Best Tips for Using a Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Modern cell phones have become much clearer and more dependable nowadays. But in some cases, it will still be difficult to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. And for people 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 easier? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly like that. It turns out that, while hearing aids can make in person conversations a lot easier to handle, there are some difficulties related to phone-based conversations. But there are definitely some things you can do to make your phone conversations more successful.

Why hearing aids and phone calls don’t always play nice

Hearing loss typically progresses gradually. It’s not like someone 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, 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 clues. Your Brain lacks the info it needs to fill in the blanks. You only hear parts and pieces of the other individual’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

How hearing aids can help

This can be helped by using hearing aids. Many of those missing pieces can be filled in with hearing aids. But talking on the phone while wearing hearing aids can introduce some accessibility issues.

Feedback can occur when your hearing aids come near a phone, for example. This can lead to some uncomfortable gaps in conversation because you can’t hear really well.

Bettering 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 number of tips that most hearing specialists will suggest:

  • Utilize 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 many text-to-type services).
  • Try utilizing speakerphone to conduct most of your phone calls: This will counter the most severe feedback. There may still be some distortion, but your phone call should be mostly understandable (if not necessarily private). Knowing how to hold the phone better with hearing aids (that is, away from your ears) is critical, and speakerphone is how you achieve this!
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can connect to your smartphone using Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, phone calls can be streamed straight to your phone. If you’re having difficulty using your phone with your hearing aid, a good place to start getting rid of feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Utilize 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 again, this type of contextual information will be considerably helpful.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet area. It will be a lot easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less background sound. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by decreasing background noise.
  • Don’t hide your hearing trouble from the person you’re talking to: If phone calls are hard for you, it’s okay to admit that! Many people will be fine switching the conversation to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).

Finding the correct set of solutions will depend on what you use the phone for, how frequently you’re on the phone, and what your overall communication needs are like. With the correct approach, you’ll have the tools you require to start enjoying those phone conversations again.

If you need more advice 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.