Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

These days, the mobile phone network is a lot more reliable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But that doesn’t mean everybody can hear you all the time. In fact, there’s one population for whom using a phone isn’t always a reliable experience: those with hearing loss.

There must be a simple fix for that, right? Why not use a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little easier? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely like that. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more challenging. But there are definitely 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 generally isn’t sudden. It isn’t like someone just turns down the general volume on your ears. It tends to go a little at a 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.

When you talk on the phone, you no longer have these visual hints. There’s no extra information for your brain to work with. There’s only a really muffled voice and you only hear bits and pieces of the range of the other individual’s voice.

Hearing aids can help – here’s how

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

Feedback can happen when your hearing aids come near a phone, for example. This can make things difficult to hear and uncomfortable.

Bettering your ability to hear phone conversations

So what measures can be taken to help make your hearing aids work better with a phone? Well, there are a few tips that the majority of hearing specialists will recommend:

  • Connect your phone to your hearing aid via Bluetooth. Yes, modern hearing aids can stream to your smartphone via 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 start getting rid of feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Download a video call app: Face-timing somebody or hopping onto a video chat can be a very good way to help you hear better. It isn’t that the sound quality is somehow better, it’s that your brain has use of all of that fantastic visual information again. And this can help you add context to what’s being talked about.
  • Don’t conceal your hearing problems from the person you’re speaking with: It’s ok to admit if you’re having difficulties! Many people will be just fine switching the conversation to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet spot. It will be a lot easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less background sound. If you control background noise during phone conversations your hearing aids will work so much better.
  • Consider using speakerphone to conduct most of your phone calls: Most feedback can be averted this way. There might still be some distortion, but your phone call should be mostly understandable (while maybe not necessarily private). Knowing how to hold the phone better with hearing aids (that is, away from your ears) is crucial, and speakerphone is how you achieve this!
  • Make use of other assistive hearing devices: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better during phone conversations.

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. With the correct approach, you’ll have the tools you require to begin enjoying those phone conversations once again.

If you need more guidance on how to use hearing aids with your phone, call us, we can help.

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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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