Gilberts Audiology & Hearing Aid Center - Oklahoma

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

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

Now, you may be thinking: there’s a simple remedy for that, right? Why not use a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little easier? Well, that isn’t… exactly… the way it works. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more challenging. 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 effectively together – here’s why

Hearing loss typically isn’t sudden. It’s not like somebody just turns down the overall volume on your ears. You tend to lose bits and pieces over time. It’s likely that you won’t even notice you have hearing loss and your brain will try to utilize contextual and visual clues to compensate.

So when you get on the phone, all of that contextual data is gone. Your Brain doesn’t have the information it requires to fill in the blanks. You only hear parts and pieces of the other individual’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 by using hearing aids. But there are a few unique accessibility and communication troubles that occur from using hearing aids while talking on the phone.

Feedback can happen when your hearing aids come close to a phone, for instance. This can make things difficult to hear and uncomfortable.

Tips to improve the phone call experience

So what steps can be taken to help make your hearing aids work better with a phone? the majority of hearing specialists will suggest several tips:

  • Use video apps: Face-timing somebody or hopping onto a video chat can be a great way to help you hear better. 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 said.
  • Utilize other assistive hearing devices: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better during a phone conversation (including numerous text-to-type services).
  • Connect your phone to your hearing aid using Bluetooth. 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 directly to your phone. This can eliminate feedback and make your phone calls a little more private, so it’s a practical place to start if you’re having trouble on your phone.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet location. The less noise around you, the easier it will be to make out the voice of the individual you’re on the phone with. If you lessen background noise during phone conversations your hearing aids will perform so much better.
  • Try utilizing speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone conversations: This will prevent the most severe feedback. There may still be some distortion, but your phone conversation should be mostly understandable (if not necessarily private). The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid away from each other is by switching to speakerphone.
  • Don’t hide your hearing problems from the individual you’re speaking with: It’s all right to admit if you’re having trouble! You might just need to be a little extra patient, or you might want to think about using text, email, or video chat.

Depending on your general hearing needs, how often you use the phone, and what you use your phone for, the appropriate set of solutions will be available. Your ability to once more enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the right approach.

If you need more advice 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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