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 everybody can hear you all the time. And for individuals who have hearing loss, it can be particularly difficult.

There must be a simple fix for that, right? Why not use a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little easier? Well, that isn’t… exactly… how it works. It turns out that, 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 calls more effective.

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

Hearing loss usually isn’t sudden. Your hearing typically doesn’t just go. It has a tendency to go in bits and pieces. This can make it difficult to even detect 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 clues. Your Brain doesn’t have the information it needs to fill in the blanks. There’s only a very distorted voice and you only hear bits and pieces of the spectrum of the other person’s voice.

How hearing aids can help

This can be helped by using hearing aids. They’ll particularly help your ears fill in many of those missing pieces. But there are a few distinctive accessibility and communication troubles that arise from using hearing aids while talking on the phone.

Feedback can happen when your hearing aids come near a phone, for instance. This can result in some uncomfortable gaps in conversation because you can’t hear that well.

Tips to improve the phone call experience

So what measures 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 advocate:

  • Consider using speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone conversations: This will counter the most serious feedback. Your phone calls may not be particularly private, but even though there still may be some 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 switching to speakerphone.
  • Don’t hide your hearing trouble from the person you’re speaking with: If phone calls are difficult for you, it’s fine to admit that! You may just need to be a little extra patient, or you may want to consider switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • Download a video call app: You may have an easier time making out 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 kind of contextual information will be substantially helpful.
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can stream to your smartphone via Bluetooth! This means you’ll be able to stream phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled). This can eliminate feedback and make your phone calls a little more private, so it’s a good place to begin if you’re having trouble on your phone.
  • Make use of other assistive hearing devices: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better during a phone conversation (and this includes numerous text-to-type services).
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet area. It will be much easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less background sound. If you control background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will work so much better.

Finding the best set of solutions will depend on what you use your phone for, how frequently you’re on the phone, and what your overall communication requirements are like. With the right approach, you’ll have the resources you require to start enjoying those phone conversations once again.

Contact us for some help and advice on how to best use 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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