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Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Modern cell phones have become much clearer and more dependable nowadays. But in some cases, it will still be difficult to hear what the person on the other end is saying. As a matter of fact, there’s one population for whom phone conversations aren’t always a positive experience: those with hearing loss.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s a simple fix for that, right? Why not use a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit clearer? Well, that isn’t… exactly… the way it works. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more challenging. 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 hearing aids and phone calls don’t always play nice

Hearing loss generally isn’t sudden. It’s not like somebody simply turns down the overall volume on your ears. It tends to go a little at a time. This can make it difficult to even notice when you have hearing loss, especially because your brain tries very hard to fill in the gaps with contextual clues and other visual information.

When you talk on the phone, you no longer have these visual clues. There’s no extra information for your brain to work with. There’s only a very muffled voice and you only hear bits and pieces of the spectrum of the other person’s voice.

How hearing aids can help

This can be helped by wearing hearing aids. They’ll particularly help your ears fill in many of those missing pieces. But talking on the phone while wearing hearing aids can introduce some accessibility issues.

For example, putting your hearing aids near a phone speaker can cause some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can result in some uncomfortable gaps in conversation because you can’t hear very well.

Improving your ability to hear phone conversations

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

  • Utilize video apps: You may have an easier time distinguishing phone conversations on a video call. 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.
  • Find a quiet place to carry out your phone conversations. The less noise around you, the easier it will be to make out the voice of the individual you’re speaking with. Your hearing aids will be much more efficient by lowering background noise.
  • Utilize other assistive hearing devices: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better during a phone conversation (including many text-to-type services).
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to stream to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can connect to your smartphone using Bluetooth! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, phone calls can be streamed straight to your phone. If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a great place to start reducing feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Don’t conceal your hearing problems from the individual you’re talking to: It’s okay to admit if you’re having difficulty! You may just need to be a little more patient, or you might want to consider using text, email, or video chat.
  • Try using speakerphone to carry out the majority of your phone conversations: This will protect against the most serious feedback. There may still be some distortion, but your phone call should be mostly understandable (if not necessarily private). Knowing how to hold the phone better with hearing aids (that is, away from your ears) is essential, and speakerphone is how you accomplish this!

Finding the best 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. Your ability to once again enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the right approach.

If you need more guidance on how to utilize hearing aids with your phone, call us, 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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