Best Tips for Using the Phone with Hearing Aids

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 sometimes, it will still be difficult to hear what the person on the other end is saying. And for people who have hearing loss, it can be especially difficult.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s an easy fix for that, right? Why not use a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit easier? Well, that’s not… exactly… the way it works. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more challenging. But there are certainly a few things you can do to make your phone conversations more successful.

Why phone calls and hearing aids don’t always get along

Hearing loss typically isn’t immediate. Your hearing normally doesn’t just go. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces over time. This can make it difficult to even notice 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 hints. There’s no added information for your brain to fill in. You only hear parts and pieces of the other person’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

How hearing aids can be helpful

Hearing aids can help with this. They’ll particularly help your ears fill in many of those missing pieces. But talking on the phone with hearing aids can introduce some accessibility problems.

For example, putting your hearing aids close to a phone speaker can cause some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can make things hard to hear and uncomfortable.

Tips to augment the phone call experience

So what steps can be taken to help make your hearing aids function better with a phone? Well, there are a number of tips that the majority of hearing specialists will endorse:

  • Make use of video apps: Face-timing someone or jumping onto a video chat can be a great way to help you hear better. It isn’t that the sound quality is somehow better, it’s that your brain has access to all of that fantastic visual information again. And once more, this type of contextual information will be considerably helpful.
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can get: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better during a phone conversation (and this includes many text-to-type services).
  • Connect your phone to your hearing aid via Bluetooth. Hold on, can hearing aids connect to smartphones? Yes, they can! 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.
  • Don’t hide your hearing trouble from the individual you’re talking to: It’s okay to admit if you’re having difficulties! 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 area. The less noise around 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 reducing background noise.
  • Consider utilizing speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone calls: Most feedback can be prevented 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 away from each other is by switching to speakerphone.

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 general communication needs are like. With the correct approach, you’ll have the resources you need to begin 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.