Hearing Health Blog

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

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

Now, you might be thinking: there’s a simple remedy for that, right? Can’t you make use of some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations better? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly that way. It turns out that, while hearing aids can make in person conversations much easier to handle, there are some challenges associated with phone-based conversations. But there are a few tips for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a bit more from your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss usually progresses gradually. It’s not like somebody simply turns down the general volume on your ears. It has a tendency to go in bits and pieces. 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.

So when you get on the phone, all of that contextual info disappears. There’s no added information for your brain to work with. There’s only a very distorted voice and you only hear bits and pieces of the spectrum of the other person’s voice.

Hearing aids can help – here’s how

Hearing aids will help with this. They’ll especially help your ears fill in a lot of those missing pieces. But there are some distinctive accessibility and communication troubles that arise from using hearing aids while talking on the phone.

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

Bettering your ability to hear phone conversations

So what measures can be taken to help make your hearing aids work better with a phone? Well, there are a number of tips that the majority of hearing specialists will advocate:

  • 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.
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can stream to your cellphone 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 trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to begin reducing feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Consider utilizing speakerphone to carry out most of your phone conversations: Most feedback can be averted this way. Your phone calls may not be particularly private, but even though there still might be a little distortion, you should be able to better understand the voice on the other end. The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid away from each other is by using speakerphone.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet spot. The less noise around you, the easier it will be to make out the voice of the person you’re speaking with. Your hearing aids will be much more efficient by reducing background noise.
  • Don’t hide your hearing trouble from the individual you’re talking to: If phone calls are hard for you, it’s fine to admit that! Many individuals will be just fine switching the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • Utilize video apps: Face-timing someone or jumping onto a video chat can be a great way to help you hear better. It isn’t that the sound quality is magically better, it’s that your brain has access to all of that amazing visual information again. And this can help you put context to what’s being said.

Finding the right set of solutions will depend on what you use your phone for, how often you’re on the phone, and what your overall communication needs are like. Your ability to once more enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the correct approach.

If you need more advice on how to utilize 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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