Best Tips for Using a Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Modern cell phones have become a lot clearer and more dependable nowadays. But in some cases, it will still be hard to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. In fact, there’s one population for whom using a phone isn’t always a positive 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? Well, that isn’t… exactly… how it works. In reality, while hearing aids can make in person conversations a lot easier to handle, there are some difficulties related to 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 usually develops gradually. It’s not like someone simply turns down the general volume on your ears. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces over time. This can make it hard to even detect when you have hearing loss, particularly because your brain tries very hard to fill in the gaps with contextual clues and other visual information.

So when you get on a phone, all of that contextual data is gone. Your Brain doesn’t have the info it requires to fill in the blanks. 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. They’ll especially help your ears fill in many of those missing pieces. But there are a few unique accessibility and communication troubles that occur from using hearing aids while talking on the phone.

Feedback can happen when your hearing aids come close to a phone, for example. This can make things hard to hear and uncomfortable.

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

So what measures can be taken to help make your hearing aids function better with a phone? Well, there are several tips that the majority of hearing specialists will suggest:

  • Stream your phone to your hearing aid using Bluetooth. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can stream to your smartphone using Bluetooth! This means you’ll be capable of streaming phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable). This can get rid of feedback and make your phone calls a bit more private, so it’s a practical place to begin if you’re having trouble on your phone.
  • 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.
  • Download a video call app: Face-timing someone or jumping onto a video chat can be a very good way to help you hear better. The sound won’t be louder or more clear, but at least you will have that visual information back. And this can help you add context to what’s being said.
  • Try using speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone conversations: Most feedback can be prevented this way. There might still be a little distortion, but your phone call 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 essential, and speakerphone is how you achieve this!
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet spot. The less noise around you, the easier it will be to pick out the voice of the person you’re speaking with. If you lessen background noise during phone conversations your hearing aids will perform so much better.
  • Don’t hide your hearing trouble from the person you’re speaking with: It’s all right to admit if you’re having difficulties! Many individuals will be just fine switching the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or simply being a little extra patient).

Finding the correct set of solutions will depend on what you use the phone for, how frequently you’re on the phone, and what your overall communication needs are like. With the right approach, you’ll have the tools you need to start enjoying those phone conversations once again.

Contact us for some help and guidance on how to best utilize your phone and hearing aids at the same time.

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.