Top Tips for Using a Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Contemporary cell phones have become a lot clearer and more dependable nowadays. But in some cases, it will still be hard to hear what the person on the other end is saying. In fact, there’s one group for whom using a phone isn’t always a positive experience: those with hearing loss.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s a simple remedy for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations more clearly? Well, that isn’t… exactly… how it works. Even though hearing aids can 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 conversations more successful.

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

Hearing loss usually develops gradually. Your hearing typically doesn’t just go. It tends to go in bits and pieces. This can make it difficult to even detect 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 requires to fill in the blanks. There’s only a very distorted voice and you only hear bits and pieces of the range of the other person’s voice.

How hearing aids can help

This can be helped by using hearing aids. They’ll particularly help your ears fill in many of those missing pieces. But there are some unique accessibility and communication difficulties that happen from using hearing aids while talking on the phone.

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 really well.

Improving your ability to hear phone conversations

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:

  • Download a video call app: You might have an easier time distinguishing phone conversations on a video call. It’s not that the sound quality is somehow better, it’s that your brain has use of all of that amazing visual information again. And this can help you put context to what’s being talked about.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet location. It will be a lot easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less noise. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by reducing background noise.
  • Utilize other assistive hearing devices: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better during a phone conversation (and this includes numerous text-to-type services).
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Hold on, can hearing aids connect to smartphones? Yes, they can! This means you’ll be capable of streaming phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled). This can prevent feedback and make your phone calls a bit more private, so it’s a practical place to start if you’re having difficulty on your phone.
  • Consider utilizing speakerphone to conduct most of your phone calls: Most feedback can be prevented this way. There might still be some distortion, but your phone call should be mostly understandable (while maybe not necessarily private). The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid away from each other is by using speakerphone.
  • Don’t hide your hearing problems from the person you’re speaking with: It’s all right to admit if you’re having trouble! Many individuals will be just fine switching the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or simply being a little extra patient).

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. Your ability to once more enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the correct approach.

If you need more guidance 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.