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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 in some cases, it will still be challenging to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. As a matter of fact, there’s one group for whom using a phone isn’t always a reliable experience: those with hearing loss.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s a simple solution for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you hear phone conversations better? Actually, it doesn’t work precisely like that. In reality, while hearing aids can make in person conversations a lot easier to handle, there are some difficulties related to phone-based conversations. But there are a few tips 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 generally isn’t immediate. It’s not like somebody just turns down the overall volume on your ears. It tends to go in bits and pieces. 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.

So when you get on a phone, all of that contextual info is gone. There’s no extra information for your brain to fill in. 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 can help with this. They’ll especially help your ears fill in many of those missing pieces. But talking on the phone with hearing aids can present some accessibility issues.

Feedback can happen when your hearing aids come near a phone, for example. This can lead to some awkward gaps in conversation because you can’t hear that well.

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

So what steps can be taken to help make your hearing aids function better with a phone? Most hearing specialists will suggest several tips:

  • Make use of other assistive hearing devices: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better when you’re having a phone conversation (including many text-to-type services).
  • Find a quiet location to carry out your phone conversations. It will be a lot easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less background sound. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by decreasing background noise.
  • Use video apps: You may have an easier time distinguishing phone conversations on a video call. It isn’t that the sound quality is magically better, it’s that your brain has use of all of that amazing visual information again. And once more, this kind of contextual information will be greatly helpful.
  • Try using speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone calls: This will counter the most severe feedback. Your phone calls may not be very private, but even though there still may be a little distortion, you should be able to better make out the voice on the other end. The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid apart is by switching to speakerphone.
  • Stream your phone to your hearing aid via Bluetooth. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can connect to your cellphone via Bluetooth! This means you’ll be capable of streaming phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable). 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.
  • Be truthful with the person you’re talking to on the phone: It’s okay to admit if you’re having difficulty! You may just need to be a little extra patient, or you may want to think about switching to text, email, or video chat.

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 overall communication requirements are like. With the correct approach, you’ll have the resources 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.
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