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 that doesn’t mean everybody can hear you all the time. And for individuals who have hearing loss, it can be especially challenging.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s a simple solution for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations more clearly? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely like that. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more difficult. But there are a few tips for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a bit more out of your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss normally advances slowly. Your hearing usually doesn’t just go. You tend to lose bits and pieces at a time. This can make it hard to even notice when you have hearing loss, particularly because your brain tries really hard to fill in the gaps with context clues and other visual information.

So when you get on the phone, all of that contextual data disappears. Your Brain lacks the info it requires to fill in the blanks. You only hear parts and pieces of the other person’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

Hearing aids can be helpful – here’s how

Hearing aids will help with this. Lots of those missing pieces can be filled in with hearing aids. But talking on the phone with hearing aids can introduce some accessibility issues.

For instance, placing your hearing aids near a phone speaker can cause some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can lead to some uncomfortable gaps in conversation because you can’t hear really well.

Improving 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 few tips that the majority of hearing specialists will suggest:

  • Be honest with the person you’re speaking with on the phone: It’s okay to admit if you’re having trouble! Many people will be fine transferring the discussion to text message or email or video calls (or just being a little extra patient).
  • Put your phone in speaker mode as frequently as you can: This will counter the most severe feedback. There may still be a little distortion, but your phone call should be mostly understandable (while maybe not necessarily private). Knowing how to better hold your phone with hearing aids (that is, away from your ears) is essential, and speakerphone is how you accomplish this!
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can get: 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).
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Yes, modern hearing aids can stream 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 get rid of feedback and make your phone calls a little more private, so it’s a good place to begin if you’re having difficulty on your phone.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet area. The less noise near you, the easier it will be to make out the voice of the person you’re on the phone with. If you minimize background noise during phone conversations your hearing aids will work so much better.
  • Utilize video apps: Face-timing someone or jumping onto a video chat can be a great way to help you hear better. The sound won’t be louder or more clear, but at least you’ll have that visual information back. And this can help you put context to what’s being said.

Finding the correct 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.

Call us for some help and guidance on how to best utilize your phone and hearing aids at the same time.

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.