Best Practices for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Nowadays, the mobile phone network is much more dependable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But in some cases, it will still be hard to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. In fact, there’s one population 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 utilize a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit clearer? Well, that’s not… exactly… the way it works. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more challenging. But there are some guidelines for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a bit more from your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss normally develops slowly. Your hearing usually doesn’t just go. It tends to go in bits and pieces. This can make it hard 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.

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

How hearing aids can be helpful

This can be improved by wearing hearing aids. Many of those missing pieces can be filled in with hearing aids. But talking on the phone with hearing aids can introduce some accessibility issues.

For instance, putting your hearing aids near a phone speaker can produce some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can lead to some awkward gaps in conversation because you can’t hear very well.

Tips to augment the phone call experience

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

  • Download a video call app: You might have an easier time distinguishing phone conversations on a video call. The sound won’t be louder or clearer, but at least you will have that visual information back. And this can help you add context to what’s being talked about.
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can stream to your cellphone via Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, phone calls can be streamed directly to your phone. If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to begin eliminating feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet area. It will be a lot easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less noise. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by decreasing background noise.
  • 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 when you’re having phone conversations.
  • Try utilizing speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone calls: Most feedback can be averted this way. There might still be some 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 essential, and speakerphone is how you achieve this!
  • Don’t conceal your hearing trouble from the individual you’re talking to: It’s all right to admit if you’re having difficulties! You might simply need to be a little extra patient, or you may want to consider switching to text, email, or video chat.

Depending on your general hearing needs, how frequently you use the phone, and what you use your phone for, the appropriate set of solutions will be available. With the right approach, you’ll have the tools you require to start enjoying those phone conversations once again.

Contact us for some help and advice on how to best utilize 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.