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Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Nowadays, the mobile phone network is a great deal more dependable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But sometimes, it will still be challenging to hear what the person on the other end is saying. In fact, there’s one group for whom using a phone isn’t always a reliable experience: those who have hearing loss.

There must be an easy fix for that, right? Why not use a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little easier? Well, that’s not… exactly… the way it works. In reality, while hearing aids can make face-to-face conversations a great deal easier to handle, there are some challenges related to phone-based conversations. But there are some tips for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a little more out of your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss normally advances gradually. It’s not like somebody simply turns down the overall volume on your ears. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces at a time. It’s likely that you won’t even detect 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. There’s no extra information for your brain to work with. You only hear parts and pieces of the other person’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

How hearing aids can be helpful

Hearing aids can help with this. 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 issues.

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

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

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

  • Be honest with the person you’re speaking with on the phone: It’s ok to admit if you’re having difficulty! You may just need to be a little more patient, or you might want to consider switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • Stream your phone to your hearing aid via Bluetooth. Hold on, can hearing aids connect to smartphones? Yes, they can! 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 bit more private, so it’s a practical place to start if you’re having trouble on your phone.
  • Use video apps: Face-timing somebody or hopping onto a video chat can be a very good way to help you hear better. The sound won’t be louder or more clear, but at least you will have that visual information back. And this can help you put context to what’s being talked about.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet location. The less noise near you, the easier it will be to make out the voice of the individual you’re on the phone with. Your hearing aids will be much more efficient by decreasing background noise.
  • 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.
  • Consider utilizing speakerphone to conduct the majority of your phone calls: Most feedback can be prevented this way. There may still be a little distortion, but your phone conversation should be mostly understandable (while maybe not necessarily private). The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid away from each other is by switching to speakerphone.

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

If you need more guidance on how to use 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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