Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Modern cell phones have become a lot clearer and more reliable nowadays. 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 particularly difficult.

There must be a simple fix for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you understand phone conversations better? Well, that’s not… exactly… the way it works. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more difficult. But there are definitely a few things you can do to make your phone conversations more successful.

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

Hearing loss typically advances slowly. It isn’t like someone simply turns down the general volume on your ears. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces over time. It’s likely that you won’t even notice you have hearing loss and your brain will attempt to use contextual and visual clues to compensate.

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual hints. Your Brain lacks the info it requires to fill in the blanks. There’s only a really distorted voice and you only make out bits and pieces of the range of the other person’s voice.

Hearing aids can be helpful – here’s how

This can be improved by using hearing aids. Lots of those missing pieces can be filled in by using hearing aids. But talking on the phone while wearing hearing aids can introduce some accessibility problems.

For instance, placing your hearing aids close to a phone speaker can cause some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can make things difficult to hear and uncomfortable.

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

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

  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet location. It will be a lot easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less background sound. Your hearing aids will be much more efficient by lowering background noise.
  • Be truthful with the person you’re speaking with on the phone: It’s ok to admit if you’re having difficulties! Many individuals will be just fine transferring the conversation to text message or email or video calls (or simply being a little extra patient).
  • 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 many text-to-type services).
  • Put your phone in speaker mode as often as you can: This will protect against the most severe feedback. There may still be a little distortion, but your phone call should be mostly understandable (if not necessarily private). The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid apart is by using speakerphone.
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can connect to your cellphone 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 bit more private, so it’s a practical place to start if you’re having trouble on your phone.
  • 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 kind of contextual information will be considerably helpful.

Depending on your general hearing needs, how often you use the phone, and what you use your phone for, the appropriate set of solutions will be available. Your ability to once again enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the right approach.

Call 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.