Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Nowadays, the cellular phone network is much more dependable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But in some cases, it will still be challenging to hear what the person on the other end is saying. And for people who have hearing loss, it can be especially difficult.

There must be a simple fix for that, right? Can’t you make use of some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations better? 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 difficult. But there are certainly a few things you can do to make your phone calls more effective.

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

Hearing loss typically advances gradually. Your hearing normally doesn’t just go. You tend to lose bits and pieces over 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.

When you talk on the phone, 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.

Hearing aids can help – here’s how

Hearing aids will help with this. Lots 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.

Feedback can occur when your hearing aids come close to a phone, for instance. This can result in some awkward gaps in conversation because you can’t hear really well.

Improving 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 several tips that most hearing specialists will suggest:

  • Find a quiet setting to conduct your phone calls. The less noise near you, the easier it will be to pick out the voice of the individual you’re speaking with. If you lessen background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will work so much better.
  • Switch your phone to speaker mode as often as possible: This will prevent the most serious feedback. There may still be a little 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.
  • Utilize other assistive hearing devices: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better when you’re having phone conversations.
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Yes, modern hearing aids can stream to your smartphone via Bluetooth! This means you’ll be capable of streaming phone calls directly to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable). This can get rid of feedback and make your phone calls a bit more private, so it’s a practical place to start if you’re having trouble on your phone.
  • Be sincere with the individual you’re speaking with on the phone: It’s ok to admit if you’re having difficulty! You might just need to be a little more patient, or you might want to think about switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • Download a video call app: Face-timing someone 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 once more, this kind of contextual information will be greatly helpful.

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

If you need more advice on how to use hearing aids with your phone, give us a call, we can help.

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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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