Best Tips for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Modern cell phones have become much clearer and more reliable nowadays. But that doesn’t mean everyone can hear you all the time. And for people who have hearing loss, it can be especially difficult.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s a simple solution for that, right? Why not use a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit easier? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly that way. In reality, while hearing aids can make face-to-face conversations a lot easier to manage, there are some challenges associated with phone-based conversations. But there are a few tips for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a little more out of your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss usually progresses slowly. It’s not 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 detect you have hearing loss and your brain will try to utilize contextual and visual clues to compensate.

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

Hearing aids can be helpful – here’s how

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

Feedback can occur 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 steps can be taken to help make your hearing aids function better with a phone? Well, there are a number of tips that most hearing specialists will suggest:

  • Connect your phone to your hearing aid via Bluetooth. Hold on, can hearing aids connect to smartphones? Yes, they can! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, phone calls can be streamed straight to your phone. If you’re having difficulty using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to start reducing feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Make use of other assistive hearing devices: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better when you’re having phone conversations.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet location. The less noise near 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 decreasing background noise.
  • Put your phone in speaker mode as frequently as possible: Most feedback can be prevented this way. There may still be some distortion, but your phone conversation should be mostly understandable (while maybe not necessarily private). Knowing how to better hold your phone with hearing aids (that is, away from your ears) is crucial, and speakerphone is how you achieve this!
  • Use video apps: Face-timing someone or hopping 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’ll have that visual information back. And again, this kind of contextual information will be substantially helpful.
  • Be truthful with the person you’re speaking with on the phone: It’s okay to admit if you’re having difficulty! You may simply need to be a little more patient, or you may want to consider using text, email, or video chat.

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 available. Your ability to once again enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the correct approach.

Contact us for some help and advice on how to best utilize your phone and hearing aids together.