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Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Contemporary cell phones have become a lot clearer and more dependable nowadays. But that doesn’t mean everyone can hear you all the time. And for individuals who have hearing loss, it can be especially difficult.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s an easy fix for that, right? Why not utilize a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit clearer? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely that way. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more difficult. But there are some guidelines for phone calls with hearing aids that can help you get a little more from your next conversation.

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

Hearing loss generally isn’t immediate. Your hearing normally doesn’t just go. 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 try to use contextual and visual clues to compensate.

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual hints. Your Brain doesn’t have the information it needs to fill in the blanks. There’s only a very muffled voice and you only hear bits and pieces of the range of the other individual’s voice.

How hearing aids can help

This can be improved by using hearing aids. Many of those missing pieces can be filled in by using hearing aids. But talking on the phone with hearing aids can introduce some accessibility problems.

For instance, putting your hearing aids close to a phone speaker can create some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can lead to some uncomfortable gaps in conversation because you can’t hear that well.

Bettering your ability to hear phone conversations

So, what can you do to address the obstacles of using a phone with hearing aids? Most hearing specialists will endorse a few tips:

  • Find a quiet place to carry out your phone calls. It will be much easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less background sound. If you limit background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will perform so much better.
  • Use video apps: Face-timing someone or hopping onto a video chat can be a very good way to help you hear better. It isn’t that the sound quality is magically better, it’s that your brain has use of all of that fantastic visual information again. And this can help you add context to what’s being talked about.
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Wait, can hearing aids connect to smartphones? Yes, they can! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, phone calls can be streamed straight to your phone. This can eliminate feedback and make your phone calls a bit more private, so it’s a good place to begin if you’re having difficulty on your phone.
  • 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 (including numerous text-to-type services).
  • Consider using speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone conversations: This will counter the most serious feedback. There may still be a little 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 person you’re talking to on the phone: If phone calls are hard for you, it’s okay to admit that! Many individuals will be fine switching the conversation to text message or email or video calls (or simply being a little extra patient).

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 available. With the correct approach, you’ll have the tools you need to start enjoying those phone conversations once again.

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.