Top Tips for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Nowadays, the mobile phone network is much more reliable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But sometimes, it will still be challenging to hear what the person on the other end is saying. In fact, there’s one group for whom phone conversations aren’t always a reliable experience: those who have hearing loss.

There must be an easy fix for that, right? Why not utilize a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit clearer? Well, that’s not… exactly… how it works. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more difficult. But there are certainly some things you can do to make your phone calls more effective.

Why phone calls and hearing aids don’t always get along

Hearing loss generally isn’t sudden. It isn’t like someone simply turns down the overall volume on your ears. It tends to go in bits and pieces. This can make it difficult to even notice when you have hearing loss, particularly because your brain tries really hard to fill in the gaps with contextual clues and other visual information.

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. You only hear parts and pieces of the other person’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

How hearing aids can help

This can be improved by using hearing aids. 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 problems.

Feedback can occur when your hearing aids come close to a phone, for example. This can result in some uncomfortable gaps in conversation because you can’t hear that well.

Improving 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 number of tips that the majority of hearing specialists will suggest:

  • Find a quiet place to carry out your phone calls. It will be much easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less noise. If you minimize background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will work so much better.
  • Make use of video apps: You may have an easier time making out phone conversations on a video call. It isn’t that the sound quality is magically better, it’s that your brain has use of all of that amazing visual information again. And once more, this kind of contextual information will be greatly helpful.
  • Be truthful with the person you’re speaking with on the phone: If phone calls are hard for you, it’s okay to admit that! Many individuals will be fine moving the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • Consider using speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone conversations: Most feedback can be avoided this way. There might still be a little distortion, but your phone call should be mostly understandable (while maybe not necessarily private). The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid apart is by switching to speakerphone.
  • Stream your phone to your hearing aid using Bluetooth. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can stream to your cellphone via Bluetooth! This means you’ll be able to stream phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled). This can prevent 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.
  • Use other assistive hearing devices: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better during a phone conversation (including numerous text-to-type services).

Finding the correct set of solutions will depend on what you use your phone for, how frequently you’re on the phone, and what your overall communication requirements are like. Your ability to once more 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, give us a call, 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.