Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

These days, the mobile phone network is a great deal more dependable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But sometimes, it will still be difficult to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. As a matter of fact, there’s one population for whom using a phone isn’t always a positive experience: those with hearing loss.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s an easy fix for that, right? Why not use a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little easier? Well, that isn’t… exactly… the way it works. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more difficult. But there are definitely some things you can do to make your phone conversations more effective.

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

Hearing loss typically isn’t immediate. It isn’t like somebody simply 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.

So when you get on the phone, all of that contextual data disappears. Your Brain lacks the information it requires to fill in the blanks. There’s only a very muffled voice and you only make out bits and pieces of the range of the other person’s voice.

How hearing aids can help

Hearing aids will help with this. They’ll particularly help your ears fill in many of those missing pieces. But talking on the phone while wearing hearing aids can present some accessibility problems.

Feedback can happen when your hearing aids come near a phone, for example. This can lead to some awkward gaps in conversation because you can’t hear very well.

Bettering your ability to hear phone conversations

So, what can you do to address the obstacles of utilizing a phone with hearing aids? Most hearing specialists will recommend several tips:

  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Hold on, can hearing aids connect to smartphones? Yes, they can! This means you’ll be capable of streaming phone calls directly to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled). This can eliminate feedback and make your phone calls a bit more private, so it’s a practical place to start if you’re having trouble on your phone.
  • Put your phone in speaker mode as often as possible: Most feedback can be prevented this way. There may still be a little distortion, but your phone call should be mostly understandable (if not necessarily private). Knowing how to hold the phone better with hearing aids (that is, away from your ears) is critical, and speakerphone is how you accomplish this!
  • Find a quiet place to carry out your phone conversations. It will be a lot easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less background sound. If you limit background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will work so much better.
  • Don’t hide your hearing trouble from the person you’re speaking with: If phone calls are difficult for you, it’s fine to admit that! Many people will be just fine moving the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • Download a video call app: Face-timing someone or jumping onto a video chat can be a very good way to help you hear better. The sound won’t be louder or more clear, but at least you will have that visual information back. And this can help you add context to what’s being said.
  • Use other assistive hearing devices: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better during phone conversations.

Depending on your general hearing needs, how often 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, give us a call, 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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