Best Tips for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Contemporary cell phones have become much clearer and more dependable nowadays. But sometimes, it will still be hard to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. 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 an easy solution for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you understand phone conversations more clearly? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely that way. It turns out that, while hearing aids can make in person conversations a lot easier to manage, 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 successful.

Why hearing aids and phone calls don’t always get along

Hearing loss generally isn’t sudden. Your hearing normally doesn’t just go. It tends to go a little at a time. This can make it hard to even notice when you have hearing loss, particularly because your brain tries really hard to fill in the gaps with contextual clues and other visual information.

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual hints. Your Brain doesn’t have the information it needs 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 particularly help your ears fill in many of those missing pieces. But talking on the phone with hearing aids can introduce some accessibility problems.

Feedback can happen when your hearing aids come near a phone, for example. This can lead to some awkward gaps in conversation because you can’t hear that well.

Improving your ability to hear phone conversations

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

  • Be truthful with the person you’re talking to on the phone: If phone calls are hard for you, it’s fine to admit that! You might just need to be a little extra patient, or you might want to think about using text, email, or video chat.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet area. It will be much easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less background sound. If you limit background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will work so much better.
  • Use other assistive hearing devices: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better during a phone conversation (including numerous text-to-type services).
  • Use video apps: 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’ll have that visual information back. And this can help you add context to what’s being talked about.
  • Put your phone in speaker mode as often as you can: Most feedback can be averted 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 accomplish this!
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can stream to your smartphone using Bluetooth! This means you’ll be able to stream 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 good place to begin getting rid of feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.

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

If you need more advice on how to use 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.