Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

These days, the mobile phone network is much more reliable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But that doesn’t mean everyone can hear you all the time. 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 may be thinking: there’s a simple fix for that, right? Why not utilize a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit easier? Well, that’s not… exactly… the way it works. In reality, while hearing aids can make face-to-face conversations much easier to handle, there are some difficulties related to phone-based conversations. But there are definitely a few things you can do to make your phone conversations more successful.

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

Hearing loss usually develops slowly. Your hearing usually doesn’t just go. It has a tendency to go in bits and pieces. It’s likely that you won’t even notice you have hearing loss and your brain will try to use contextual and visual clues to compensate.

When you talk on the phone, you no longer have these visual clues. There’s no added information for your brain to fill in. You only hear parts and pieces of the other individual’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

How hearing aids can help

Hearing aids will help with this. They’ll especially help your ears fill in many of those missing pieces. But there are a few unique accessibility and communication troubles that happen from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

For example, putting your hearing aids next to a phone speaker can cause some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can lead to some awkward gaps in conversation because you can’t hear that well.

Bettering your ability to hear phone conversations

So, what can you do to address the difficulties of using a phone with hearing aids? the majority of hearing specialists will recommend a few tips:

  • Find a quiet setting to carry out your phone conversations. It will be much easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less background sound. Your hearing aids will be much more efficient by reducing background noise.
  • Download a video call app: Face-timing somebody or hopping 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 substantially helpful.
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can use: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better when you’re having phone conversations.
  • Don’t conceal your hearing trouble from the individual you’re speaking with: It’s all right to admit if you’re having difficulty! Many individuals will be fine transferring the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • Put your phone in speaker mode as often as you can: This will protect against the most severe feedback. Your phone calls may not be very private, but even though there still may be a little distortion, you should be able to better make out the voice on the other end. The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid apart is by using speakerphone.
  • 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 capable, phone calls can be streamed right to your phone. If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to start eliminating feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.

Finding the right set of solutions will depend on what you use your phone for, how frequently you’re on the phone, and what your general communication needs are like. Your ability to once again enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the right approach.

Contact us for some help and advice on how to best utilize your phone and hearing aids at the same time.

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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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