Best Tips for Using a Phone with Hearing Aids

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Modern cell phones have become much clearer and more reliable nowadays. But that doesn’t mean everybody can hear you all the time. As a matter of fact, there’s one group for whom phone conversations aren’t always a reliable experience: those who have hearing loss.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s a simple remedy for that, right? Why not use a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit easier? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly like that. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more difficult. But there are certainly some things you can do to make your phone conversations more successful.

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

Hearing loss generally isn’t sudden. It isn’t like someone just turns down the general volume on your ears. You tend to lose bits and pieces over time. This can make it hard to even detect when you have hearing loss, especially because your brain tries very 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 requires 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 can help with this. They’ll especially help your ears fill in many of those missing pieces. But there are a few distinctive accessibility and communication difficulties that occur from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

For instance, placing your hearing aids next to a phone speaker can create some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can lead to some awkward gaps in conversation because you can’t hear very well.

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

So, what can you do to manage the challenges of utilizing a phone with hearing aids? Most hearing specialists will recommend several tips:

  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can use: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better when you’re having phone conversations.
  • Download a video call app: You may have an easier time making out phone conversations on a video call. It’s not that the sound quality is somehow better, it’s that your brain has access to all of that amazing visual information again. And this can help you add context to what’s being said.
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Yes, modern hearing aids can connect to your smartphone using Bluetooth! This means you’ll be capable of streaming phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled). If you’re having difficulty using your phone with your hearing aid, a good place to start reducing feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Be truthful with the person you’re talking to on the phone: If phone calls are hard for you, it’s fine to admit that! You might just need to be a little extra patient, or you may want to consider switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • Consider using speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone calls: Most feedback can be avoided this way. Your phone calls may not be very private, but even though there still may be some distortion, you should be able to better make out the voice on the other end. Knowing how to better hold your phone with hearing aids (that is, away from your ears) is crucial, and speakerphone is how you accomplish this!
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet spot. The less noise around you, the easier it will be to pick out the voice of the individual you’re on the phone with. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by lowering background noise.

Finding the right set of solutions will depend on what you use your 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 correct approach.

Contact us for some help and advice on how to best utilize your phone and hearing aids together.

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.