Hearing is an important sense that many people lack, but modern technology has offered aids to improve the quality of sound for people suffering with hearing loss. While technology continues to improve each day, many hearing aids can create background noise, echoes, and feedback when in use while talking on the phone. Fortunately, you can improve your phone's quality of sound while wearing your aid. If you are part of the 20 percent of Americans who suffer with a form of hearing loss, you can still use your smartphone while wearing a hearing aid. Using these tips, you can use your smartphone while without any feedback or troubling hearing while wearing an aid.
Own the Right Smartphone
Numerous types of smartphones are available, but you may not be using one that works well with your hearing aid. Fortunately, governmental regulations require every phone made in the United States to be compatible with hearing aids. When shopping for your smartphone, look for labels that determine if the particular model is compatible with hearing aid technology. Labels may be in the following locations:
- Packing of Smartphone
- Manual of Smartphone
- In-Store Displays or Informational Sign
Make sure to check the microphone rating on your smartphone, as well. Phones that work well with hearing aids will have a microphone rating of M3 or M4. A higher microphone rating ensures your phone will sound clear.
While compatible, these phones may still cause interference and feedback while using with your hearing aid.
Since 60 percent of hearing aids include a telecoil, make sure your smartphone includes an accessory that works well with the telecoil system. Also known as a t-coil, the telecoil acts as a wireless speaker or antenna to amplify sound. The telecoil decreases the buzzing, whistling, and other background noise you may hear while on your smartphone. If your hearing aid does not include a telecoil, consider asking your audiologist for this upgrade.
There's an App for That
While surprising to hear, there are many apps to download for improving your smartphone use while wearing a hearing aid. Downloadable apps are available to not only amplify the sound on your smartphone, but also to test your hearing capability and even caption streamed videos and movies.
Using a sign language app is also beneficial. The app allows you to make phone calls with sign language using your smartphone's video capability.
Many apps are free to download while some cost a small fee, but the expense can be a worthwhile investment.
Understanding the proper way to hold your smartphone is also important while wearing a hearing aid. Unfortunately, you probably have a preferred, natural way of holding your phone, but this positioning may not be directing sound into your ear correctly.
For the best possible sound, locate the small holes at the end or top of the phone where your ear should rest. Position your smartphone where these small holes rest directly over your ear canal. Make sure there are no gaps between your ear and the phone. Also, the phone's holes should be positioned over the ear that is wearing the hearing aid.
When speaking into your smartphone, locate the small holes on the bottom end of your smartphone. Speak directly into this microphone for a clean, concise conversation. This may not benefit the person on the other end of the conversation, but it can reduce your risk of hearing feedback and echoes that are common when wearing a hearing aid.
Hearing loss may not be life threatening, but it can easily wreak havoc on your lifestyle. With these tips, you can use your smartphone without the worry of feedback and background noise while wearing your hearing aid. For more information, contact companies like Audiology Consultants, P.C.