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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 sometimes, 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 using a phone isn’t always a reliable experience: those who have hearing loss.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s a simple solution for that, right? Can’t you use some hearing aids to help you understand phone conversations better? Well, that’s not… exactly… how it works. Even though hearing aids do help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a bit more difficult. But there are certainly some things you can do to make your phone conversations more successful.

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

Hearing loss usually isn’t sudden. Your hearing typically doesn’t just go. You have a tendency to lose bits and pieces at a time. It’s likely that you won’t even detect you have hearing loss and your brain will try to utilize contextual and visual clues to compensate.

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual clues. Your Brain lacks the info it needs to fill in the blanks. There’s only a really muffled voice and you only make out bits and pieces of the spectrum of the other individual’s voice.

Hearing aids can help – here’s how

Hearing aids can help with this. They’ll particularly help your ears fill in a lot of those missing pieces. But there are a few unique accessibility and communication troubles that happen from using hearing aids while talking on the phone.

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

Tips to enhance the phone call experience

So, what can you do to control the challenges of using a phone with hearing aids? Most hearing specialists will suggest several tips:

  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, modern hearing aids can stream to your cellphone via Bluetooth! This means you’ll be capable of streaming phone calls directly 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 begin reducing feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.
  • Consider using speakerphone to carry out most of your phone calls: Most feedback can be prevented this way. There might still be some distortion, but your phone call should be mostly understandable (while maybe not necessarily private). Knowing how to better hold your phone with hearing aids (that is, away from your ears) is critical, and speakerphone is how you achieve this!
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet area. The less noise around you, the easier it will be to pick out the voice of the person you’re on the phone with. If you minimize background noise during phone conversations your hearing aids will work so much better.
  • Be sincere with the person you’re talking to on the phone: If phone calls are hard for you, it’s fine to admit that! You might just need to be a little extra patient, or you might want to consider using text, email, or video chat.
  • Use 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).
  • Use video apps: Face-timing somebody or hopping onto a video chat can be a very good way to help you hear better. It’s not that the sound quality is somehow better, it’s that your brain has access to all of that fantastic visual information again. And this can help you add context to what’s being said.

Finding the correct set of solutions will depend on what you use your phone for, how frequently you’re on the phone, and what your general communication needs are like. Your ability to once again enjoy phone conversations will be made possible with the correct approach.

Call us for some help and advice on how to best use your phone and hearing aids together.

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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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