Top Tips for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

These days, the cellular phone network is much 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 group for whom phone conversations aren’t always a reliable experience: those with hearing loss.

There must be a simple fix for that, right? Can’t you make use of some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations more clearly? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely like that. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more challenging. But there are definitely some 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. Your hearing normally doesn’t just go. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces at a time. It’s likely that you won’t even notice you have hearing loss and your brain will attempt to use contextual and visual clues to compensate.

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual clues. Your Brain lacks the info it requires to fill in the blanks. You only hear parts and pieces of the other individual’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

How hearing aids can be helpful

Hearing aids will help with this. They’ll especially help your ears fill in a lot of those missing pieces. But there are some distinctive accessibility and communication challenges that happen from using hearing aids while talking on the phone.

For instance, putting your hearing aids near a phone speaker can cause some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can lead to some awkward gaps in conversation because you can’t hear that well.

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

So, what can you do to overcome the obstacles of utilizing a phone with hearing aids? Well, there are a few tips that the majority of hearing specialists will recommend:

  • Make use of video apps: You might have an easier time making out phone conversations on a video call. It isn’t that the sound quality is somehow better, it’s that your brain has use of all of that amazing visual information again. And this can help you add context to what’s being talked about.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet spot. It will be much easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less background sound. If you minimize background noise during phone conversations your hearing aids will perform so much better.
  • Connect your phone to your hearing aid via Bluetooth. Wait, can hearing aids connect 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 enabled). If you’re having difficulty using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to begin eliminating feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can use: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better during a phone conversation (including numerous text-to-type services).
  • Don’t conceal your hearing trouble from the individual you’re talking to: If phone calls are difficult for you, it’s fine to admit that! Many people will be fine transferring the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or simply being a little extra patient).
  • Try utilizing speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone conversations: This will prevent the most severe feedback. Your phone conversations might not be particularly private, but even though there still may be some distortion, you should be able to better understand the voice on the other end. The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid apart is by using speakerphone.

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 available. With the right approach, you’ll have the tools you need to start enjoying those phone conversations again.

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.