Top Tips for Using a Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

These days, the mobile phone network is a lot more reliable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But sometimes, it will still be challenging to hear what the person on the other end is saying. As a matter of fact, there’s one group for whom phone conversations aren’t always a positive experience: those with hearing loss.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s a simple fix for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you understand phone conversations more clearly? Well, that’s not… exactly… the way it works. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more challenging. But there are definitely a few things you can do to make your phone calls more successful.

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

Hearing loss typically isn’t immediate. It isn’t like somebody just turns down the general volume on your ears. You tend to lose bits and pieces over time. This can make it hard to even detect when you have hearing loss, especially because your brain tries really hard to fill in the gaps with contextual clues and other visual information.

So when you get on the phone, all of that contextual info is gone. Your Brain doesn’t have the info it needs 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 can help with this. They’ll especially help your ears fill in a lot of those missing pieces. But talking on the phone with hearing aids can present some accessibility issues.

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

Tips to augment the phone call experience

So what steps can be taken to help make your hearing aids function better with a phone? the majority of hearing specialists will endorse several tips:

  • Be truthful with the individual you’re speaking with on the phone: It’s all right to admit if you’re having difficulty! Many individuals will be fine switching the conversation to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable, phone calls can be streamed straight to your phone. If you’re having difficulty using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to begin getting rid of feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Use video apps: You may have an easier time distinguishing phone conversations on a video call. The sound won’t be louder or clearer, but at least you will have that visual information back. And this can help you put context to what’s being talked about.
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can use: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better when you’re having a phone conversation (including many text-to-type services).
  • Find a quiet place to carry out your phone calls. It will be much easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less noise. If you control background noise during phone conversations your hearing aids will work so much better.
  • 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 call 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.

Depending on your overall hearing needs, how often you use the phone, and what you use your phone for, the appropriate set of solutions will be accessible. With the correct approach, you’ll have the resources you need to start enjoying those phone conversations once again.

If you need more guidance on how to utilize 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.