Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, IL

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Contemporary cell phones have become much clearer and more dependable nowadays. But sometimes, it will still be hard to hear what the person on the other end is saying. In fact, there’s one group for whom phone conversations aren’t always a positive experience: those who have hearing loss.

There must be an easy fix for that, right? Why not use a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit easier? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly that way. It turns out that, while hearing aids can make in person conversations a great deal easier to handle, there are some challenges related to phone-based conversations. But there are some guidelines 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 usually advances slowly. Your hearing typically doesn’t just go. It has a tendency to go a little at a time. This can make it hard to even detect when you have hearing loss, particularly because your brain tries very hard to fill in the gaps with contextual clues and other visual information.

When you have phone conversations, you no longer have these visual hints. Your Brain lacks the info it requires 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

This can be improved by using hearing aids. They’ll especially help your ears fill in a lot of those missing pieces. But there are some distinctive accessibility and communication challenges that occur from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

For instance, placing your hearing aids close to a phone speaker can produce some harsh speaker-to-speaker interference. This can make things difficult to hear and uncomfortable.

Tips to augment the phone call experience

So, what can you do to manage the difficulties of using a phone with hearing aids? the majority of hearing specialists will recommend a few tips:

  • Don’t conceal your hearing trouble from the individual you’re speaking with: It’s ok to admit if you’re having trouble! You might just need to be a little extra patient, or you may want to think about using text, email, or video chat.
  • Download a video call app: Face-timing someone or jumping 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 put context to what’s being talked about.
  • Find a quiet setting to conduct your phone conversations. The less noise around you, the easier it will be to pick out the voice of the individual you’re speaking with. If you minimize background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will perform so much better.
  • Try utilizing speakerphone to conduct most of your phone calls: This will protect against the most serious feedback. 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!
  • You can use your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, modern hearing aids can connect to your cellphone using 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 begin if you’re having trouble on your phone.
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can get: Devices, including numerous text-to-type services, are available to help you hear better when you’re having phone conversations.

Finding the correct set of solutions will depend on what you use the phone for, how frequently you’re on the phone, and what your overall communication requirements are like. With the right approach, you’ll have the resources you need to start enjoying those phone conversations once again.

Call us for some help and guidance on how to best utilize 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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