Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Contemporary cell phones have become much clearer and more reliable nowadays. But that doesn’t mean everyone can hear you all the time. As a matter of fact, there’s one group for whom using a phone isn’t always a positive experience: those who have hearing loss.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s a simple remedy for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations better? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely like that. It turns out that, while hearing aids can make face-to-face conversations much easier to manage, there are some difficulties associated with phone-based conversations. But there are a few tips for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a bit more out of your next conversation.

Why hearing aids and phone calls don’t always play nice

Hearing loss typically isn’t sudden. It’s not like someone just turns down the overall volume on your ears. You tend 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 try to utilize contextual and visual clues to compensate.

When you talk on the phone, you no longer have these visual clues. There’s no extra information for your brain to fill in. You only hear parts and pieces of the other person’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

Hearing aids can help – here’s how

Hearing aids will help with this. Many of those missing pieces can be filled in with 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 close to a phone, for example. This can lead to some uncomfortable 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 advocate:

  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can connect to your cellphone using Bluetooth! This means you’ll be capable of streaming phone calls directly to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled). If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to start eliminating feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Be honest with the individual you’re talking to on the phone: It’s ok to admit if you’re having trouble! You might just need to be a little extra patient, or you may want to consider using text, email, or video chat.
  • Utilize other assistive hearing devices: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better when you’re having phone conversations.
  • Download a video call app: Face-timing somebody or hopping onto a video chat can be a great way to help you hear better. It’s not that the sound quality is somehow better, it’s that your brain has access to all of that fantastic visual information again. And once more, this kind of contextual information will be considerably helpful.
  • Try using speakerphone to conduct most of your phone calls: This will prevent the most severe feedback. Your phone calls might not be very 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 switching to speakerphone.
  • Find a quiet setting to conduct your phone calls. It will be much easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less noise. Your hearing aids will be much more efficient by lowering background noise.

Finding the correct set of solutions will depend on what you use the phone for, how often you’re on the phone, and what your general communication needs are like. With the correct approach, you’ll have the resources you require to begin enjoying those phone conversations once again.

If you need more guidance 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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