Best Practices for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Nowadays, the cellular phone network is much more reliable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But sometimes, it will still be hard to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. And for individuals who have hearing loss, it can be particularly difficult.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s an easy fix for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations better? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly like that. It turns out that, while hearing aids can make in person conversations a great deal easier to handle, there are some challenges associated with phone-based conversations. 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 well together – here’s why

Hearing loss typically advances slowly. Your hearing normally doesn’t just go. It tends to go a little at a time. This can make it hard to even notice when you have hearing loss, especially because your brain tries really hard to fill in the gaps with contextual clues and other visual information.

When you talk on the phone, you no longer have these visual hints. There’s no added information for your brain to work with. There’s only a very distorted voice and you only make out bits and pieces of the spectrum of the other person’s voice.

Hearing aids can be helpful – here’s how

Hearing aids will help with this. Many of those missing pieces can be filled in with hearing aids. But there are some unique accessibility and communication troubles that happen from using hearing aids while talking on the phone.

For example, placing your hearing aids next to a phone speaker can create 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 can you do to manage the obstacles of using a phone with hearing aids? Well, there are a few tips that the majority of hearing specialists will advocate:

  • Don’t conceal your hearing trouble from the person you’re talking to: It’s all right to admit if you’re having trouble! Many people will be just fine transferring the conversation to text message or email or video calls (or simply being a little extra patient).
  • 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 on the phone with. Your hearing aids will be much more efficient by reducing background noise.
  • Use other assistive hearing devices: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better when you’re having a phone conversation (and this includes many text-to-type services).
  • Utilize video apps: You may have an easier time distinguishing phone conversations on a video call. The sound won’t be louder or more clear, but at least you will have that visual information back. And once more, this kind of contextual information will be substantially helpful.
  • Consider using speakerphone to conduct the majority of your phone conversations: Most feedback can be averted this way. Your phone conversations might not be very private, but even though there still might be a little 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.
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, modern hearing aids can stream to your smartphone using Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, phone calls can be streamed right to your phone. If you’re having difficulty using your phone with your hearing aid, a good place to begin getting rid of feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.

Depending on your overall 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 correct approach.

If you need more advice 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.