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 reliable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But that doesn’t mean everyone can hear you all the time. In fact, there’s one population for whom phone conversations aren’t always a reliable experience: those who have hearing loss.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s an easy solution for that, right? Why not utilize a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit easier? Well, that’s not… exactly… how it works. In reality, while hearing aids can make face-to-face conversations much easier to handle, there are some difficulties associated with phone-based conversations. But there are certainly some things you can do to make your phone calls more successful.

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

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

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual hints. Your Brain doesn’t have the information it needs to fill in the blanks. You only hear parts and pieces of the other person’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

Hearing aids can help – here’s how

This can be helped by using hearing aids. They’ll particularly help your ears fill in a lot of those missing pieces. But talking on the phone with hearing aids can introduce some accessibility issues.

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

Tips to enhance 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 endorse several tips:

  • Be honest with the person you’re talking to on the phone: It’s ok to admit if you’re having difficulty! You might simply need to be a little more patient, or you may want to think about using text, email, or video chat.
  • Try using speakerphone to conduct the majority of your phone calls: This will prevent the most severe feedback. Your phone conversations may not be particularly private, but even though there still might be a little distortion, you should be able to better make out the voice on the other end. Knowing how to hold the phone better with hearing aids (that is, away from your ears) is essential, and speakerphone is how you accomplish this!
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, modern hearing aids can connect to your smartphone using Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable, phone calls can be streamed straight to your phone. If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to begin reducing feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Make use of video apps: You may have an easier time making out phone conversations on a video call. 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 again, this kind of contextual information will be considerably helpful.
  • Find a quiet setting to conduct 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. If you limit background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will work so much better.
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can get: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better during phone conversations.

Finding the correct set of solutions will depend on what you use the phone for, how frequently you’re on the phone, and what your overall communication needs are like. With the correct approach, you’ll have the resources you need to start enjoying those phone conversations once again.

If you need more advice on how to utilize hearing aids with your phone, give us a call, 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.