Hearing Health Blog

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Nowadays, the cellular phone network is a lot more reliable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But that doesn’t mean everyone can hear you all the time. And for people who have hearing loss, it can be especially difficult.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s an easy remedy for that, right? Can’t you make use of some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations better? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely that way. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more difficult. But there are certainly some things you can do to make your phone conversations more effective.

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 general volume on your ears. It has a tendency to go a little at a time. This can make it difficult to even detect when you have hearing loss, especially because your brain tries really hard to fill in the gaps with context clues and other visual information.

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual clues. There’s no added 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 be helpful – here’s how

Hearing aids can 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 happen from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

Feedback can occur when your hearing aids come near a phone, for instance. This can result in 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 suggest:

  • Connect your phone to your hearing aid via Bluetooth. Hold on, can hearing aids connect to smartphones? Yes, they can! This means you’ll be able to stream phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled). This can eliminate feedback and make your phone calls a bit more private, so it’s a good place to begin if you’re having trouble on your phone.
  • Find a quiet location to carry out your phone calls. 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 perform so much better.
  • Use other assistive hearing devices: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better when you’re having a phone conversation (including numerous text-to-type services).
  • Make use of video apps: You might have an easier time distinguishing phone conversations on a video call. The sound won’t be louder or clearer, but at least you’ll have that visual information back. And again, this kind of contextual information will be substantially helpful.
  • Be honest with the individual you’re talking to on the phone: If phone calls are difficult for you, it’s fine to admit that! You might just need to be a little more patient, or you may want to think about using text, email, or video chat.
  • Consider utilizing speakerphone to conduct the majority of your phone conversations: This will prevent the most serious feedback. There might still be some distortion, but your phone conversation should be mostly understandable (if not necessarily private). The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid apart is by switching to speakerphone.

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 general communication requirements are like. With the right approach, you’ll have the resources you require to begin enjoying those phone conversations once again.

If you need more advice on how to use 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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