Best Practices for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Contemporary cell phones have become a lot clearer and more reliable nowadays. But sometimes, it will still be difficult to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. And for individuals who have hearing loss, it can be especially challenging.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s a simple remedy for that, right? Why not use a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little easier? Well, that isn’t… exactly… the way it works. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more difficult. 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.

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

Hearing loss typically develops slowly. It’s not like somebody simply turns down the general volume on your ears. You tend to lose bits and pieces over 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 hints. There’s no extra information for your brain to fill in. There’s only a really muffled voice and you only make out 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 challenges that arise from using hearing aids while talking on the phone.

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

Tips to improve the phone call experience

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

  • Find a quiet spot to carry out your phone conversations. The less noise near you, the easier it will be to make out the voice of the person you’re on the phone with. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by decreasing background noise.
  • Don’t conceal your hearing trouble from the individual you’re talking to: 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 consider using text, email, or video chat.
  • Make use of other assistive hearing devices: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better during a phone conversation (including many text-to-type services).
  • Use video apps: You may have an easier time distinguishing phone conversations on a video call. It’s not that the sound quality is magically better, it’s that your brain has use of all of that amazing visual information again. And once more, this type of contextual information will be greatly helpful.
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Wait, can hearing aids stream to smartphones? Yes, they can! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, phone calls can be streamed right to your phone. This can get rid of feedback and make your phone calls a bit more private, so it’s a good place to begin if you’re having difficulty on your phone.
  • Try utilizing speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone conversations: This will prevent the most serious feedback. 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 better hold your phone with hearing aids (that is, away from your ears) is crucial, and speakerphone is how you achieve this!

Depending on your general hearing needs, how often you use the phone, and what you use your phone for, the appropriate set of solutions will be available. Your ability to once more enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the right approach.

Contact us for some help and guidance on how to best use 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.