Top Tips for Using a Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Modern cell phones have become a lot clearer and more dependable nowadays. But in some cases, it will still be difficult to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. And for people who have hearing loss, it can be particularly challenging.

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 little easier? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely like that. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more challenging. But there are definitely a few things you can do to make your phone conversations more effective.

Phone calls and hearing aids don’t always work well together – here’s why

Hearing loss usually progresses slowly. Your hearing typically doesn’t just go. It has a tendency to go a little at a time. It’s likely that you won’t even notice you have hearing loss and your brain will attempt to utilize contextual and visual clues to compensate.

So when you get on a phone, all of that contextual info disappears. Your Brain lacks 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 improved by using hearing aids. Many of those missing pieces can be filled in with hearing aids. But talking on the phone with hearing aids can present some accessibility issues.

Feedback can occur when your hearing aids come near a phone, for example. This can make things difficult to hear and uncomfortable.

Tips to augment the phone call experience

So, what can you do to overcome the difficulties of utilizing a phone with hearing aids? the majority of hearing specialists will endorse several tips:

  • Utilize video apps: You may have an easier time distinguishing phone conversations on a video call. 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 again, this type of contextual information will be greatly helpful.
  • Don’t conceal your hearing problems from the person you’re talking to: If phone calls are difficult for you, it’s okay to admit that! You may simply need to be a little extra patient, or you might want to think about switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • Make use of other assistive hearing devices: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better when you’re having a phone conversation (including numerous text-to-type services).
  • Switch your phone to speaker mode as often as possible: This will prevent the most severe feedback. 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 using speakerphone.
  • Stream your phone to your hearing aid via Bluetooth. Yes, modern hearing aids can connect to your smartphone using Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable, phone calls can be streamed directly to your phone. If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to start getting rid of feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • 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 noise. If you minimize background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will perform so much better.

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

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

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