However, there are solutions to help you win your phone battle!
Some hearing aids have built in telecoil. Telecoil is a type of magnetic circuit capable of receiving sound energy from any other device with a similar telecoil loop. This means that you may need a phone that has this loop built into the phone, and then your audiologist activates your telecoil circuit in your hearing aid so that the two may communicate. This wireless technology usually connects to one hearing aid but provides a better connection to your hearing aid circuit than a physical one.
Modern hearing aids have built in Bluetooth and/or Radio Frequency. These technologies are built on a wireless transmitter and receiver connection. Not all devices are mutually compatible, so you need an audiologist to assist you to select the right type of hearing aid for your phone (or phone for your hearing aid) to ensure compatibility, and to “pair” them for you. This option will usually allow connection or transmission to both of your hearing aids at the same time, which overcomes a significant problem for people with hearing loss, as two ears are almost ALWAYS better than one! In most technologies, there is a way of reducing the sound of the environment around you at the same time, so that the sound streaming through your hearing aids is clear; amplified according to your hearing loss (the hearing aid does this); and with less interference from sound in your own environment. These are ideal “phone and hearing” strategies.
Using a phone with a loudspeaker option helps you to hear through both hearing aids if the speaker can be placed in front of you. There can be drawbacks, as other people can hear the call, so you may not be able to do this in company! Also, the quality of the sound will be poorer than a direct connection; however, it will still be better than hearing with only one ear.
For landlines, phones exist that can amplify sound themselves, and external amplifiers ca be connected to an existing phone to assist you.
Our audiologists are well-versed in all of these options, and we have a wide range of adaptive telephone and cell-phone resources available. For what may work best for your specific needs, talk to one of us (contact us here). We can help you find a solution to maintain your connection with friends and family and be fully functional in meeting the needs of your business life.
By Natalie Buttress of NB Hearing