Talking on the phone is a notoriously difficult listening situation for people with hearing loss. It can even be a challenge for people with normal hearing. This is because sound is distorted over the phone and because visual cues like lipreading, facial expressions and gestures are absent. Below we review how to make the most of phone calls when you use hearing aids.
Stream to Your Hearing Aids
If your hearing aids have Bluetooth capabilities and you own a smartphone, the best thing you can do is stream the audio from your phone calls directly to your hearing aids. To do this, you’ll first need to pair your hearing aids to your smartphone, then when you answer calls, make sure this is where the audio is streaming.
Place the Receiver Near the Hearing Aid Mic
If your hearing aids or phone do not have Bluetooth capabilities, you can instead place the phone as close to the hearing aid microphone as possible. If you’re not sure where the microphone on your hearing aid is, gently run a finger along the hearing aid until you hear it make contact with the mic.
Try Video Calls
In order to gain visual cues, you can use an app that allows you to make video calls. FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp are all great tools for this.
Turn on Speakerphone
While less private, turning on speakerphone does offer some advantages. First, it can reduce interference since you don’t have to hold the phone so close to your hearing aids. Second, it allows you to hear with both ears instead of just one.
Get an Amplified Telephone
Sometimes, an amplified telephone made specifically with people with hearing loss in mind is the best solution. Talk to your audiologist at Topeka ENT to learn how to get one for free.
Get a Captioned Telephone
If an amplified telephone doesn’t work well for you, there’s another option: a captioned telephone. These are also designed specifically for people with hearing loss. They work by providing live captions of what your conversation partner is saying. Popular models include CapTel and CaptionCall. Again, talk to your audiologist to learn more.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Topeka ENT today.