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 dependable nowadays. But sometimes, it will still be challenging to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. And for individuals who have hearing loss, it can be especially difficult.

There must be an easy fix for that, right? Why not utilize a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little clearer? Well, that isn’t… exactly… how it works. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more challenging. But there are certainly a few things you can do to make your phone calls more successful.

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

Hearing loss normally develops slowly. It’s not like someone simply turns down the overall volume on your ears. You tend to lose bits and pieces over time. This can make it difficult to even detect when you have hearing loss, particularly because your brain tries very hard to fill in the gaps with context clues and other visual information.

So when you get on the phone, all of that contextual data disappears. There’s no added information for your brain to fill in. There’s only a very distorted voice and you only hear bits and pieces of the spectrum of the other individual’s voice.

How hearing aids can help

This can be improved by using hearing aids. Many of those missing pieces can be filled in by using hearing aids. But there are some distinctive accessibility and communication challenges that happen from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

For instance, putting your hearing aids next to a phone speaker can create some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can make things difficult to hear and uncomfortable.

Bettering your ability to hear phone conversations

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

  • Switch your phone to speaker mode as frequently as possible: This will prevent the most serious feedback. Your phone conversations may not be very private, but even though there still may be some distortion, you should be able to better understand 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!
  • Find a quiet place to carry out your phone calls. It will be a lot easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less noise. If you limit background noise during phone conversations 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 when you’re having phone conversations.
  • Stream your phone to your hearing aid using Bluetooth. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can stream to your smartphone via Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, phone calls can be streamed straight to your phone. This can prevent feedback and make your phone calls a bit more private, so it’s a practical place to begin if you’re having trouble on your phone.
  • Utilize video apps: You may have an easier time distinguishing phone conversations on a video call. It isn’t that the sound quality is somehow better, it’s that your brain has access to all of that amazing visual information again. And once more, this kind of contextual information will be considerably helpful.
  • Don’t conceal your hearing trouble from the individual you’re talking to: It’s all right to admit if you’re having difficulties! Many individuals will be fine moving the conversation to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).

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. Your ability to once more enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the correct approach.

Call us for some help and advice 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.

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