Best 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 dependable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But sometimes, it will still be challenging to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. And for individuals who have hearing loss, it can be especially challenging.

There must be a simple fix for that, right? Why not utilize a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little easier? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly that way. It turns out that, while hearing aids can make in person conversations much easier to manage, there are some challenges related to phone-based conversations. But there are some tips for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a little more from your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss typically isn’t immediate. It isn’t like someone just turns down the general volume on your ears. You tend to lose bits and pieces at a 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 a phone, all of that contextual info is gone. 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.

Hearing aids can be helpful – here’s how

Hearing aids will help with this. Lots of those missing pieces can be filled in with hearing aids. But there are some distinctive accessibility and communication troubles that arise from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

For instance, placing your hearing aids next to a phone speaker can create some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can lead to some awkward gaps in conversation because you can’t hear very well.

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

So what steps can be taken to help make your hearing aids work better with a phone? Well, there are a few tips that most hearing specialists will advocate:

  • Stream your phone to your hearing aid using Bluetooth. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can connect to your cellphone using Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable, phone calls can be streamed right to your phone. If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a good place to begin eliminating feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Make use of other assistive hearing devices: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better during a phone conversation (including many text-to-type services).
  • Download a video call app: Face-timing someone or jumping onto a video chat can be a great way to help you hear better. The sound won’t be louder or clearer, but at least you will have that visual information back. And again, this type of contextual information will be substantially helpful.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet area. The less noise near you, the easier it will be to pick out the voice of the person you’re on the phone with. If you lessen background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will perform so much better.
  • Try using speakerphone to conduct most of your phone calls: Most feedback can be prevented this way. Your phone conversations may not be particularly private, but even though there still might be a little distortion, you should be able to better make out the voice on the other end. The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid apart is by using speakerphone.
  • Don’t conceal your hearing problems from the person you’re speaking with: If phone calls are difficult for you, it’s okay to admit that! Many people will be just fine switching the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).

Finding the right set of solutions will depend on what you use your phone for, how frequently you’re on the phone, and what your general communication requirements are like. Your ability to once again enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the correct approach.

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

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.