Top Tips for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Modern cell phones have become a lot clearer and more dependable nowadays. But that doesn’t mean everybody can hear you all the time. As a matter of fact, there’s one group for whom using a phone isn’t always a positive experience: those with hearing loss.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s a simple fix for that, right? Why not utilize a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little easier? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely like that. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more difficult. But there are definitely a few things you can do to make your phone conversations more successful.

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

Hearing loss usually progresses slowly. Your hearing normally doesn’t just go. It has a tendency to go in bits and pieces. It’s likely that you won’t even detect you have hearing loss and your brain will attempt to utilize contextual and visual clues to compensate.

So when you get on the phone, all of that contextual data is gone. Your Brain doesn’t have the info it needs to fill in the blanks. There’s only a really muffled voice and you only make out bits and pieces of the range of the other person’s voice.

How hearing aids can be helpful

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 introduce some accessibility issues.

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

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

So what steps can be taken to help make your hearing aids work better with a phone? the majority of hearing specialists will endorse several tips:

  • 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. The sound won’t be louder or clearer, but at least you will have that visual information back. And once more, this kind of contextual information will be considerably helpful.
  • Try utilizing speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone calls: Most feedback can be avoided this way. There may still be a little distortion, but your phone call should be mostly understandable (while maybe not necessarily private). The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid away from each other is by switching to speakerphone.
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Yes, modern hearing aids can connect to your cellphone via Bluetooth! This means you’ll be able to stream phone calls directly to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable). This can prevent feedback and make your phone calls a bit more private, so it’s a good place to begin if you’re having trouble on your phone.
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can get: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better when you’re having a phone conversation (including many text-to-type services).
  • 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 background sound. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by reducing background noise.
  • Don’t hide your hearing trouble from the individual you’re speaking with: It’s okay to admit if you’re having difficulties! Many individuals 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 resources you need to start enjoying those phone conversations once again.

Call 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.