Hearing Services of Nashville

Man wearing hearing aids happily using a cell phone.

Modern cell phones have become a lot clearer and more reliable nowadays. But sometimes, it will still be hard to hear what the person on the other end is saying. In fact, there’s one population for whom using a phone isn’t always a reliable experience: those with hearing loss.

Now, you might be thinking: there’s a simple solution for that, right? Why not utilize a pair of hearing aids to make your phone conversations a bit clearer? Actually, it doesn’t work exactly like that. In reality, while hearing aids can make in person conversations a lot easier to handle, there are some challenges related to phone-based conversations. But there are certainly a few things you can do to make your phone conversations more effective.

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

Hearing loss typically develops slowly. It’s not like somebody simply turns down the general 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, particularly 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 hints. There’s no extra information for your brain to fill in. 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 be helpful – here’s how

Hearing aids will help with this. 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.

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

Improving your ability to hear phone conversations

So, what can you do to address the challenges of utilizing a phone with hearing aids? Well, there are several tips that the majority of hearing specialists will advocate:

  • Consider using speakerphone to conduct most of your phone calls: Most feedback can be averted this way. Your phone conversations may not be particularly private, but even though there still might be a little distortion, you should be able to better make out the voice on the other end. 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!
  • Try to take your phone calls in a quiet area. It will be much easier to hear the voice on the other end if there’s less noise. If you minimize background noise during phone calls your hearing aids will perform so much better.
  • Hearing aids aren’t the only assistive hearing device you can get: There are other assistive devices and services that can help you hear better during a phone conversation (and this includes numerous text-to-type services).
  • Download a video call app: You may have an easier time making out phone conversations on a video call. The sound won’t be louder or more clear, but at least you’ll have that visual information back. And this can help you add context to what’s being talked about.
  • Be sincere with the individual you’re talking to on the phone: It’s ok to admit if you’re having trouble! You may simply need to be a little more patient, or you might want to think about using text, email, or video chat.
  • You can utilize your Bluetooth function on your hearing aid to connect to your phone. Yes, contemporary hearing aids can stream to your smartphone via Bluetooth! This means you’ll be able to stream phone calls right to your hearing aids (if your hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled). This can eliminate feedback and make your phone calls a little more private, so it’s a good place to start if you’re having trouble on your phone.

Finding the best set of solutions will depend on what you use your phone for, how often 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 begin enjoying those phone conversations again.

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