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 reliable nowadays. But sometimes, it will still be hard to hear what the person on the other end is saying. And for individuals who have hearing loss, it can be particularly difficult.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s a simple solution for that, right? Can’t you make use of some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations more clearly? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely that way. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more challenging. But there are certainly a few things you can do to make your phone calls more effective.

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

Hearing loss normally progresses slowly. Your hearing normally doesn’t just go. 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 utilize contextual and visual clues to compensate.

So when you get on a phone, all of that contextual data is gone. There’s no added information for your brain to fill in. There’s only a very distorted voice and you only make out bits and pieces of the range of the other individual’s voice.

Hearing aids can help – here’s how

This can be helped by wearing hearing aids. They’ll especially help your ears fill in a lot of those missing pieces. But there are a few unique accessibility and communication difficulties that occur from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

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

Tips to improve the phone call experience

So what measures can be taken to help make your hearing aids work better with a phone? Most hearing specialists will suggest a few tips:

  • Don’t hide your hearing problems from the person you’re speaking with: If phone calls are hard for you, it’s fine to admit that! You may simply need to be a little more patient, or you might want to think about switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • You can utilize 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 you’ll be able to stream phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled). 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.
  • Utilize video apps: Face-timing someone or jumping onto a video chat can be a very good way to help you hear better. The sound won’t be louder or clearer, but at least you will have that visual information back. And again, this type of contextual information will be greatly helpful.
  • Use other assistive hearing devices: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better during phone conversations.
  • Find a quiet place to carry out your phone conversations. It will be a lot easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less noise. If you minimize background noise during phone conversations your hearing aids will work so much better.
  • Consider utilizing speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone calls: This will counter the most serious feedback. There may still be a little distortion, but your phone conversation should be mostly understandable (while maybe not necessarily private). 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!

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.

If you need more advice on how to utilize 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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