Top Tips for Using a Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Contemporary cell phones have become much 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 especially challenging.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s a simple remedy for that, right? Can’t you make use of some hearing aids to help you understand phone conversations more clearly? Well, that’s not… exactly… the way it works. In reality, while hearing aids can make face-to-face conversations much easier to handle, there are some challenges associated with phone-based conversations. But there are definitely a few things you can do to make your phone conversations more successful.

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

Hearing loss typically isn’t sudden. It isn’t like somebody simply turns down the general volume on your ears. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces at a time. This can make it hard to even notice when you have hearing loss, particularly because your brain tries really hard to fill in the gaps with contextual clues and other visual information.

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual hints. There’s no extra information for your brain to fill in. There’s only a really muffled voice and you only make out bits and pieces of the spectrum of the other individual’s voice.

Hearing aids can be helpful – here’s how

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

Feedback can happen when your hearing aids come close to a phone, for instance. This can make things hard to hear and uncomfortable.

Bettering your ability to hear phone conversations

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

  • Use video apps: Face-timing someone or hopping onto a video chat can be a great 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 once more, this type of contextual information will be greatly helpful.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet area. It will be much easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less noise. If you control background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will perform so much better.
  • Put your phone in speaker mode as often as you can: Most feedback can be prevented this way. 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 essential, and speakerphone is how you achieve this!
  • Utilize other assistive hearing devices: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better when you’re having phone conversations.
  • Connect your phone to your hearing aid via Bluetooth. Yes, modern hearing aids can stream 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). This can prevent feedback and make your phone calls a bit more private, so it’s a practical place to start if you’re having difficulty on your phone.
  • Be honest with the person you’re speaking with on the phone: It’s all right to admit if you’re having difficulty! Many people will be just fine moving the conversation to text message or email or video calls (or simply being a little extra patient).

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 tools you require to start 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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