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

There must be an easy fix for that, right? Why not use a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit clearer? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely like that. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more challenging. But there are a few guidelines for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a bit more from your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss usually develops slowly. It’s not like someone just turns down the general volume on your ears. You tend to lose bits and pieces over time. It’s likely that you won’t even notice 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 disappears. Your Brain lacks the info it requires 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

Hearing aids will help with this. They’ll particularly help your ears fill in a lot of those missing pieces. But there are some unique accessibility and communication troubles that arise from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

For example, placing your hearing aids near a phone speaker can cause some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can make things difficult to hear and uncomfortable.

Tips to augment the phone call experience

So, what can you do to manage the difficulties of using a phone with hearing aids? Well, there are a number of tips that the majority of hearing specialists will endorse:

  • Make use of other assistive hearing devices: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better when you’re having phone conversations.
  • Don’t conceal your hearing problems from the individual you’re talking to: It’s okay to admit if you’re having difficulty! You may just need to be a little extra patient, or you might want to consider using text, email, or video chat.
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can stream to your smartphone using Bluetooth! This means you’ll be able to stream phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled). If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to start reducing feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Make use of video apps: You might have an easier time making out phone conversations on a video call. The sound won’t be louder or more clear, but at least you’ll have that visual information back. And once more, this type of contextual information will be substantially helpful.
  • Consider utilizing speakerphone to conduct the majority of your phone calls: This will prevent the most serious feedback. Your phone calls might not be particularly private, but even though there still might be some distortion, you should be able to better understand the voice on the other end. The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid apart is by using speakerphone.
  • 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 background sound. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by reducing background noise.

Finding the correct set of solutions will depend on what you use your phone for, how frequently you’re on the phone, and what your overall communication needs are like. Your ability to once more enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the right approach.

Contact us for some help and guidance on how to best utilize your phone and hearing aids at the same time.

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.