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 everyone can hear you all the time. As a matter of fact, there’s one population for whom phone conversations aren’t always a positive experience: those who have hearing loss.

There must be an easy solution for that, right? Why not use a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little easier? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly like that. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more difficult. But there are some 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 effectively together – here’s why

Hearing loss normally progresses slowly. It isn’t like somebody just turns down the overall volume on your ears. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces at a 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 clues. 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. They’ll particularly help your ears fill in a lot of those missing pieces. But talking on the phone while wearing hearing aids can present some accessibility issues.

Feedback can happen when your hearing aids come near a phone, for example. This can lead to some uncomfortable gaps in conversation because you can’t hear really well.

Tips to improve the phone call experience

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

  • Use video apps: Face-timing someone 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 access to all of that amazing visual information again. And this can help you put context to what’s being said.
  • 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 that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, phone calls can be streamed right to your phone. This can prevent feedback and make your phone calls a little more private, so it’s a practical place to start if you’re having difficulty on your phone.
  • Be sincere with the person you’re talking to on the phone: It’s okay to admit if you’re having difficulty! Many people will be fine moving the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or simply being a little extra patient).
  • Try using speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone conversations: This will prevent the most severe feedback. There might still be a little distortion, but your phone call should be mostly understandable (if not necessarily private). The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid away from each other is by using speakerphone.
  • 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 noise. If you minimize background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will work so much better.
  • Make use of other assistive hearing devices: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better during phone conversations.

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 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, give us a call, we can help.

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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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