Best Practices for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Modern cell phones have become a lot clearer and more reliable nowadays. But that doesn’t mean everyone can hear you all the time. And for individuals who have hearing loss, it can be especially challenging.

There must be an easy fix for that, right? Why not use a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit clearer? Well, that isn’t… exactly… how it works. In reality, while hearing aids can make in person conversations much easier to manage, there are some difficulties related to phone-based conversations. But there are some 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 get along

Hearing loss typically progresses gradually. It’s not like somebody simply turns down the general volume on your ears. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces over time. It’s likely that you won’t even detect you have hearing loss and your brain will attempt to utilize contextual and visual clues to compensate.

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual hints. 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

This can be helped by wearing hearing aids. They’ll particularly help your ears fill in a lot of those missing pieces. But there are a few unique accessibility and communication challenges that arise from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

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

Tips to augment the phone call experience

So, what can you do to overcome the challenges of utilizing a phone with hearing aids? the majority of hearing specialists will suggest a few tips:

  • 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 noise. If you limit background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will perform so much better.
  • Make use of video apps: Face-timing somebody 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’ll have that visual information back. And once more, this kind of contextual information will be greatly helpful.
  • Connect your phone to your hearing aid using Bluetooth. Hold on, can hearing aids stream 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). If you’re having difficulty using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to start getting rid of feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Be sincere with the individual you’re talking to on the phone: If phone calls are difficult for you, it’s okay 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.
  • 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 during a phone conversation (and this includes many text-to-type services).
  • Consider using speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone calls: Most feedback can be averted this way. Your phone conversations may not be very private, but even though there still might be a little distortion, you should be able to better make out the voice on the other end. Knowing how to hold the phone better with hearing aids (that is, away from your ears) is essential, and speakerphone is how you achieve this!

Depending on your general hearing needs, how frequently you use the phone, and what you use your phone for, the appropriate set of solutions will be available. With the correct approach, you’ll have the resources you require to begin enjoying those phone conversations once again.

Contact us for some help and advice on how to best utilize your phone and hearing aids together.

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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    Dr. Laura Padham, Audiologist

    Ocean Gate, NJ

    143 W Barnegat Avenue
    Ocean Gate, NJ 08740

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