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Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Nowadays, the cellular phone network is a lot more reliable (and there’s a lot less static involved). But sometimes, it will still be difficult to hear what the individual on the other end is saying. In fact, there’s one population for whom using a phone isn’t always a reliable experience: those who have hearing loss.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s a simple fix for that, right? Why not use a set of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little clearer? Well, that’s not… exactly… how it works. It turns out that, while hearing aids can make face-to-face conversations a lot easier to manage, there are some challenges associated with phone-based conversations. But there are certainly some things you can do to make your phone calls more successful.

Why hearing aids and phone calls don’t always play nice

Hearing loss typically isn’t sudden. Your hearing normally doesn’t just go. 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 try to utilize contextual and visual clues to compensate.

So when you get on a phone, all of that contextual data is gone. Your Brain doesn’t have the info it requires to fill in the blanks. You only hear parts and pieces of the other person’s voice which sounds muffled and distorted.

How hearing aids can be helpful

Hearing aids can help with this. Lots of those missing pieces can be filled in with hearing aids. But there are some distinctive accessibility and communication troubles that arise from using hearing aids while talking on the phone.

Feedback can happen when your hearing aids come near a phone, for example. This can make things hard to hear and uncomfortable.

Bettering your ability to hear phone conversations

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

  • Utilize other assistive hearing devices: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better when you’re having phone conversations.
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet area. The less noise near you, the easier it will be to make out the voice of the individual you’re on the phone with. If you limit background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will perform so much better.
  • Try using speakerphone to conduct most of your phone conversations: Most feedback can be avoided this way. 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 crucial, and speakerphone is how you achieve this!
  • Download a video call app: Face-timing somebody or hopping onto a video chat can be a very good way to help you hear better. 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.
  • Be honest with the individual you’re speaking with on the phone: It’s okay to admit if you’re having difficulty! You may simply need to be a little more patient, or you might want to consider switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Wait, can hearing aids stream to smartphones? Yes, they can! This means that if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled, phone calls can be streamed right to your phone. If you’re having trouble using your phone with your hearing aid, a good place to begin eliminating feedback would be switching to Bluetooth.

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