Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Modern cell phones have become much 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 population for whom phone conversations aren’t always a reliable experience: those who have hearing loss.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s a simple fix for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations more clearly? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly like that. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more challenging. But there are certainly some things you can do to make your phone calls more successful.

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

Hearing loss typically progresses slowly. Your hearing typically doesn’t just go. You have a tendency 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 really hard to fill in the gaps with contextual clues and other visual information.

So when you get on a phone, all of that contextual info disappears. 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.

Hearing aids can help – 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.

Feedback can occur when your hearing aids come close to a phone, for example. 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 steps can be taken to help make your hearing aids work better with a phone? Well, there are several tips that the majority of hearing specialists will endorse:

  • 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 on the phone with. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by reducing background noise.
  • Try utilizing speakerphone to conduct the majority of your phone conversations: Most feedback can be averted this way. There may still be some distortion, but your phone call 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.
  • Be sincere with the individual you’re speaking with on the phone: If phone calls are hard for you, it’s fine to admit that! Many individuals will be fine transferring the conversation to text message or email or video calls (or simply being a little extra patient).
  • Download a video call app: You may have an easier time making out phone conversations on a video call. The sound won’t be louder or clearer, but at least you will have that visual information back. And this can help you add context to what’s being talked about.
  • Connect your phone to your hearing aid using 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). If you’re having difficulty using your phone with your hearing aid, a good place to start reducing feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • 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 when you’re having a phone conversation (and this includes numerous text-to-type services).

Depending on your overall hearing needs, how frequently you use the phone, and what you use your phone for, the appropriate set of solutions will be accessible. With the right approach, you’ll have the resources you need to begin enjoying those phone conversations once again.

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

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

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.