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Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Modern cell phones have become much clearer and more reliable nowadays. But that doesn’t mean everybody can hear you all the time. And for individuals who have hearing loss, it can be particularly difficult.

Now, you may be thinking: there’s a simple fix for that, right? Why not utilize a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a little clearer? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly like that. Even though hearing aids can help with conversations, with phone conversations it can be a little more challenging. But there are definitely some things you can do to make your phone conversations more successful.

Phone calls and hearing aids don’t always work well together – here’s why

Hearing loss usually isn’t sudden. It’s not like someone simply turns down the general volume on your ears. It tends to go in bits and pieces. It’s likely that you won’t even notice you have hearing loss and your brain will try to use contextual and visual clues to compensate.

So when you get on a phone, all of that contextual data is gone. There’s no added information for your brain to work with. There’s only a very muffled voice and you only hear bits and pieces of the range of the other individual’s voice.

Hearing aids can help – here’s how

This can be improved by wearing hearing aids. Lots of those missing pieces can be filled in by using hearing aids. But there are some unique accessibility and communication challenges that arise from wearing hearing aids while talking on the phone.

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

Tips to improve the phone call experience

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:

  • Switch your phone to speaker mode as often as you can: Most feedback can be averted this way. There may still be a little distortion, but your phone call should be mostly understandable (if not necessarily private). The best way to keep your phone and your hearing aid away from each other is by switching to speakerphone.
  • 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 (and this includes many text-to-type services).
  • Stream your phone to your hearing aid using Bluetooth. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can stream to your cellphone via Bluetooth! This means you’ll be able to stream phone calls directly to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth capable). This can prevent feedback and make your phone calls a little more private, so it’s a practical place to begin if you’re having trouble on your phone.
  • Don’t hide your hearing problems from the person you’re talking to: It’s okay to admit if you’re having trouble! You might just need to be a little extra patient, or you might want to consider switching to text, email, or video chat.
  • Use video apps: 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 more clear, but at least you will have that visual information back. And this can help you add context to what’s being talked about.
  • Find a quiet setting to carry out your phone conversations. It will be a lot easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less noise. Your hearing aids will be much more effective by decreasing background noise.

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 accessible. With the right approach, you’ll have the resources you require to begin enjoying those phone conversations once again.

Call us for some help and guidance 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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