Best Tips for Using a Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

These days, the mobile phone network is a lot more dependable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But sometimes, it will still be difficult to hear what the person on the other end is saying. As a matter of fact, there’s one group for whom using a phone isn’t always a positive experience: those with hearing loss.

There must be a simple fix for that, right? Why not use a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little easier? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly like that. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more difficult. But there are definitely a few things you can do to make your phone calls more successful.

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

Hearing loss generally isn’t immediate. Your hearing usually doesn’t just go. You tend to lose bits and pieces over time. This can make it hard to even notice when you have hearing loss, particularly because your brain tries very hard to fill in the gaps with contextual clues and other visual information.

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual clues. There’s no extra information for your brain to fill in. There’s only a very distorted voice and you only hear bits and pieces of the spectrum of the other individual’s voice.

How hearing aids can help

This can be helped by using hearing aids. Lots of those missing pieces can be filled in by using hearing aids. But there are a few unique accessibility and communication troubles that occur from using hearing aids while talking on the phone.

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

Tips to augment the phone call experience

So, what can you do to control the challenges of utilizing a phone with hearing aids? Most hearing specialists will endorse a few tips:

  • Download a video call app: Face-timing someone or hopping onto a video chat can be a great way to help you hear better. It isn’t that the sound quality is somehow better, it’s that your brain has access to all of that fantastic visual information again. And this can help you put context to what’s being talked about.
  • Switch your phone to speaker mode as frequently as you can: Most feedback can be averted 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 crucial, and speakerphone is how you achieve this!
  • Find a quiet spot to conduct 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. If you lessen background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will perform so much better.
  • Don’t conceal your hearing trouble from the person you’re speaking with: If phone calls are hard for you, it’s okay to admit that! You might just need to be a little extra patient, or you may want to think about switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can connect to your smartphone using Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, phone calls can be streamed straight to your phone. If you’re having difficulty using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to begin getting rid of feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can get: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better when you’re having phone conversations.

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 overall communication requirements are like. With the correct approach, you’ll have the tools you need to begin enjoying those phone conversations again.

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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