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 that doesn’t mean everybody can hear you all the time. And for people who have hearing loss, it can be particularly difficult.

There must be a simple solution for that, right? Why not utilize a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little easier? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely that way. In reality, while hearing aids can make face-to-face conversations a lot easier to manage, there are some challenges associated with phone-based conversations. But there are a few guidelines for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a little more from your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss normally progresses slowly. Your hearing usually doesn’t just go. You tend to lose bits and pieces at a time. It’s likely that you won’t even detect you have hearing loss and your brain will try to use contextual and visual clues to compensate.

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual clues. There’s no added information for your brain to work with. There’s only a very muffled voice and you only hear bits and pieces of the spectrum of the other person’s voice.

How hearing aids can be helpful

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

For instance, putting your hearing aids near a phone speaker can create some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can make things difficult to hear and uncomfortable.

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

So, what can you do to control the difficulties of utilizing a phone with hearing aids? Most hearing specialists will suggest a few tips:

  • Connect your phone to your hearing aid using Bluetooth. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can stream to your cellphone via Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, phone calls can be streamed right to your phone. If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a good place to begin reducing feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Find a quiet spot to conduct your phone calls. It will be much easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less noise. Your hearing aids will be much more efficient by decreasing background noise.
  • Download a video call app: You might have an easier time distinguishing phone conversations on a video call. It isn’t that the sound quality is magically 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 considerably helpful.
  • Don’t hide your hearing problems from the person you’re speaking with: It’s okay to admit if you’re having difficulties! You may simply need to be a little more patient, or you might want to think about switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can get: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better during phone conversations.
  • Put your phone in speaker mode as frequently as possible: Most feedback can be averted this way. There may 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 apart is by switching to speakerphone.

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

Call us for some help and advice 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.