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 dependable nowadays. But that doesn’t mean everybody can hear you all the time. And for individuals who have hearing loss, it can be especially difficult.

There must be a simple 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 that way. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more difficult. But there are definitely some things you can do to make your phone calls more successful.

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

Hearing loss usually advances gradually. Your hearing typically doesn’t just go. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces over time. It’s likely that you won’t even detect you have hearing loss and your brain will try to utilize contextual and visual clues to compensate.

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

How hearing aids can help

Hearing aids will help with this. Many of those missing pieces can be filled in with hearing aids. But talking on the phone with hearing aids can present some accessibility issues.

For example, placing your hearing aids close to a phone speaker can cause some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can result in some awkward gaps in conversation because you can’t hear very well.

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

So, what can you do to address the obstacles of utilizing a phone with hearing aids? Well, there are several tips that most hearing specialists will suggest:

  • Don’t conceal your hearing problems from the person you’re speaking with: If phone calls are difficult for you, it’s fine to admit that! You might simply need to be a little more patient, or you may want to consider switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet area. 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 effective by decreasing background noise.
  • Consider using speakerphone to carry out most of your phone conversations: This will prevent the most severe feedback. There may still be some distortion, but your phone call 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!
  • Download a video call app: Face-timing somebody or hopping onto a video chat can be a very good way to help you hear better. It’s not that the sound quality is somehow better, it’s that your brain has use of all of that fantastic visual information again. And again, this kind of contextual information will be greatly helpful.
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Hold on, can hearing aids connect to smartphones? Yes, they can! This means you’ll be capable of streaming phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable). This can eliminate feedback and make your phone calls a bit more private, so it’s a practical place to begin if you’re having difficulty on your phone.
  • 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.

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. Your ability to once again 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.

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