Best Practices for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Nowadays, 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. As a matter of fact, there’s one population for whom phone conversations aren’t always a reliable experience: those with hearing loss.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s a simple solution for that, right? Why not utilize a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little easier? Well, that’s not… exactly… the way it works. In reality, while hearing aids can make face-to-face conversations a great deal easier to handle, there are some challenges associated with phone-based conversations. But there are definitely a few things you can do to make your phone calls more effective.

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

Hearing loss generally isn’t sudden. It isn’t like somebody simply turns down the general volume on your ears. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces over time. It’s likely that you won’t even detect you have hearing loss and your brain will try to use contextual and visual clues to compensate.

So when you get on the phone, all of that contextual data is gone. There’s no extra information for your brain to fill in. There’s only a very muffled voice and you only hear bits and pieces of the spectrum of the other person’s voice.

Hearing aids can help – here’s how

This can be helped by using hearing aids. They’ll especially help your ears fill in a lot of those missing pieces. But there are a few distinctive 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 make things difficult to hear and uncomfortable.

Tips to augment the phone call experience

So, what can you do to control the difficulties of utilizing a phone with hearing aids? Most hearing specialists will endorse several tips:

  • Download a video call app: You might 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 this can help you put context to what’s being talked about.
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can get: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better during phone conversations.
  • Switch your phone to speaker mode as frequently as you can: Most feedback can be avoided this way. There may still be some distortion, but your phone conversation should be mostly understandable (if not necessarily private). The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid apart is by using speakerphone.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet location. The less noise around you, the easier it will be to pick out the voice of the person you’re speaking with. Your hearing aids will be much more efficient by decreasing background noise.
  • Be sincere with the person you’re speaking with on the phone: It’s okay to admit if you’re having trouble! You may just need to be a little extra patient, or you may want to consider switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Hold on, can hearing aids stream to smartphones? Yes, they can! This means you’ll be capable of streaming phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable). This can prevent feedback and make your phone calls a bit more private, so it’s a good place to begin if you’re having trouble on your phone.

Depending on your overall 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 guidance 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.