Best Tips for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Nowadays, the cellular phone network is a great deal more reliable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But that doesn’t mean everybody 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.

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? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly like that. It turns out that, while hearing aids can make face-to-face conversations a great deal easier to manage, there are some challenges related to phone-based conversations. But there are a few guidelines for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a little more from your next conversation.

Why hearing aids and phone calls don’t always play nice

Hearing loss generally isn’t sudden. It isn’t like somebody simply turns down the overall volume on your ears. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces over time. 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.

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

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 there are some distinctive accessibility and communication challenges that happen from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

For example, putting your hearing aids near a phone speaker can produce some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can make things hard to hear and uncomfortable.

Bettering your ability to hear phone conversations

So what measures can be taken to help make your hearing aids function better with a phone? Well, there are a few tips that most hearing specialists will suggest:

  • Download a video call app: Face-timing somebody or hopping onto a video chat can be a great way to help you hear better. It’s not that the sound quality is magically 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 said.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet spot. It will be a lot easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less background sound. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by reducing background noise.
  • Be truthful with the individual you’re talking to on the phone: 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 may want to consider switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • Use other assistive hearing devices: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better during phone conversations.
  • Try utilizing speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone calls: This will prevent the most severe feedback. There might still be a little distortion, but your phone conversation should be mostly understandable (if 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!
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can stream to your smartphone using 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 good place to start eliminating feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.

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. Your ability to once more enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the right approach.

If you need more guidance 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.