Best 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 reliable nowadays. But sometimes, it will still be difficult to hear what the person on the other end is saying. As a matter of fact, there’s one group for whom using a phone isn’t always a positive experience: those with hearing loss.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s a simple solution for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations more clearly? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely like that. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more difficult. But there are a few guidelines for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a bit more from your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss typically progresses slowly. It isn’t like somebody simply turns down the general volume on your ears. It tends to go a little at a time. This can make it hard to even notice when you have hearing loss, especially because your brain tries really hard to fill in the gaps with context 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 information it needs to fill in the blanks. 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

Hearing aids can help with this. Lots of those missing pieces can be filled in by using hearing aids. But there are a few unique accessibility and communication challenges that occur from using hearing aids while talking on the phone.

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

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

So, what can you do to control the challenges of using a phone with hearing aids? Well, there are several tips that the majority of hearing specialists will endorse:

  • Make use of video apps: You may 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 access to all of that fantastic visual information again. And again, this type of contextual information will be substantially helpful.
  • Consider utilizing speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone calls: Most feedback can be averted this way. There might still be some distortion, but your phone conversation 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 switching to speakerphone.
  • Make use of other assistive hearing devices: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better during phone conversations.
  • Be sincere with the individual you’re talking to on the phone: It’s okay to admit if you’re having trouble! Many people will be just fine transferring the conversation to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • 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. If you control background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will work so much better.
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, modern hearing aids can stream to your cellphone using Bluetooth! This means you’ll be capable of streaming phone calls directly to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled). If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a good place to start getting rid of feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.

Finding the correct set of solutions will depend on what you use your phone for, how often you’re on the phone, and what your general communication requirements are like. With the right approach, you’ll have the resources you need to begin enjoying those phone conversations again.

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.