Best Tips for Using a Phone with Hearing Aids


Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Nowadays, the cellular 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 individual on the other end is saying. And for people who have hearing loss, it can be especially challenging.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s a simple solution 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. 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 from your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss typically progresses slowly. Your hearing normally doesn’t just go. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces at a time. This can make it difficult to even notice when you have hearing loss, especially because your brain tries really hard to fill in the gaps with context clues and other visual information.

So when you get on a phone, all of that contextual data disappears. Your Brain doesn’t have the info it needs to fill in the blanks. You only hear parts and pieces of the other individual’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

How hearing aids can help

This can be improved by wearing hearing aids. Many of those missing pieces can be filled in with hearing aids. But there are a few distinctive accessibility and communication difficulties that arise from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

For example, putting your hearing aids close to a phone speaker can cause some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. 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? the majority of hearing specialists will recommend several tips:

  • Don’t conceal your hearing trouble from the person you’re talking to: It’s okay to admit if you’re having difficulties! You may just need to be a little more patient, or you might want to think about using text, email, or video chat.
  • Find a quiet location to carry out your phone calls. The less noise near you, the easier it will be to make out the voice of the person you’re speaking with. Your hearing aids will be much more efficient by reducing background noise.
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Wait, can hearing aids stream to smartphones? Yes, they can! This means you’ll be able to stream phone calls directly 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.
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can use: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better during phone conversations.
  • Put your phone in speaker mode as often as possible: This will prevent the most severe feedback. There may 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!
  • Download a video call app: Face-timing someone or jumping 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 fantastic visual information again. And this can help you put context to what’s being talked about.

Depending on your overall 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 resources you need to begin enjoying those phone conversations once again.

Call us for some help and advice on how to best use your phone and hearing aids at the same time.

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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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