Contact 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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