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 in some cases, it will still be challenging to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. As a matter of fact, there’s one group for whom phone conversations aren’t always a positive experience: those who have hearing loss.

There must be an easy fix for that, right? Can’t you make use of some hearing aids to help you understand phone conversations better? Well, that isn’t… exactly… the way it works. It turns out that, while hearing aids can make in person conversations a great deal easier to manage, there are some difficulties related to phone-based conversations. But there are some guidelines for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a little more from your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss typically advances gradually. It’s not like someone simply turns down the general volume on your ears. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces over time. This can make it difficult 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 talk on the phone, you no longer have these visual hints. Your Brain doesn’t have 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 can help with this. They’ll especially help your ears fill in many of those missing pieces. But talking on the phone with hearing aids can present some accessibility issues.

For instance, placing 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 that well.

Tips to augment the phone call experience

So what steps can be taken to help make your hearing aids function better with a phone? Well, there are several tips that most hearing specialists will endorse:

  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet spot. The less noise around you, the easier it will be to make out the voice of the person you’re speaking with. Your hearing aids will be much more efficient by lowering background noise.
  • Try utilizing speakerphone to conduct the majority of your phone calls: Most feedback can be avoided this way. Your phone conversations might not be particularly private, but even though there still may 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 away from each other is by using speakerphone.
  • Don’t hide your hearing problems from the person you’re talking to: If phone calls are hard for you, it’s okay to admit that! You may just need to be a little more patient, or you might want to consider switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • Use video apps: Face-timing somebody or jumping onto a video chat can be a great way to help you hear better. The sound won’t be louder or more clear, but at least you’ll have that visual information back. And this can help you put context to what’s being said.
  • Stream your phone to your hearing aid via Bluetooth. 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. This can get rid of 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 other assistive hearing devices: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better when you’re having phone conversations.

Finding the correct set of solutions will depend on what you use the phone for, how often you’re on the phone, and what your general communication requirements are like. Your ability to once again enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the correct approach.

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